In human relationships, there is the flirtation stage, followed by what my grandparents called "courting" and, if that works out, marriage. For those who are co-habiting, that was once the order of things, before disorderly social conduct took over.
In presidential politics, the analogy also works. We have passed the flirtation stage with Barack Obama and now it is time for a serious background check before too many of us follow our hearts instead of our heads and enter into a bad "marriage."
That MoveOn.org and Sen. Edward Kennedy have endorsed Obama ought to be enough for any conservative - even moderate - to pause before heading toward the electoral altar. But Obama has offered more cause for alarm by heralding his left-wing economic philosophy in a recent interview with The New York Times.
Obama told the newspaper the top priority of the next president should be the creation of a more lasting and equitable prosperity than achieved under Presidents Bush and Clinton. Obama apparently missed the class that teaches government doesn't create prosperity; people do.
During last Thursday's debate with Hillary Clinton, Obama said he would pay for his proposed new programs, including mandatory health insurance, by imposing higher taxes on "the wealthy" and raising the tax on Social Security wages. He added, "What we have had right now is a situation where we've cut taxes for people who don't need them." Should government determine how much money people "need"? This is Marxism: "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need." Sen. Clinton expressed similar sentiments on ABC's "This Week" when she said if people refuse to buy health insurance under her plan she might garnish people's wages.
One reason this socialistic mind-set resonates favorably with many is due to the shift in the last half-century from promoting hard work, self-sufficiency, marriage, personal responsibility and accountability and living within one's means, to a mentality that I am entitled to the fruits of other people's labor. That used to be called robbery before government started doing it more than a century ago through the income tax.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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