•expansion of food stamps
•diminution of welfare work requirements
• "clean" energy subsidies
•same day voter registration
•limitless unemployment benefits
It's a play straight from the Democratic National Committee's platform, an agenda that values collectivism over individualism, regulation over markets, and entitlement over freedom. Traditional notions of individualism, entrepreneurism, and pulling oneself up by the bootstraps are given periodic lip service, if at all. And it makes sense ... from the progressive's perspective. You see, this mindset covets limited economic horizons, energizes the redistribution of wealth, and generates the type of immense bureaucracy necessitated by the modern welfare state.
For context, watch (and listen to) the president. His rhetoric regularly celebrates big government, degrades individualism (recall the once popular "you didn't build that" narrative from Campaign 2012), and demands constant public sector growth, the better to spur economic activity.
The adherents do not pretend to advance balanced budgets or fiscal restraint. Rarely is their focus on private sector job growth or wealth creation. You see, their world is all about endless demands and the (tax) dollars required to feed them.
The good people who write the editorials on the facing page of this newspaper are wholly in tune with the foregoing agenda. They have opined as much over the last few decades. So, too, are the clear majority of voters in Blue State America, the formerly Free State of Maryland foremost among them.
But is America really on board? Is Reaganism now so 1980-ish? Has America truly become a center/left country on a comfortable glide path toward a European style social democracy?
I hope (and pray) this seismic shift can be stopped. How to proceed from the present state of things will be analyzed in next week's column.
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s column appears Sundays. The former Maryland governor and Member of Congress is a partner at the law firm King & Spalding and the author of "Turn this Car Around" — a book about national politics. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.