Conservative Thoughts a Month into Obama’s Presidency

Since I unburdened myself of my sentiments on Obama and the Presidency a month prior to his inauguration, I thought it appropriate to do likewise a month following the inauguration. So what can be said two months later?

First of all, it is almost impossible not to like President Obama. He is charming, poised, intelligent, extremely well-spoken, has a fabulous smile and a photogenic family, and just oozes self confidence. I believe that, despite what some wrote during the campaign, he does love America and wants what he believes would be best for all its citizens. Next, as I wrote in my previous article, his election is a great step forward for our country—shining proof that we have laid to rest the terrible legacy of slavery that has haunted us for hundreds of years. He has handled his leading role in that transformation with grace and aplomb, and America owes him a great debt for the skill with which he has managed this accomplishment. Third, he has seemingly recognized that some of the partisan rhetoric that he spewed during the campaign was exactly that, and he has attempted to position himself more centrally in the actual governance of the country. I speak of the few Republicans in his cabinet, his backtracking on several of the unwise promiseshe made in the campaign—such as precipitously withdrawing from Iraq or immediately imposing punitive taxes on the citizenry—and finally his invitation of a few conservative pundits and journalists to dinner. Last, one has to feel for the man who, as he enters the White House, has been dealt one of the cruelest hands any incoming President has ever encountered. That unfortunate fate does not appear to have shaken his confidence, his enthusiasm or his conviction.

All that being said, I still maintain that his administration will be a calamitous occurrence for the United States of America.  I say that because when you strip away the charming veneer, bypass the racial issue, and ignore the feints to the Right, Barack Obama continues to epitomize the liberal mindset that has taken control of at least half the population of America and exerts almost total sway over certain key segments of our society and which, if it continues to cement its dominance over American culture and politics—as Obama’s election certainly suggests it shall—will lead our country to the kind of ruin that is pervasive today in Western Europe. Indeed, I think the signs are already there that the ‘moderate’ or ‘centrist’ image that he has attempted to cultivate since the election is a sham. Deep in his heart he is a card carrying Leftist who not only believes deeply in the secularist state religion that is modern liberalism, but actually has scarcely any meaningful knowledge of the fundamental tenets of conservative thought or opinion that animates unregenerate right wingers like myself. I believe that either consciously, or perhaps even subconsciously—for that is the mode wherein the vast majority of Leftists formulate their opinions of conservative thought—he has been imbuedwith the conviction that conservative principles are fundamentally, irrevocably and demonstrably false and dangerous. No intelligent person should subscribe to such an outmoded way of thinking, which bears little in the way of examination. People like Teddy Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Eric Holder and HillaryClinton just ‘know’ that conservatives are on the wrong side of history. To them, conservatives are at best a bunch of misguided obstructionists who are holding back our country from the nirvana it shall surely become if only true liberal policies are enacted; and at worst a traitorous cabal of reactionaries, no better than monarchists, who want to keep us anchored in an unfair, decrepit and discredited culture, politics and economic system.

What are the early signs of Obama’s doctrinaire liberalism? Well first and foremost is his ironclad belief that the pork-laden ,ill-conceived stimulus bill is indispensable to reversing the current economic downturn, and that anyone who opposes it is essentially unpatriotic. He has drunk from the Kool-Aid. He believes as gospel that similar measures employed by Roosevelt 75 years ago cured the Great Depression whereas it is totally evident in hindsight—and was equally evident then if only people would have looked with objective eyes—that all of Roosevelt’s wild spending and government intervention did nothing but prolong the Depression. Obama’s pseudo nationalization of the US economy will have the exact same deleterious effect, but he finds that thought abhorrent.

Next, while it is true that he has chosen some relative moderates for his administration, they are outnumbered by hard core liberals and radicals like Eric Holder, Elena Kagan, Hilda Solis and of course Hillary herself. The situation is akin to the Clinton administration where moderates like Rubin and Perry were substantially outnumbered by Janet Reno, Warren Christopher, Ron Brown and the like.

