Feature:Video

Krauthammer: We have ‘a Statue of Liberty — it’s not a Statue of Equality’

Photo of Jeff Poor
Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

Krauthammer reiterated a point he had made on the day of Obama’s second inauguration: that Obama sought to declare the end of Reaganism with his speech.

“So I think he sees himself as a man who will reverse that course. He started with Obamacare, he’s continued it with the stimulus and the ratcheting up of the amount of spending the government is doing, historically high for peacetime since World War II,” Krauthammer said.

“I think he sees his next step is to raise the levels of taxation in order that it would meet the levels of spending. Because if you want European levels of entitlements in the country, you’re going to have to eventually have European levels of taxation.”

“So he sees himself as establishing the foundations of the more social democratic society,” he said.

“And I think he thinks he can do enough in the two terms that that will establish that, so regardless of who succeeds him, it will be established. And I think our task as conservatives is to understand exactly what he wants to do, how he wants to do it, to give it a modicum of respect and understanding as to where that tradition originates, and to say that we think the United States is different fundamentally from Europe — historically and culturally and politically. That we put much more emphasis on the individual, on liberty versus equality. There is a reason that in the New York Harbor there’s a Statue of Liberty — it’s not a Statue of Equality.”

Krauthammer urged conservatives to make a case for liberty and its benefits in order to defeat the President’s agenda.

“We have a sense that when we develop the individual and strengthen civil society, we will emerge with a more free — and in the end a more equal — society in terms of opportunity, openness and fairness,” he said.

“So I think that is the case we ought to make. We ought to take this task on seriously and to make the ideological, the intellectual argument. And if we do it well, and appeal to the more American individualistic tradition, we will succeed. And that’s the reason for my optimism, which is sort of independent of who the individuals are who present the case on the other side of here. But we simply have to make the case. If we do, we will win.”

Follow Jeff on Twitter