Obama said with his election, the waters would retreat and the earth would heal. A bit far-fetched (and that's me being polite), but at least it has some historical precedent in both the Old and New Testaments. Maybe he is the Second Coming, and not the Anti Christ, some reasoned as they pulled the levers back on that fateful day in November of 2008...
But the British liberals, literally studying Obama's playbook, have taken him one further:
The Labour party is taking a page from U.S. President Barack Obama's campaign book by contacting voters directly and encouraging word of mouth campaigning by members, its election coordinator said.
Revealing a new election slogan, "A future fair for all" -- due to be officially unveiled by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Saturday -- Alexander said it had been chosen to counter what he called the Conservative's "empty" offer of change.
Here's the problem with that slogan: Life is unfair.
It always has been, and always will be. And nothing can ever change that, including the "best intentions" of liberal social engineering.
You can do your best to level the playing field, but even that's hard to do without creating new unfairness. Give certain folks a hand up, and you're simultaneously giving other, equally deserving folks a slap down.
If there is ever a contest to pick which word has done the most damage to people's thinking, and to actions to carry out that thinking, my nomination would be the word "fair."
Creating a difference that would not exist otherwise is discrimination, and something can be done about that. But in recent times, virtually any disparity in outcomes is almost automatically blamed on discrimination, despite the incredible range of other reasons for disparities between individuals and groups.
Nature's discrimination completely dwarfs man's discrimination. Geography alone makes equal chances virtually impossible...
Sowell follows with a great example:
Just the fact that the lay of the land is different in different parts of Europe meant that it was easier for the Roman legions to invade Western Europe. This meant that Western Europeans had the advantages of the most advanced civilization in Europe at that time. Moreover, because Roman letters were used in Western Europe, the languages of that region had written versions centuries before the Slavic languages of Eastern Europe did.
The difference between literacy and illiteracy is a huge difference, and it remained huge for centuries. Was it the Slavs' fault that the Romans did not want to climb over so many mountains to get to them?
But Gordon Brown and the British Labour party feel they can ignore 2,000 years worth of historical lessons to the contrary and promise absolute fairness under their administration. Fair, of course, as determined by bureaucrats taking into account things such as the color of your skin, your religion, where you were born, and so on. You know - things of substance...
If Labour studied more than just Obama's campaign, they can see that by being unable - actually, unwilling - to fulfill the very things he promised, he has gone in less than a year from a deity to a fool, a knight to a knave, from hope to despair. And he is facing a rout unlike any seen since General Custer made his Last Stand...
But that is fair, at least to me. Who can say it isn't? And if so, can they change reality to suit their perceptions? And if they can't, should they promise to do so anyway?
Labour is about to turn defeat into disaster... just like their brethren on this side of the pond...