So it could be a bit shocking to realize that now, in the year 2007, candidate John Edwards can speak on CNN of his “love” for his “Lord, Jesus Christ,” and the news media regards it as okay. But resist the temptation to be cynical, and consider carefully what has been revealed about these candidates. In particular, consider what Senator Clinton revealed about herself, and her views of American life.
When quizzed about issues of poverty and the environment, Mrs. Clinton was critical of nearly every sector of our society- - the “adult society” has failed; “churches have failed;” “the free market has failed;” “we’ve all failed” - - and to make things right, “something needs to be taken away from some people.”
Mrs. Clinton made it clear that, in her view, the freely-made choices of individual American citizens, choices made in the contexts of their personal lives, their business activities, and their faith communities, have failed to produce the kind of society that she wants, and the power of government must be utilized to take away certain resources from certain persons and to give certain resources to certain other persons.
In short, Hillary Rodham Clinton was speaking the language of “liberation theology,” a theological system that views the historic Christian concept of “the battle between good and evil” as a matter of struggle between the social classes, and embraces the tactics of Karl Marx to correct the “injustices” against the poor brought about by the “rich.”
Clearly there are shreds of truth in Mrs. Clinton’s comments: caring for the poor and stewardship of the earth are Judeo-Christian imperatives. However, Mrs. Clinton tragically attaches these noble and necessary goals to a failed and unjust economic model.
If it hasn’t been apparent in the past, the assumptions Mrs. Clinton makes about the American way of life are now quite apparent: she assumes that economic activity is a “zero sum” enterprise wherein one person’s gain is another person’s loss; she assumes that free individuals cannot choose wisely and justly on their own; she assumes that government agents and agencies can choose better than private persons and organizations (even better than churches).
These revelations should signal a wake-up call to all who love liberty and prosperity. And conservatives in particular, both fiscal and social conservatives, must now begin to defend freedom and capitalism, because they are most certainly under attack.
Ultimately, conservatives must make the case that the American economic model, imperfect as it may be, is still the best economic model for achieving not only profits and productivity, but virtue and justice as well.
Unfortunately, it is unclear from among the current ranks of conservative political and cultural leadership who is best prepared to handle this task.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.