When Obama first became President, someone I know remarked, “I don’t understand how you can think Obama is arrogant or narcissistic. To me, he comes across as calm, reassuring and self-assured.”
If the years since that time have not persuaded you, then nothing I write now will.
But consider still more evidence in a recent interview Obama did with The New York Review of Books (November 2015 issue). [also reported at infowars.com 10-13-15]
In that interview, Obama said:
“Whenever I hear people saying that our problems would be solved without government, I always want to tell them you need to go to some other countries where there really is no government.”
“Where the roads are never repaired, where nobody has facilitated electricity going everywhere even where it’s not economical.” Obama added.
“If, in fact, you think that government is the enemy. And that, too, is a running strain in our democracy. That’s sort of in our DNA. We’re suspicious of government as a tool of oppression. And that skepticism is healthy, but it can also be paralyzing when we’re trying to do big things together.” Obama stated.
First of all, Obama implies that there are only two choices: Socialistic, interventionist government, or no government. His kind of government, or anarchy.
Another option, in fact, exists. It’s called limited government respectful of individual rights.
“Individual rights” refer to the requirement that all people be left free from force or fraud. Anarchy cannot attain this goal. If we had no government, then people would be defrauded and murdered every day. Yes, that happens under government, which is why governments should exist to protect rights, not violate them. But under anarchy, it would be open season on attacks of individual rights. There would be no police, no courts, no objective basis of any kind (other than linking up with a local gang) for defending yourself against criminal violence or fraud.
Obama’s philosophy of socialistic controls will not protect rights either. In order to provide education for some, you must coerce the “cooperation” of all. In order to provide health care for some, you must coerce the “cooperation” of all. And on and on and on. In practice, to advance Obama’s Marxist-based “rights” to health care, welfare, housing, etc., you must violate the actual rights of those who will be coerced to provide.
Obama, in his comments, would have us believe that to oppose his particular form of big, interventionist government amounts to the mindless brutality of anarchy. It’s his way, or no way at all.
If this is not arrogant and narcissistic, then I don’t know what is.
Obama also assumes that roads cannot be privately owned, and that roads would never be built in a society unless the government did so. How does he know this? If America were once again a free, prosperous and always economically growing country, and government decided to privatize the roads, does he think that no businesses would step up to purchase, buy, own and manage roads, for a profit? Wouldn’t the profit motive of just about every company or enterprise in America, large and small, be enough to ensure that roads never went away — and, in fact, would likely become superior to the ones we have now?
But let’s leave roads aside. Let’s accept Obama’s premise that roads only occur with government. Even if that were true, how does this justify having government provide almost everything else, as Obama and other proponents of government involvement in the economy assume?
We have private schools. Public schools are “free” and for everyone, yet we still have private schools. Why? Because the public schools do not meet the needs of everyone, or possibly even most people; yet the lack of a free marketplace prevents most people from exercising real choices about schools. Most parents are passive about schooling for their children, because the government takes care of it, and there’s no perceived need for being a critical and conscientious consumer in this most important of areas. Ditto for health care, bank loans, student loans, tuition, and just about everything else the federal government now partially or fully manages, subsidizes and controls.
Just about everything with a public sector (aside from the police or the military) has a comparable private sector, and even the police and the military utilize the private sector, to some extent. (So do governments building roads).
Obama, from his comments, would have us believe that all value, all human action and all prosperity arise because of government. Yet the fact of the matter is that without a private sector, and the for-profit activity that fuels all human innovation and activity, there would be no government — and certainly no government on the scale Obama envisions, which costs trillions and trillions of dollars to maintain.
Where does wealth come from? The government, or the people — “the people” referring to productive people in the real, outside, non-government sector?
The answer is obvious. Obama’s sneering and condescending superiority is propped up only by your refusal to ever consider the question.
Obama has reversed cause and effect. He implies that all human prosperity and achievement happen because of government. In truth, all government activity is enabled by the people who create the wealth and products for government to take. Without a private sector, there would be no public sector. The private sector is the goose that lays the golden egg, every single day. Obama does not merely shackle, take for granted or enslave the goose that laid the golden egg; he expects that goose to proceed as if it has not done a thing. It’s insanely unjust, incredibly arrogant and profoundly unfair; and, if you ask me, it explains why so many people loathe this man with the same intensity he appears to loathe the actual innovators, wealth creators and entrepreneurs upon whom a prosperous society depends.
