The 19th century was the nursery for contemporary politics. Every form of modern political activity -- fascism, communism, socialism, liberalism -- has its roots in that epoch. (Yes, I'm fully aware of such figures as Locke, Burke, Madison, and Jefferson, but their work was hijacked and twisted all out of recognition, in large part by French revolutionaries and assorted German academics. Edmund Burke was so appalled by this that, having invented modern liberalism, he turned around and invented modern conservatism.)
Anything coming out of the 19th century is going to be imbued with rationalism, the dominant intellectual credo of the period. Rationalism has nothing to do with rationality per se; it is instead an ideology (note that "ism" -- always a giveaway) based on a severe simplification of Cartesianism, humanist doctrine, and the results of modern scientific research. For our purposes, rationalism can be defined as a reductionist doctrine holding that the universe and everything within it is a mechanism, governed by simple laws easily discovered, understood, and manipulated. A rationalist is a very smart individual who, if he doesn't know all the answers, can tell you where to get them. A political rationalist is all this and more, since political rationalism is the arena in which the limitations of the ideology first became apparent. Namely, rationalism, taken to its logical extreme (and how could it be otherwise?), leads inevitably to chaos, misery, and death on continental scales.
There are many areas of modern life that this century-old news has not reached. This includes much of the educational establishment and even many areas of science itself, e.g., the descriptive schools such as zoology or botany. It also includes the world of politics, and specifically liberal politics. Liberals, whether American Democrats or European progressives, still insist that the world is a rational construct based on simplistic, easily understood rules, and that the levers can be successfully worked by the likes of Barack Obama and his czars, despite all evidence to the contrary. They continue following the same paradigm as did their 19th-century predecessors, exactly as if nothing at all has changed. You'd almost call them "reactionary."
The result has been as disastrous as any previous liberal effort: a dragging economy facing stagflation and possible further collapse, unemployment at highs not seen for decades, a level of new regulation that has all but paralyzed economic activity. And yet greater disasters will emerge tomorrow through ObamaCare, with its regulations and mandates already strangling the health care system even before they go into effect. Hope and Change is leading to the same results that anyone with even a superficial knowledge of the 20th century, with its New Deals, Five-Year Plans, Great Leaps Forward, and Great Societies, would have expected.
The voters have seen two years of it, and they have had enough. ObamaCare was the final straw. Obama, Zeke Emanuel (that's right, there are more than one of them), and Donald Berwick, rationalists all, appear hell-bent on making the mistakes identical to FDR's Brain Trust and the Great Society whiz kids (not to mention various commissars and Red Guards), whatever the cost in human misery and lives.
The voters refused to settle for that. They had heard the horror stories from Europe, had seen the rich Canadians racing across the border to Americans hospitals for treatments that somehow "weren't available" in the heath care utopia up north, and, more to the point, saw their own health care begin to deteriorate even as the ink of Obama's signature dried. They are not dialecticians or intellectual historians, but they know a stupid thing when they see a stupid thing, and they have voted to end it.
The peasants will be driven no farther. This week, they voted an entire worldview dead. Not that it will simply lie down, zombie doctrine that it has been for a century or more. It will have to be beaten down, drawn, quartered, and burned, with the ashes scattered to the winds. The process will require years. But the old, failed paradigm has been given a death blow. American eyes have opened at last, and they will not close again. Plenty of battles remain, but it is safe to believe, in the words of one of the great modern conservatives, and Democrats, in the true sense: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."