Some of you may know there is a presidential election campaign going on right now, and the current occupant of the White House is trying to keep his job in trying times. It seems President Obama has decided to fully embrace his inner left-wing liberal populist, because his base thinks he hasn’t been sufficiently left-wing enough. When the president speaks to average Americans he pulls his punches lest he only appeal to the 20% of Americans who self-identify as liberal. But when he’s out there raising money, appealing to his fellow Democrat big wigs, the real Obama comes out.
This happens here and there and doesn’t get much play in the mainstream media, but this latest Obama reality check is priceless, and is a window into the soul of a true man of the left, a statist through and through.
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal titled his piece about this as, “Sitter in Chief: Barack Obama and the infantilization of America.” Indeed:
Here’s ABC News, reporting on the speech the president gave in Fog City: “At a million-dollar San Francisco fundraiser today, President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America.”
Oh no! Horror of horrors! Obama is the only thing standing between us and having to rely on ourselves! And do you know what they call people who rely on themselves?
Ever since Ronald Reagan proved to be a lot more effective and popular than his liberal detractors thought he would be, liberal politicians have had to hide their European welfare state goals behind more modest, even conservative sounding rhetoric, and Obama is no different. But here speaking to a gathering of fellow travelers, he lets the cat out of the bag: self-reliance is bad, government good. In a further quote from the Taranto piece Obama clarifies what this mean—s:
Oddly, the White House website doesn’t have the text of this speech, but here’s a passage from ABC: “The one thing that we absolutely know for sure is that if we don’t work even harder than we did in 2008, then we’re going to have a government that tells the American people, ‘you are on your own. If you get sick, you’re on your own. If you can’t afford college, you’re on your own. If you don’t like that some corporation is polluting your air or the air that your child breathes, then you’re on your own.’ That’s not the America I believe in. It’s not the America you believe in.”
This is typical of modern liberals. If you believe in self-reliance, you believe not in limited government, but in no government. Of course that would be anarchy, but why quibble. And of course they know that is a lie, a rhetorical device to make the point of how virtuous they are at using other people’s money, and how heard hearted and cold those conservatives are. Vote for us, we’re the nice people! We’ll take care of you! You can’t take care of yourself, or your family, or your community. Only the endlessly benign hand of your all-powerful federal government knows what is best. Vote for us!
This aversion to independence and self-reliance and fetish for dependence on government is at the heart of all big government politicians, be they Democrats, which would be all of them, or Republicans, which would be too many of them. That Obama would speak so candidly about his goals is actually rather refreshing. One can hope that next year’s election would be a referendum on which America most Americans really want.