Thomas Sowell: Believers in Barack





[Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.]

... Of the four people running for president and vice president on the Republican and Democratic tickets, the one we know the least about is the one leading in the polls — Barack Obama.

Some of Senator Obama’s most fervent supporters could not tell you what he has actually done on such issues as crime, education, or financial institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — much less what he plans to do to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear nation supplying nuclear weapons to the international terrorist networks that it has supplied with other weapons.

The magic word “change” makes specifics unnecessary. If things are going bad, some think that what is needed is blank-check “change.”

But history shows any number of countries in crises worse than ours, where “change” turned problems into catastrophes.

In czarist Russia, for example, the economy was worse than ours is today and the First World War was going far worse for the Russians than anything we have faced in Iraq. Moreover, Russians had nothing like the rights of Americans today. So they went for “change.”

That “change” brought on a totalitarian regime that made the czars’ despotism look like child’s play. The Communists killed more people in one year than the czars killed in more than 90 years, not counting the millions who died in a government-created famine in the 1930s.

Other despotic regimes in China, Cuba, and Iran were similarly replaced by people who promised “change” that turned out to be even worse than what went before.

Yet many today seem to assume that if things are bad, “change” will make them better. Specifics don’t interest them nearly as much as inspiring rhetoric and a confident style. But many 20th-century leaders with inspiring rhetoric and great self-confidence led their followers or their countries into utter disasters.

These ranged from Jim Jones who led hundreds to their deaths in Jonestown to Hitler and Mao who led millions to their deaths. ...

Related Links

  • Media Matters (liberal media watchdog): Sowell compared Obama to Hitler, Mao, other dictators, and Jim Jones


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