Today's Politicos vs The Words and Deeds of The Founders
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Moment of Truth

Al Sharpton has an important message for the folks who voted for Barak Obama last year. He told Fox News, “…the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama.”

Did they know that’s what they voted for? It’s doubtful if many thought in those terms. Would they have stayed home if they had? (It’s unrealistic to ask if they might have voted for Bush.) We will never know the answers to those questions. However, It should be clear by now to even the most dim-witted Obama supporter (and there are those) that, intended or not, socialism is what we got.

Barak Obama’s ability to garner votes, we’ve been told over and over again, is due to his being a great communicator. Yet, after delivering 58 speeches touting his health care bill, the number of people opposed to it increased. It appears his oratorical skills were effective so long as his focus was on vague promises (change and hope) that did not violate reality.

An effective communicator must be believable; the public’s understanding of reality and the speaker’s presentation of it cannot radically diverge. That dynamic has changed. In a recent speech, the president asserted the health care bill, which passed without a single Republican vote, was a bipartisan measure. Anyone who hasn’t been unconscious for the past 14 months knows that statement departs from reality. “Starting this year,” he proclaimed after the bill passed, “insurance companies will be banned forever from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions,” but according to the bill, that provision doesn’t go into effect until 2014. An observant public wonders how the president can say that adding 33 million people, to a system that everyone knows is already overdrawn, will reduce health care costs? How can he claim transparency for a bill that was drafted behind closed doors and whose contents were unknown even to those who voted for it!? (Nancy Pelosi famously told fellow Democrats that they had to vote for the bill to find out what is in it.) In short, the president regularly makes statements that are obviously contrary to fact. Conservatives, and even a few liberals, have remarked that such assertions are so divorced from reality as to verge on incoherence. The liberal worldview answers the “how can he?” questions.

“They are committed to the freedom of imposing their righteousness on everyone, regardless of individual preference or consent. They claim the privilege of dictating to others in the name of what they have decided is beneficial. The main source of their judgments is not reason or experience, but conscience – an impulse that tells them good from bad and right from wrong… the 18th century protest of reason against religion, liberals earliest preoccupation in history, has now become for them a matter of conscience; that is righteousness rooted in emotions and inclinations which justify any departure from coherence and rationality…There follows an unspoken tenet that the distribution of truths and values in America must be regulated solely by the liberal monopoly in response to every existential dilemma or social ill.”1

That explains, among other things, the president’s vendetta against Fox News and his party’s attempt to demonize talk radio. Their version of the truth, no matter how flawed, brooks no challenge. Although the quoted paragraph seems a perceptive analysis of President Obama and the Democrat/Progressive Congress, it was written 33 years ago to describe the Carter Administration and the erosion of rational discourse resulting from that liberal ascendancy. Substituting progressive, (the president’s preferred appellation), for liberal, is the only modification needed to bring the quote up to date.*

In the current issue of the Claremont Review of Books, editor Charles R. Kesler points out that Obama’s health care bill violates the Founders’ conception of a law.

“When our Founders thought about law they often thought along the lines of John Locke, who described laws as a community’s ‘settled standing rules, indifferent, and the same to all parties’ emphasizing that to be legitimate a statute must be ‘received and allowed by common consent to be the standard of right and wrong, and the common measure to decide all controversies’ between citizens.”

What this omnibus mandate does by its very length and complexities, Kesler writes, is to empower “unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats” to dole out favors and benefits according to rules only they can comprehend. “When law ceases to be a common ‘standard of right and wrong’ and a ‘common measure to decide all controversies’ then the rule of law ceases to be republican and becomes despotic.”2

Far from reflecting “common consent” ObamaCare was conceived and passed by a careless and power inebriated single political party over the objections of a majority of the American people and, as a growing number  of states’ attorney’s general argue, in violation of the Constitution.

For those who understood what candidate Obama intended and withheld their votes, and those who, now understanding, regret their votes, the moment of truth is approaching.

The president has issued a challenge to Republicans’ vow to repeal the health care law: “Go for it,” he said, “and see how they fare with the voters.”

Let’s be clear about what is behind the challenge. President Obama believes that Americans will willingly trade their birthright of freedom for more entitlements.

If his assessment is accurate, he and the progressives in Congress have nothing to fear in November. If his assessment is accurate, Al Sharpton will be right after all.

  1. ”Liberal Culture and The Sin of Incoherence,” Leopold Tyrmand, The Rockford   Papers, V. 2, No. 5 October 1977, Rockford College Institute.
  2. The Tea Party Spirit,” Charles R. Kesler  Claremont Review of Books. Vol. X, Number 1, Winter 2009-2010.

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