Continuing, while Obama’s first month in office has been absorbed with the economic crisis, he and his henchmen have made perfectly clear that pet projects of the Left will arrive on the nation’s docket rather soon: ‘card check,’ i.e., the abolition of free elections in the unionization process; universal amnesty for illegal aliens; ratification of Kyoto, cap and trade, and the pursuit of an energy policy and global climate change agenda that will cripple the economy—all in the misbegotten belief that mankind is destroying the Earth’s environment; socialized medicine; the resurrection ofthe “fairness doctrine” and the attendant destruction of talk radio; curtailment, if not outright abandonment, of any attempt at a missile defense capability; a kindler, gentler foreign policy to endear us to our enemies around the world that will only invite their contempt and abuse; unilateral defense and intelligence disarmament; elevation of “international law” above our own constitutional law; the abrogation of welfare reform (already achieved in the stimulus bill); and the raising of taxes, not only on the rich, by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.

In his speech to Congress this week, Obama stressed the three main themes of his agenda: health care, education and energy. In each, his vision is that of a centrally directed, government-controlled effort that replaces individual will and free market inputs by the government as the driving force. Our health system will be universal, single-payer, accountable to government bureaucrats and health czars; our education will be financed bygovernment and have its agenda set by the government; and our energy will be “green and clean.” The result will be that our health care will sink to the abominable level it manifests in all countries that have deployed socialized medicine; our propaganda system—er, that is, our school system will program its students—as it already does to a large extent—in favor of Leftist culture and politics; and our energy will be enormously costly, inadequate, scarce and government-rationed. Thank you very much.

In these and other ways, the average American will be reduced to little more than a ward of the State. Indeed, it is well known that already the top 1% of income earners pay 40% of the total income tax take to the IRS, that the top 5% pay 60% and the top 50% pay 97%; whereas more than a third of income tax filers pay absolutely nothing. Obama’s punitive taxes on the rich will skew those percentages even further and it might well be that nearly 50% will pay nothing. Not a recipe for social success when half the population lives off the sweat of the rest.

The fate in store for us is laid out starkly in two recentbooks, The End of Prosperity by Laffer, Moore and Tanous and The Great Depression Ahead by Dent. As much of the world (think India, Ireland, former Soviet vassal states in Eastern Europe, some in “old” Western Europe and even China) adopts pro-growth, low tax, free trade, deregulatory policies, the exact policies that propelled the US to great wealth in the 1980s and 1990s, we revert to the failed policies of the 1930s and 1970s. I have wondered how the people of Venezuela could freely vote themselves a dictatorship. What stupidity! But we might be no smarter. We have freely and enthusiastically elected a government that will punish us with proven failed policies, and Obamaand crew, during the campaign, made no secret about their intentions to do so. What we have sown so shall we reap.

Obama has been compared by various pundits (on both the Left and Right) to Carter, Clinton and Roosevelt. To my way of thinking, the first was totally incompetent, the second largely irrelevant and the latter one ofthe most consequential Presidents in US history—although, at least domestically, I believe those consequences have been disastrous for America. Which of these three shall Obama ultimately resemble? Conservatives are desperately hoping the first and that like Carter, Obama will be succeeded by a Reaganesque hero who will rescue us. If it is Clinton, then we are in for two years of helter-skelter Leftist thrusts, followed by a checkmated President who will inadvertently pursue policies beneficial to the country. But alas, I predicted that Obama’s administration would be a calamity for the country because I fear he is liable to be another Roosevelt: immensely popular, shielded from criticism by an adoring and complicit media, uncaring about or oblivious to the harm he is causing and the instigator of programs that further tighten the grip that the Left has on the culture, politics and economic system of these United States. For, as I said in the first article, I subscribe to Thomas Sowell’s assertion—since endorsed by many conservative pundits—that Obama’s election will be a tipping point propelling America irreversibly past the point of no return down the path to socialism.

A final thought: The age of Obama represents not so much the political defeat of conservative Republicans by liberal Democrats as much as it solidifies the triumph of the multicultural, multi-lateral, strongly secular, pacifistic anti-Western civilization radicals over those who champion traditional American culture. In fact that cultural triumph actually happened some time ago. The main thing that Obama’s election signifies is that the nation’s politics have caught up with its culture.