In a recent town hall meeting, President Obama said the following:
This is what Americans’ success demands and this is what our budget will do. And I’m under no illusions that a better day will come about quickly or easily. It’s going to be hard. But as I said the other night at my press conference, I’m a big believer in the idea of persistence—the idea that when the American people put their mind to something and keep at it, without giving up, without turning back, no obstacle can stand in our way, and no dream is beyond our reach.
He’s made such statements before. At every opportunity, he’s let the American people know that he expects a lot from them. He’s going to need them to bring his notion of persistence to bear on the obstacles that stand in Obama’s way, to achieve the dream that has thus far proven “beyond our reach.”
The obstacles he cites should not be news to readers of this blog. His stimulus plan and upcoming budget have demonstrated an egalitarian streak that rivals anything from the European socialists. The demagoguery is nothing new in American politics, but in Obama it is as if the envy and class hatred has been distilled to its purest form yet. Each successive administration has shed a few bits of the characteristic American spirit of independence, self-reliance, and freedom.
There is precious little of it left any longer, but the Obama mission seems to be wholesale eradication of whatever remains. His budget plan is the final onslaught, the salvo that will finally sever the present from the glorious past. In every regard, it seeks to firm up individual dependence on the federal government: education, health care, finance, and so on. It also attacks the remaining checks against centralized power, weak as they are: business and local governments. By offering carrots to financially-unstable city, county, and state governments and wielding an unprecedented takeover threat, Obama can bring them into the federal orbit and control.
If his budget plan fails to pass, he is going to have a hard time pushing through phase two of his road to fascism. Ever since the election, pundits have wondered what Obama will do with his massive mailing list and droid-like loyalists. The dormant Organizing for America (née Obama for America) was activated two weekend ago for the “Pledge Project Canvass”.
The pledge for which they are canvassing is pure pabulum. It is designed to be so innocuous and milquetoast that anyone clueless enough to open the door to the Obamatons will readily agree to it. After gathering enough pledges, they will wave the serious voter mass in front of the holdouts in Congress (if there are any). Further, by signing the pledge, the mark is more likely to become invested in Obama and the direction the administration is taking. In a couple weekends of work, the perceived mandate that OFA represented will grow considerably.
If there is any doubt about how this will unfold, one of the OFA organizers—in a moment of clarity and candor that surely drew some ire—stated it explicitly: “We’re looking for supporters. We’re not looking for a fight. That will come later, when we have an army.” This same organizer also told those volunteers gathered for the canvass that “If we don’t change these three things [health care, education, and energy] in the next 10 to 15 years, America is over as we know it.” Speaking to the leftist participants, the implication couldn’t be clearer: if we don’t eradicate any shred of individual rights in these areas, we’re poised for another era of freedom and individualism.
We must stop this budget plan. The stimulus was bad; this is far worse. It expands the federal government to an untenable size—that is true, for sure. But more importantly, it systematically eliminates the vestiges of individualism that have carried this country along, limping through the twentieth century. If we don’t put the brakes on, we will have a nearly-impossible time reversing our inexorable slide into fascism. There’s no one to come in and liberate us if we descend.
But the opposition to the budget plan must occur in the realm of principles. For the Obama camp, this plan is a trial balloon, an attempt to see if they can get away with it. If it succeeds, it will embolden them sufficiently to enact total domination of the economy. If it fails, however, they will try again. They would see it as a rejection of this plan. Their goal, then, is a Reichstag fire away. An absolute rejection of their philosophy of statism would pave the way for a better sort to work towards rolling back the modern state. It is, perhaps, a pipe dream to even ponder the possibility but the rapid climb in sales of Atlas Shrugged is heartening. We mustn’t waste this crisis; the time has never been more right for advancing the cause of capitalism.