By Alan Caruba
The Wednesday evening half-hour, $4 million dollar, television commercial for the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama was a masterpiece of imagery.
It was also entirely devoted to class warfare, class envy, and most of all to fear.
This has been the Democrat message since Franklin D. Roosevelt took over the White House in the midst of the Great Depression—the real one, not the Recession the economy has encountered today. We don’t have 15% percent unemployment as was the case in the 1930s, but we do have a vast matrix of costly government programs left over from those times.
Obama’s message and the theme of his campaign are those the Democrat Party has always used to acquire political power. They are the promises about tax cuts that mysteriously never occur once they are in office.
They are about protecting people from every kind of change that could harm them and they promise “change” as a government that will come to their aid in sickness, in their old age, to help their children attend better schools, to help them go to college, and on, and on, and on.
The Obama commercial focused entirely on people struggling against changes in their lives over which they had no control. For example there was a Ford Motor Company couple laid off from their jobs, but no mention is made of the endless federal mandates imposed on all auto companies that drove up the cost of every automobile for everyone, nor the massive union pension and health programs those companies had to agree to in order to stay in business. These and other factors have killed the auto industry in America.
The Obama commercial talked of more teachers and better schools, but ever since the 1960s, the creation of the Department of Education, and the rise of the control over all schools by teachers unions, education in America has declined so sharply that we rank behind many other nations and produce students programmed to believe government is the answer but it has been federal government that has destroyed local community control over schools and their curriculum.
At one point, Obama said, “I will always be honest with you” and I recalled Jimmy Carter’s promise that “I will never lie to you.” Both candidates arrived out of the political wilderness with very thin resumes to suggest they had the knowledge or ability to run a nation. Carter’s one term in office was a failure in so many ways, but worse, we continue to pay for those failures in foreign and domestic policy.
And wasn’t it Obama who promised to accept public funding for his campaign only to renege on that promise?
At the end of the Obama commercial the scene shifted to the now familiar large crowd of adoring supporters. How long will that last if Obama cannot make the Recession go away? How long will his popularity last if the homeland comes under attack again and we see a weak response? It was the decade of the 1990s during which a two-term, Democrat Clinton administration failed to response with strength against al Qaeda’s bombing of our embassies and other targets. By 2001, the targets were the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
It is the unanticipated problems that test a presidency, not ones that have been around for decades. And, if Americans think that government is the answer, they need to remind themselves of Hurricane Katrina.
On so many levels, the commercial will have appealed to lots of people, young and old, struggling to pay bills, but the American government works best when it gets out of the way of Americans and let’s them begin new businesses, expand existing ones, and conduct business with the least amount of paperwork and other distractions.
That’s not how the government functions these days and, under Obama, the effort to “change” America will continue to add thousands of new laws and regulations to the Federal Register, but the class warfare and class envy will not end, nor will the fear.