web analytics
September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776
Sponsored Post
The Migdal Ohr Mishpachton MISHPACHTONIM – Israel’s Children are Your Children.

Support Migdal Ohr by purchasing letters in the Torah Scroll that will be written in honor of Rabbi Grossman’s 70th Birthday.

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.

Printer-Ready Page Layout

Yet how can one ignore the fact that government is a huge institution with its own interests, privileges, and special interest clients? By the way, this is a novel argument in American politics. If Republican-ruled governments were said to be untrustworthy because they favored big business, Democratic-ruled governments were said to be untrustworthy because they favored trade unions or other constituencies. Distrust of government has always been bipartisan.

Finally, there is one more subtle touch, Obama’s restatement of President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1961 statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” That is on an individual basis and Kennedy was invoking patriotism. Obama reduces this to the idea that America equals government. To put it another way, Kennedy’s statement was understood to mean that any action–say, citizens’ organizing a charity or educational program to help the poor–helping the country was a good thing; Obama’s that collective action meant helping and strengthening the government.

After giving lip service to saying that Americans should not just ask what “can be done for us,” he then turns to what “can be done by us, together,” which is the “absolutely necessary work of self-government.”

No one doubts that self-government is “absolutely necessary,” the problem is that it is becoming—in Obama’s interpretation—as the sum total of America, the sole center of power. The huge space that the Founders set out for balances has been confined. To Obama, individual liberty is merely “negative liberty.”

In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge said, “The chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with buying, selling, investing, and prospering in the world.” Today, Obama has sought to alter that into arguing that the chief business of the American people is government, but that arguably has reached the point that it prevents them from prospering in the world.

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Barry Rubin

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.

Imported and Older Comments:

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

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Sgt. Elor Azaria, Makor Rishon's pick for Man of the Year
Rightwing Paper Crowns Shooting Medic Azaria ‘Man of the Year’

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: