Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to Listen to Obama's State of the Union Speech

By Alan Caruba

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


HokieFan said...

Thank you, Mr. Caruba, for reminding us of the wisdom of Lincoln. It is unfortunate that so many believe that our current occupant of the WH embodies the values espoused by Lincoln and MLK, Jr., when he, in fact, is the polar opposite of all that this country and those two GREAT men stood for.

I worry for the future of this great nation should this lunacy continue...

LarryOldtimer said...

I fear for the state of this union exactly as it is right now . . . governments, local, state and federal have failed, all but a few.

Our youth, for many years now, have been taught very little as to fundamental knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics, and the meterologists don't know what I and many other teenagers were taught in high school. People with PhDs in sciences don't even have much grasp of arithmetic.

I wouldn't bother in the least watching Obamas's State of the Union address, as it won't say in the least the actual sorry state of this union.

Alan Caruba said...

@Larry: You won't have to watch. Just pick up tomorrow's newspaper and find out how GREAT it was. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that if I did watch, I would throw something through the TV screen...

And seriously, what CAN Obama say?

'I uh umm ah uh ummm am an idiot and uh, I have uh, ahhh, almost reached my uh, ummm, goal, the uh, destruction of, uh, ahhh, ummm America!'

Ya know, if he DID say that it would be refreshing actually, to hear him tell the cold, hard truth, but we all know that isn't going to happen.

Toby O said...

The quotes at the end of the article has been misrepresented. They are by the Reverend William John Henry Boetcker (1873-1962). I agree with the spirit of the article, but the misquote really takes away from it and diminishes the message.