Critics are saying that Obama must display “leadership.” So far, he has failed to do so, they claim.
This is true enough. But what exactly is leadership?
Leadership implies a direction. The person we call “leader” is
leading us towards something.
So far in office, Obama has decried capitalism, business, profit and free enterprise. He also condemns the ethics of selfishness which he claims dominated previous Republican administrations. We’re well aware of what he’s against. He has gone after the things he opposes with purposeful action. He serves as an efficient wrecking ball against what remains of capitalism, free enterprise and innovation in American society.
But what is Obama in favor of? This is something that he never defines, nor do any liberals like him ever define.
In practice, Obama is without question in favor of socialism. Socialism refers to public ownership of the means of production. It’s impossible to impose this wholesale on a society like the United States, especially all at once. The socialization of American industry and private property has been gradual, over a period of nearly a century now. It started under the administrations of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. It continued aggressively under the administrations of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. It slowed somewhat during the eras of Eisenhower and Reagan. But that has been the trend.
Obama’s “leadership” consists of trying to finish the job that other socialists started. This is why he chose to focus on the nationalization of health care rather than on jobs. Now he says he’s sorry, not for nationalizing health care, but for not focusing enough on jobs. He promises to give a speech next month on what he plans to “do” about jobs. Good luck with that, Barack.
Obama’s problem is not failing to lead. His problem is that he’s leading us in the wrong direction. Probably half the country doesn’t want to be led in the direction he’s taking us. He pushes, cajoles and outright lies in order to get what he wants. He blames others whenever anything goes wrong, and credits himself — solely himself — for the fact that things are not worse than they are. It’s convenient, circular reasoning. The reason he “leads” this way is because he’s tangled up in his own wrongheaded ideas. He’s a socialist who won’t admit it, because that’s not a popular term with half the country. But those are his ideas, and those are his policies.
A leader is someone who inspires and challenges people to be the best they can be. Socialism doesn’t allow for this. Obama’s policies only allow for, “Let me take care of you. Let me take over for you.” Think of the paternalistic, rich parent who pays for everything his adult children do, and bails them out of every error they make. Then he wonders, “Why isn’t my child growing up?” That’s Obama, except he’s doing it with other people’s money, not his own. This is not leadership. It’s manipulation and dishonesty.
What America needs is a leader who will speak the truth. America needs tough love in the truest sense of the term. America needs a leader who will convey — constantly, at every turn — two important ideas: “You can do it” and “It’s yours to fix.” The translation of this into practical policy will be deregulation. “I’m going to return to you the tools for survival and prosperity. I’m not going to give you handouts. I’m going to give you the freedom that is rightfully yours, and that was yours all along. I’m going to get government the hell out of the way.”
What about reassurance and comfort during a difficult time? That’s when a leader says, “You can do it.” Also, the leader is saying, “I’m setting everyone free. This includes the best and the brightest, the most capable among you. By setting you all free, I’m setting the best free. They’re the ones who create jobs, wealth and prosperity. Government never will, and never could do this. These are the ones you’re counting on. My job is to make sure they’re free to be who they are. We will all benefit.”
This is the kind of reassurance and leadership America leads. Would they buy it? There’s no way of knowing. Nobody is offering this kind of leadership, at least not now. None of the presidential candidates in the Republican Party have come close to doing this so far. Obama will never do it, because his ideology will not allow it.
If America is to survive, it looks like Americans must lead themselves. It’s simply not going to come from Washington D.C., not anytime soon.