web analytics
December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Obama’s Vision: Government Itself as the American Ideal

Obama wants Americans to believe that government is only the sum total of their efforts together. But that is nonsense.
obama-food-stamp

But Obama’s argument can be reversed: We know this country cannot accomplish great things if we excessively limit the ability of individual ambition which has been the motive force of American success. The trick, of course, is that the potential for “individual ambition” must be opened to the maximum number of people. Yet taxes, regulations, and other restrictions block that from taking place.

Moreover, as is typical of Obama, his audience is offered an all or nothing approach. We can either have unbridled government or unbridled individualism. The whole point of American history is the debate over where to find the point of balance, the need for a stronger government than existed in pre-industrial America but not to have a government that was too powerful. Similarly, he continues:

Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

“Nothing more,” “all,” “tyranny,” such phrases obscure real issues of how much debt, how much regulation, how much government intervention is beneficial for the “unique experiment.” Obama dismisses this argument as a “sham,” as purely phony. So one cannot have such a debate. And that kind of stance—often echoed in the universities and mass media—kills democracy.

Leaving aside the accusation that American citizens are deliberately sabotaging the common good—those who disagree with Obama are thus defined in effect as enemies of the people—the key word is “separate.” Obama wants Americans to believe that government is only the sum total of their efforts together. But that is nonsense. Government is a separate institution with huge power and its own interests and logic.

I want to use an analogy here and to make it clear I don’t think Obama is a Communist or Marxist-Leninist. But it was the concept of Marx and Lenin that the state was merely the tool of the proletariat. Once the revolution took place, the state could be given total power because there was nothing to fear. How could the people repress or hurt the people?

Yet the state was not merely the unfailing conveyer belt of the public will. All the things predicted by America’s founders came true in the USSR: the state should be distrusted. The destruction of liberty led to inevitable abuses. The state did become a separate entity, its master not the people but the Communist Party. A privileged elite arose whose behavior was ultimately worse than if Russia had a democratic capitalist revolution. And of course the whole enterprise stagnated and collapsed.

Again, I am not saying this is the same situation as the one Obama favors. But there are important parallels. Contrary to Obama’s trickery on this point, in the “brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule,” the word “self” here doesn’t mean only rule by the state but self-rule by the individual to the maximum possible extent. That is what made America unique.

We have never been a people who place all our faith in government to solve our problems, nor do we want it to. But we don’t think the government is the source of all our problems, either. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government.

This is a straw man argument. The use of the words “never” and “all” is the tip-off here. But what percentage of our problems would Obama attribute to government? Could it be that government has made the economy function worse in the last four and a half years? Might it be possible that there are problems like this in other areas? So might it be conceivable that less government, lower taxes, and less regulation would reduce some problems? Obama is fundamentally dishonest because—unlike other politicians–he cannot and will not cede that there be any merit to his critics’ arguments.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Obama’s Vision: Government Itself as the American Ideal”

  1. Anonymous says:

    "secure our God-given rights for all our citizens, regardless of… who they love". Does he include people who "love" their siblings in this? What about people who "love" their (adult) children? If not, why not?

  2. Roy Neal Grissom says:

    The "state" as an organic entity made up of all its people the way organs make up a living body is the original definition of "totalitarianism" as coined by Benito Mussolini. And wasn't the left originally anarchist? Even in Marx the state is supposed to "whither away." I guess the newest Marxist genius (Obama, whom I would not doubt in the least may be an actual Communist) has by imperial edict reversed the "wisdom" of Communism's founding father.

  3. Roy Neal Grissom says:

    The "state" as an organic entity made up of all its people the way organs make up a living body is the original definition of "totalitarianism" as coined by Benito Mussolini. And wasn't the left originally anarchist? Even in Marx the state is supposed to "whither away." I guess the newest Marxist genius (Obama, whom I would not doubt in the least may be an actual Communist) has by imperial edict reversed the "wisdom" of Communism's founding father.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
funny rocket joke
Israel Retaliates: Hits Terror Infrastructure Targets
Latest Indepth Stories
The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

More Articles from Barry Rubin
Youssef Ziedan

The interviewer responds, “There was also Balfour.”

peace_clowns

If the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

Let me make it plain. There will be mass murder, even genocide in Syria.

A large number of pro-Obama and radical or even anti-Israel cadre are Jews.

Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?

Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.

The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.

The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/obamas-vision-government-itself-as-the-american-ideal/2013/05/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: