On this Fourth of July, let us look at what the current president of the United States of America thinks the country is all about. In a recent speech on immigration Obama said,
Being an American is not a matter of blood or birth, it’s a matter of faith.
J.E. Dyer observes,
In pairing “faith” and Americanness, Obama made a vague, impressionistic association that tells us much about him; and one of the chief things is that he simply doesn’t think like an American. Naturally, there are American nationals who posit the kind of association he implies here, but when they do so they are not expressing the quintessentially American idea. They are speaking theoretically and proposing analyses for further consideration.
This is common in academia, where the link Obama suggests – of Americanness with the concept of “faith” – is implied through an analytical progression: Americans are religious; they believe strongly in their religions; they believe strongly in their national identity; therefore, their national identification is essentially a sort of religious belief. It has been a long time since an academic could wander through this syllogistic sequence without implying that it represents irrationality on the part of Americans – and once that premise is sneaked in, the syllogist is off the hook for making his own case rationally. The whole discussion becomes a sticky goo of impressions and vague associations, so that you can wind up saying “Being American is a matter of faith,” and your auditors can all go off and interpret that however they want.
The “sticky goo of impressions and vague associations” is right on the mark. Obama expects Americans not to think in focus about his words, but to accept the hazy emotional connotations of his words, well, on faith.
In another sense, I think Obama means exactly what he says. He wants Americans to have faith in the state. He wants Americans to turn their lives over to the state the way religious people turn their lives over to the metaphysical fantasy of God. Don’t think, don’t question, just have faith in the philosopher-kings such as Barack Obama. They will run our lives better than we benighted masses motivated by self-interest ever could.
Dyer also observes,
…there is something a bit creepy about saying “being American is a matter of faith” – something that evokes the national-religious aspects of Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, Soviet Stalinism, and Maoism. It is extremely informative about Obama, and presumably his speechwriting staff, that their ears didn’t catch this off-kilter resonance. I think Obama thought these words would resonate with traditional Americans. In the end, that merely reinforces the perception that he knows such Americans only through the rarefied prism of academic interpretations by third parties.
It’s not exaggeration to notice that Obama’s concept of Americanism has more in common with the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century than with the ideas of the Founding Fathers. In the Declaration of Independence are the words,
…let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Thomas Jefferson expected no one to take his words on faith. He laid out the facts supporting the case of independence and expected a candid world to evaluate those facts with reason.
The essence of America is individual rights. Freedom made America great, and restrictions of freedom are now destroying America. Freedom does not depend on anyone’s faith. It depends on respect for the rule of law — from the people and from the politicians they send to Washington, D.C.
From day one of his presidency Obama has done nothing but destroy liberty in America — from the creation of various czars dictating every aspect of our lives to quadrupling the deficit to dictating how much CEO’s can get paid to nationalizing health care to wanting draconian regulations on carbon emissions to bowing to dictators and appeasing our enemies abroad. Of course he wants Americans to stop thinking, to stop judging and to accept the state’s order on faith. If nothing else, it would make his job easier if being an American were a matter of faith.