Walter E. Williams has an excellent piece entitled Destroying Liberty in which he accurately describes the process that leads ordinary Americans to support destructive legislation.
But if you were to ask, say, the average senior citizen whether Social Security, Medicare and prescription drug subsidies should be continued, he would probably answer yes. The same would be true if you asked a college professor whether higher education should continue to be subsidized, or a farmer or a dairyman whether their products should be subsidized, or a manufacturer whether there should be tariffs and quotas on foreign products that compete with his product. The problem with congressmen producing favors and privileges to all interest groups is that it creates what none of us wants: massive control, numerous dictates and micromanagement of our lives.
Read the whole thing. Superb as it is, he missed the hate factor. There are a significant number of Americans who have been taught to hate the very things that make this country a success. They hate the very idea of corporations for example. The term “free enterprise” makes their blood boil. The sight of a nice home, on a nice lot, with the American flag flying makes them want to spit. They have a hateful name for it; “McMansion”. They would tend to agree with Obama when he says with contempt that some Americans are clinging to guns and religion (the first two amendments in the Bill of Rights). I suppose deriding Americans who “cling” to property rights, free speech, the right to a fair trial by jury, etc., will come next. When FDR was pushing his Raw Deal back in the ’30s and ’40s, there was a famous (to me) quote, and I paraphrase; “For the first time, the rich are going to feel the same pain that the poor have felt.” Spread the misery. If I’m suffering, angry, and unhappy, then by damn, if I can’t do anything else, I will make you suffer, make you angry, and make you just as miserable as I. That seems to be the mentality. It’s far easier to tear down someone else’s house than to build one of your own.
Now we’re faced with the possibility that one of these America haters is going to be elected president.