On Tuesday, liberal radio host Thom Hartmann engaged a conservative caller who was tired of the anti-capitalist rhetoric from President Obama and the left. “From the president’s own mouth, the anti-capitalist rhetoric is so poisoned,” said the caller.
Hartmann interrupted: “It is rhetoric in opposition to the excesses of unregulated capitalism. Unregulated capitalism can become a cancer just like unregulated growth in a cell is the definition of cancer.” Hartmann went on to say that libertarian notions are corrupting government, and that the Founding Fathers were for “general welfare” exactly like Franklin Roosevelt.
This is the exchange that followed the capitalism-as-cancer analogies:
CALLER: Who regulates the regulators?
HARTMANN: We do. We the people. The first three words of the Constitution. We. The People.
CALLER: Who regulates Fannie Mae? Who regulates Barney Frank and Chris Dodd?
HARTMANN: The people who elect them, and the people who don’t elect them. And that’s the system we’ve got, and if you don’t like it, get involved.
Hartmann asked the caller what he had done to get involved. He said he’d attended Tea Party rallies and made contributions.
CALLER: I do that with the money that I contribute to candidates that apparently you’re, somehow that’s this big evil, trying to make government smaller to reduce the chances of corruption. As the government gets bigger and bigger, there's more room for corruption.
That's why money corrupts.
HARTMANN: It's a nice slogan...but it's meaningless...What is corrupting government is the libertarian notion that if you have a lot of money, you should be able to buy politicians. If you have a lot of money, you should be able to buy public opinion. If you have a lot of money, you should be able to buy up all your competition and put them out of business. That's what's corrupting this government.
When the caller said the Republican field was diverse, Hartmann shot back the the only serious candidate is Romney, “the multi-millionaire who made his fortune using unregulated capitalism to destroy American jobs and send them overseas.” As music swelled, Hartmann concluded by blurring FDR and the Founding Fathers:
HARTMANN: I absolutely agree with Franklin Roosevelt that a necessitous man is not a free man, that if you're unemployed, you're not free. If you're hungry, you're not free. If you're homeless, you're not free, and the Founders did too, which is why the word "welfare" appears twice in the Constitution. “General welfare.”