The cartoon at left is from the cover of the April 2008 issue of Reason magazine. Reason is a libertarian publication with the motto “Free Minds and Free Markets.”
The cartoon, of course, shows three of the front-running presidential candidates pandering to a slob, with John McCain attempting to keep Ron Paul from squeezing into the room. What fascinated me about this cartoon at the time was the slob. The slob represents the American voter.
What does this tell us about the conservative/libertarian worldview? IMO it reveals a mindset that pretends to value freedom but is unconsciously authoritarian and elitist. (Which makes Reason‘s calling Sonia Sotomayor an “authoritarian” especially rich.) How dare the hoi polloi expect government to pay attention to them?
When I heard about Michelle Malkin’s absurd “cheese” comment, the cartoon sprang to mind. Malkin seriously believes that unemployment benefits keep people from going out and finding a job.
If you put enough government cheese in front of people they are just going to keep eating it and you’re just kicking the can down the road and just to hammer this point about the unemployment benefits extension again it was Larry Katz, who’s a chief labor economist under the Clinton labor department who came out with a study and there are a lot of these economists who say this that if you keep extending these “temporary” unemployment benefits you’re just going to extend joblessness even more.
Larry Katz said nothing of the sort, of course, as Paul Krugman explains. I say the Right’s inner elitism also is coming through loud and clear in their condemnation of the “cash for clunkers” program. My favorite criticism of the program comes from Representative Jeb Hensarling, R-TX: “Maybe we should have a ‘Cash for Cluckers’ program and pay people to eat chicken?”