Showing us who he is
Obama’s inaugural address for left-wing America
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A president’s inaugural address is usually not a political speech. It usually speaks to broad themes about the things that unite Americans and appeal to our hopes for the future of the nation. Presidents are politicians, of course, but they are also supposed to understand when to stop being political and exercise presidential leadership that puts them above the political fray.
Then again, we should know all too well by now that this is not the case with Barack Obama. He has never known how to stop being political, so why would we expect anything different in his second inaugural address?
It was a complete litany of left-wing priorities – from climate change to gay rights to money for unionized public employees to redistribution of wealth and expansion of the welfare state. It was all in there, and it was best summed up by this line: “Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”
This gets right to the heart of the matter as far as Obama is concerned. No one’s liberty means anything unless the collectivist federal government guarantees everything you could ever want. The speech was full of collectivist platitudes. If you or a family member gets sick, we’ll make sure you’re OK. When you get old, we’ll make sure you’re OK. If you walk the streets of the most dangerous city, we’ll make sure you’re safe. We’d all want these assurances in life, of course, but to hear Obama tell it, if you face any risk whatsoever in life, it’s only because the federal government didn’t take enough collective action to eliminate any and all risk on your behalf.
The problem is that life doesn’t work like that. The federal government is spending beyond its means to the tune of more than $1 trillion a year, and it still hasn’t eliminated all the risk from life, because that’s impossible. But we will bankrupt ourselves trying to make it happen through collective action.
Obama showed us who he is in this address. It’s nothing many of us didn’t already know. He believes everything good comes from government action, and there is no way apart from government to solve any problem. The question now is: How will Americans who know better respond?