The Ten Big Lies About America

Rebecca Hagelin

1/8/2009 12:01:00 AM - Rebecca Hagelin

In these times of economic troubles the liberals are looking to take more control of your money, your business, your freedom and your future.

 But if you read Michael Medved’s powerful new book, The 10 Big Lies About America , you can help stop them.

I recently had the pleasure of co-hosting (with my colleague, Heritage VP Becky Norton Dunlop) Michael for a book lecture at The Heritage Foundation and he absolutely “brought the house down”, wowing the standing-room only crowd with his energizing speech delivered from memory. When he took questions, he had instant recall about numerous facts, figures and topics. I wasn’t surprised, as I have been in-studio with Michael and watched him answer questions for three hours with no notes. Medved is more than a human encyclopedia – he’s more like a human Google. No wonder he is one of the most successful and effective syndicated radio hosts in the nation. And his knowledge of history and politics is joined by pure raw guts. He’s not afraid to call the liberal mantra and revisionist history what it is: a bed of lies. That’s just what he does in The 10 Big Lies About America.

Take “Big Lie #6,” which is more pertinent than ever these days:

“Government programs offer the only remedy for economic downturns and poverty.”

Liberals love to argue that it is government – not the spirit or will or hard work or free markets and free citizens – that can cure economic ills. The libs love to point to FDR and his “alphabet soup” of government programs, hatched as an effort to pull America out of the Great Depression, as the defining, magical moment for “big government”.  In fact, Michael shows, the “New Deal” did precious little to help get America out of its economic doldrums. It took a world war to do that.

That’s not just the opinion of a smart conservative pundit. It’s also the opinion of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., a liberal scholar who is considered one of the premier experts on the New Deal. Writing in 1963, he said, “Though the policies of the Hundred Days had ended despair, they had not produced recovery … The New Deal had done remarkable things, especially in social reform, but the formula for full recovery evidently still eluded it.”

That’s just one example of what makes Medved’s book so valuable. He’s done the research to back up his conclusions -- and packaged them in a highly readable book that makes it so much easier for you, as someone who’s actually grateful for both personal freedom and free markets, to fight back.

Another popular distortion is “Big Lie #5,” which reads: “The power of Big Business hurts the country and oppresses the people.” Maybe that’s believable if, Medved says, you don’t realize that our founding fathers were more concerned about the dangers from big government, not big business. Distinctions between the “haves” and the “have-nots” don’t help, and frequently hurt public debates. The fact is, we largely rise and fall as one. As Michael notes:

“The idea that laborers or customers somehow benefit if a corporation feels squeezed or faces shrinking profits remains one of the profoundly illogical legacies of discredited Marxism. If governmental regulators crack down on a given company, they most often harm, rather than help, the interests of its workers (and shareholders, obviously). In the free-market system, the boss, Peter, can’t benefit in the long term at the expense of his employee Paul. They either prosper together or fail together.”

Yet still we hear calls from politicians for increased regulation, which is touted as the only safeguard between poor workers and their greedy, “robber baron” bosses. (Maybe because that would shift more power to the politicians?) Medved shows how absurd it is to put your faith in government rather than the market.

The 10 Big Lies About America shows why the solution to our economic downturn is not aggressive government programs. A quick look at history demonstrates in no uncertain terms that more government programs only exacerbate economic problems. They actually constrict the freedom that people come to America to find. Applying the same oppressive ideas and policies that poor countries use to strengthen the American economy is asking for failure. And believing that adopting policies which have failed in one country will work is, frankly, insane.

The very reason America has succeeded is that it grew into a nation that rejected the economically strangling trap of socialism -- the very formula that certain liberal politicians now tell us will save us.

Alarmingly, they think of government as if it were a parent. As President Clinton once stated, “We must provide for our nation the way a family provides for its children.” This has never been an appropriate role of American government, and it carries no meaning in the spirit of the U.S. Constitution.

Difficult economic times do not call for new, bigger government programs, but for preserving the power of the people. Appropriately. Medved starts the book with something Ronald Reagan said in his January 1989 farewell address:

“We’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important …If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.”

The American spirit is still alive and well, but it won’t survive unless all of us are willing to fight for it. Thanks to Michael Medved and his terrific new book, The 10 Big Lies About America, you have the ammunition you need to do just that.