Kitty Werthmann is an elegant and eloquent Austrian Jew who grew up in Austria during the ascent of Hitler’s national socialism. She is a proud naturalized American. She has asked that we pass on her message. I will start with a few thoughts about socialism.
It is vanity to suppose that socialism may be constrained, that its operation may be safely vested in the good will and discretion of men or women, unfettered by moral restraints and constitutions who consider themselves more intelligent, virtuous—and, of course more humble—than all the rest of us. Socialism has a trajectory, common as dirt, and as predictable as the sunset.
Frederick Hayek wrote of it in his tour de force The Road to Serfdom. His theme: Socialism is a road leads inevitably to the creation of an indomitable welfare state in which the reigning few, a bureaucratic aristocracy, rule the many serfs bound to labor, pay and maintain the bureaucrat in his wealth, privilege, power and prestige. Ayn Rand, the late and famous Russian author, wrote the prophetic novels We The People, Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged. She excoriated Russian socialism just as she predicted the socialist precipice upon which America now teeters dangerously.
Change, repugnant and irrational, is quickly taking hold of America. The government, compelled by the intractable socialist vision of President O’Bama, has plunged Americans into still more intractable debt. The deficit, ever deepening, will bind American children to unspeakable taxes to keep and maintain an elephantine, fiscally licentious and predictably bankrupt welfare state.
The government, through its Supreme Court, has embraced the judicially arrogant pretension that the Drafters of the American Constitution intended a “Wall”—high and impregnable—be built and maintained eternally against the free and public exercise of religion. The Wall, of course, is nowhere to be found in the First Amendment mandate that the central government protect “the free exercise of Religion.”
The government has established day care centers for children. It subsidizes, out of the pathetic remnants of the late Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, welfare payments that have encouraged generations of young, unmarried women to birth unwanted children, in scandalous numbers, just as it has destroyed the place, honor and dignity of the husband and family man. In its creation of legion numbers of the so-called, “single parent” family, the government has bequeathed Americans poverty and crime, misery and despair, obscene deficits and confiscatory taxes. This week the Mayor of Detroit, a crime ridden city of inexorably diminishing population, promised that he would destroy 20,000 buildings that once, in a time before the imposition of the Great Society, housed prosperous business enterprises.
The Government, under President O’Bama is steadily nullifying the Constitution, impoverishing its citizens, restricting their freedoms and destroying the economy. In nearly every facet of government the President is hiring socialist aficionados, ideological sycophants and unqualified incompetents. The President, for example, is pushing Eleanor Kagan for nomination to the Supreme Court. She is a socialist in political creed and affections, an inarticulate and inexperienced amateur in her arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court and a Renegade Liberal—as George Orwell coined the name for an English generation of liberal intellectuals—who is just as virulently anti-military as she is in all things, passionately pro-gay.
Finally, Ms. Kagan has invented a new and stunning theory regarding the First Amendment right of free speech. She theorizes that the Supreme Court, its government and its vast bureaucracies, may constitutionally “redistribute free speech” (as if it were money), precisely as they see fit, among the political tribes.—I suppose, only half in jest, to each according to their need and from each according to their ability. Ms. Kagan argues that when the government concludes that there is too much of one kind of speech (conservative speech for example), it may banish that speech, confiscate the time and place previously accorded to it and redistribute that time and place to someone else. We may well wonder who that “someone else” will be.
Ms. Kagan implicitly subscribes to a litmus test for free speech, already well established in Renegade Liberal thought and practice: The test is whether the written or spoken word may offend someone or anyone, somewhere or anywhere, now or anytime, actually or possibly; and if so, of course, the government must quickly see to its extinction. What might be the full measure of punishment for one with sufficient arrogance to defy Ms. Kagan’s redistributive theory of free speech? She does not say. But we have a hint from Senator John McCain who in the McCain/Feingold bill since declared unconstitutional, provided for a warning, or alternatively prosecution, fine and imprisonment.
Kitty Werthmann now resides in South Dakota. She was a child when in Austria, the Communist Party and Hitler’s National Socialist Party were engaged in a violent struggle for political ascendance. Its citizens bankrupt and impoverished, unemployed and starving overwhelmingly voted Adolph Hitler into power. Ms. Werthmann writes that,
In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates. Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people - about 30 daily.
Germany looked good to the Austrians. In Hitler’s Germany no one was hungry and everyone was employed.
We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.
At first all went well. The Nazi Government created the equivalent of Roosevelt’s WPA. German police quickly suppressed crime. Soup kitchens were everywhere. Everyone was happy for a while. But more quickly than anyone could have imagined everything changed. In Austria, an intensely Catholic country, Hitler ordered the crucifix removed from every schoolroom. In its place the National Socialist Party ordered hung a picture of Hitler and a Nazi flag placed to each side.
The socialist government then prohibited religious instruction, a tradition in Austrian schools. In its place, the national socialist government ordered all Austrian children to sing Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles and thereafter, to submit daily to two hours of political indoctrination. Protesting parents were told that should they defy the law they would first be warned, then severely fined and finally imprisoned. When war commenced in 1939, Hitler, having declared the equality of women, began drafting them.
During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.
Hitler also mandated free national health care. Doctors were paid by the government much as they will be paid should O’Bama Care finally be imposed on Americans. (American Doctors, who are not retiring, are presently selling their practices to hospitals and signing on as employees. In Texas, alarming numbers of doctors are simply declining the treatment of Medicaid and Medicare patients. Ah but not to worry, you will be able to keep your health care plan and your doctor if you want him. You will pay thousands less per year for health care. And best of all the O’Bama health care plan is deficit neutral. Right)?
In Austria, waiting times increased drastically. Surgery required a two-year wait. Quality of care declined. Investment in medical research ceased, and Austrian doctors immigrated to other countries. Death panels when appropriate, ordered the execution of “retarded” young men and women and others it considered a burden on society. Taxes increased to 80 percent of gross income. Socialist bureaucracies dictated the operation of even the smallest businesses. Private enterprise ceased to be.
We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.
Finally, the government first mandated that citizens provide registration numbers for their firearms, and thereafter ordered their confiscation. Free speech was forbidden, or one might say, to employ Eleanor Kagan’s new First Amendment theory, redistributed entirely to the NAZI state.
Ms. Kitty Werthmann asked that I forward her message to America. How could I possibly refuse her.
America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don't Let Freedom Slip Away!" After America , There is No Place to Go."