Tuesday, January 24, 2012
How to Listen to Obama's State of the Union Speech
The Tuesday morning post of the Heritage Foundation’s “Morning Bell” is worth sharing in part. You can read the whole post here.
“Tonight, Americans who tune in to the State of the Union will watch the work of a rhetorical master with a flair for illusion,” says Mike Brownfield. “President Barack Obama will take the to the floor of the Capitol in hopes of laying the groundwork for a political debate on his terms—one where he stands on emotional appeals, populism, and class warfare, not the shaky ground of his crumbling record.”
“And looking right back at him will be the U.S. Senate, which has for the past 1,000 days failed to pass a budget—a total shirking of their fundamental duty to be diligent stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.”
That about sums up the situation in which voters on both side of the political spectrum, from liberal to conservative, find themselves and for both it is a portrait of failure of spectacular dimensions. Government, as we envision it, is not functioning.
Instead, Americans will have to listen to a great deal of nonsense about “fairness” and Obama’s view that government, as Brownfield warns, “should be the guarantor of equal outcomes and that ‘fairness’ of achievement should be decided by legions of bureaucrats in Washington.”
The Founding Fathers knew that life is not fair and that government can only provide the circumstances under which Americans are provided not happiness, but “the pursuit of happiness” based on a host of factors that include the good luck of being born to good parents, receiving a decent education, and being willing to work hard for a portion of success in life. Even without these factors, many Americans succeed while most just settle.
Joe Wilson, a Republican Representative of South Carolina’s Second District, gained fame at a previous State of the Union speech when in 2009 he shouted out “You lie!” at the president. He has said that “Giving the same value to fiction as to fact in the interest of so-called fairness is to mislead the American people and the press has become party to that.”
That kind of straight talk is rare in politics. Commentators and political pundits are more free to express themselves than politicians and Charles Krauthammer has said that “Fairness through leveling is the essence of Obamaism.”
I doubt that Americans want to be equally poor, but that is the end result of Obama’s socialist policies.
Most certainly, a large element of the mainstream press has bought into Obama’s policies and the result is a growing distrust and disdain for it. Fox News’ Brit Hume has said that “Fairness is not an attitude. It’s a professional skill that must be developed and exercised.” It is reflected in Fox’s famed “fair and balanced” motto, though any journalist will tell you it is a very high standard to achieve.
We would do well to keep in mind Lincoln’s advice:
“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”
At the heart of Obama’s State of the Union speech will be the direct opposite of the values expressed by Lincoln.
© Alan Caruba, 2012