Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. –John Adams
There are big reasons to vote against Obama. The administration believes there are many little reasons Americans should want to vote for Obama. The president wants you to think about the little things. That’s why Obama invented a phony war on women, evolved on gay marriage, makes press statements about Trevon Martin, gives the highest civilian award to a Hispanic open-borders activist, and even why his wife wants the country to focus on diet. In magic, they call this misdirection. Get the audience attention drawn somewhere other than where the real action occurs.
The real action is the economy. Social issues are important. Foreign affairs are important. National security is Important. Healthcare is important. But the economy is decisive. If we don’t get the economy right, none of the rest will matter. We need thoughtful tax reform, major deficit reduction, less nonsensical regulation, an end to harmful fiscal and monetary policy, and we need to kill crony capitalism. We have to clear huge hurdles to avoid becoming Greece, yet this president wants us to base our vote on free contraceptives and cheap student loans.
President Obama’s campaign speeches gloss over the economy and he deflects questions about the tepid recovery. When pressed, he claims he has done a magnificent job. You know, he says, without my magic wand, the situation would have been a lot worse. He even makes the outlandish claim that he has increased spending less than any other modern president.
The truth is this is the weakest recovery from a recession since WWII. And his actions are the direct cause of our malady. People are out of work because of President Obama. The national debt has skyrocketed to over $17 trillion because of President Obama. Energy costs are higher and we are more reliant than we should be on foreign oil because of President Obama. Taxes are higher and due to go higher yet because of President Obama. The life savings of retired Americans earn zero interest because of President Obama. It’s not all bad of course. Cronies in big labor, Wall Street, Detroit, and supposed green enterprises have done very well because of President Obama.
Obama’s handling of the economy has been horrific. He knows this. We know he grasps how bad of a job he has done by the lengths he will go to misdirect and confuse Americans. For example, is Donald Trump’s support for Romney really a major campaign issue? Do presidential candidates need to renounce every supporter with unpopular opinions? If that were true, then Obama, you got some ‘splainin’ to do! But the Trump hoopla is just a headline grabbing distraction. One more feint to put the opposition on defense.
Will a strategy of distraction work? It can and it has on some issues, but never with something as huge as the economy. Americans interact with the economy every day. It’s hard to ignore, no matter how silly Donald’s hair style. When an American family is struggling to put food on the table and gas in the car, it’s hard to distract them from everyday needs. No matter how smart Obama thinks he is, he can’t hide an elephant behind a plastic potted plant.
James D. Best is the author of the Steve Dancy Tales and Tempest at Dawn, a novel about the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Look for his new book, Principled Action, Lessons from the Origins of the American Republic.