Obama also calls skepticism of government “paralyzing.” He says, “We’re suspicious of government as a tool of oppression. And that skepticism is healthy, but it can also be paralyzing when we’re trying to do big things together.”
Paralyzing? To whom? And in what way?
A dictator would call things like freedom of speech, private property and freedom of association “paralyzing” to his goals. Does this make the dictator right?
Of course not. But Obama is asking us to accept the premise that you must trust his form of government as right, good and just — and that a refusal to do so is “paralyzing” to his goals, and therefore wrong. Or perhaps unenlightened, uninformed, or ignorant.
What does it mean to do big things “together”? I think of “together” as a team effort. But isn’t a “team,” properly defined, a voluntary association of people? Government forces people to act as a team, without their consent and perhaps even whether they know they are being herded onto a “team” or not. By what stretch do we ignore this enormous and crucial distinction?
Do you want your local town’s mayor to show up at your house one day and say, “I’ve decided we’re all working together, to build a playground at the end of the street on the empty lot.” What if you don’t want to build that playground? Wouldn’t that coercion be monstrous, unjustified slavery? And who cares if it might be a really nice playground, and some children would enjoy it? Is that the main point? Or is the main point that you’re being forced to do something an elected official has no right to force you to do?
On the local level, it’s not too difficult for most people to see. I bet that even a lot of strident Obama supporters would resent that local mayor orchestrating any such coercion. Yet on the national level — it’s somehow OK, or even good. Where may the coercion stop? If Obama is justified in doing what he’s doing, then why not let Bernie Sanders extend the coercion even further? Or why not elect our own version of Stalin or Hitler to take it all the way? If majority rule is the standard, then what’s to protect the individual from the violations of a Hitler or a Stalin, given the rationalizations we provided for Sanders or Obama?
Obama does not like suspicion of government. Of course he doesn’t. Because he wants to use the force of government to do things he believes are good to do, even if those forced to pay for them, or otherwise carry them out and be responsible for them, do not necessarily agree. You better believe Obama does not like suspicion of government. He requires people to be passive, mindless, to roll over and “trust” that he knows what’s best for everyone, and to go about our business serving “society,” as well as himself or his equivalent.
“Trust me. Trust me.” These are the verbal and psychological calling cards of any controlling narcissist. Suspicion, critical thinking and dissenting opinion are a dictator’s greatest enemy. In the New York Review of Books interview, Obama comes “clean” and finally lets the truth fully out.
Convinced of Obama’s arrogant narcissism yet? If not, then let me refer you to a good psychotherapist. Because people who are convinced they know better than you, to the point where they’re willing to distort facts and/or use coercion or intimidation to impose their will on you, are narcissists — and often much worse.
Obama’s attitudes and beliefs about force and duty, like those of any pretentious hack, are weak and hollow. They are ancient ideas grounded in primitive collectivism: Tried, tired and untrue; hollowed out; sold — incredibly — as something new when nations throughout history have attempted them, and the results have been disappointment, despair and brutality, every single time.
Obama’s ideas are only as tenable as your unwillingness, inability or lack of desire to question their unspoken assumptions. He has succeeded in America, for that reason alone.
None of his ideas have worked, certainly not by the standards of a growing economy. Yes, George W. Bush was a disaster, but George W. Bush subscribed to the same interventionist government philosophy as Obama, only in a slightly smaller form. Bush expanded the welfare state, increased the role of government in daily lives and emphasized over and over the religious view that man’s central purpose in life is to serve others. When the economy went into a government-created tailspin, he looked to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s activist economics, not free market capitalism, to save the day (it didn’t; it merely extended the final due date.)
Thanks to the policies of both Bush and Obama (and others like them), we no longer have the 8 or 10 percent growth per year a free economy would likely have, nor even a 3-4 percent growth rate a mixed and hampered market economy has generally enjoyed. No matter. People are not paying attention, or perhaps have (at least for now) simply given up. These are the things that have made Obama “successful.”
If the slow/no growth of our present economy, combined with a hollowing out of the military and unequivocal moral concessions to our enemies, represents your criteria of success, that’s really, really sad.
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