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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Opinion

An inaugural tale of two countries


Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

During his 2008 presidential campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama pledged to be different. He was supposed to be the anti-politician. The “Yes, we can” sort of president, not the “Yes, we did” speaker.

His second inaugural address reeked of political sidings despite his insistence within the speech that it didn’t.

With this speech, Obama has proved he is simply another expert politician who knows he should say the most politically advantageous words. He uses America’s historical achievements as a crux for his administration’s economic failures. In his twisted mindset, the president turns the “American Dream” into a loan that must be repaid upon success.

In a headline for a Jan. 21 article, John Avlon of the dailybeast.com characterized Obama’s speech accurately as a progressive manifesto. To label it a manifesto is to reveal its goals and future plans for the U.S. From education to healthcare and social security, Obama has big plans for this country. His way of accomplishing them is vague but discernible — higher taxes — though he is too much of a politician to admit this in the speech directly.

“For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it,” Obama said.

This is a tale of two countries: the successful “shrinking few” and the “growing” working class.

This is the foundation of class warfare. Obama’s not the first or last to do this, but his methods are filthy. He insults the “shrinking few” and plans to enforce higher taxes upon them.

“We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technologies to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work hard or learn more,” Obama said.

His primary method to pay for these new ideas does not involve cutting spending or seeking a partnership with the states and the private sector, but rather with higher taxes on the “shrinking few.”

Despite his good intentions, the president turns the “American Dream” — our nation’s sacred mythos of achieving success no matter one’s background or means — into a responsibility of those who achieve it to make sure the rest of the “growing many” have that same chance. These “shrinking few” — this band of winners — have to give back to “the people,” not because of the tax code, but because their successes obliges them to give back.

This is in no way to suggest the rich should not pay higher taxes. We as a nation can and have had debates on that issue going back to the founding. This is about the wording of this idea our president uses, rhetoric that is highly socialist.

“We believe that America’s prosperity must rely upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class,” Obama said. “We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work, when the wages of honest labor will liberate families from the brink of hardship. … A nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American — that is what this moment requires.”

Those words have the stench of a nanny state.

These ideas place any kind of monetary achievements on the whims of government rather than personal hard work. Not every rich person is a dirty chief executive officer or a Wall Street type. Many truly worked hard to earn a living, and they were successful.

Obama’s second inauguration speech was at best a thinly-clothed attack on conservative concepts and ideology. It is a one-note speech that shows what we used to be and are now versus what he wants us to be with little respect to diverging viewpoints beyond a passing platitude here and there.

History is utilized to cloak how Obama aims to implement his broad plans. Obama used history in a deft way to divide our nation by attacking success and promoting welfare.

“The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privilages of a few or the rule of a mob,” Obama said. “They gave to us a republic, a government of and by and for the people.”

He’s not the first politician to use division in this manner, but the point of Obama’s election in 2008 was that he was different — a game-changer for this nation.

We as a nation can talk civilly about these issues in depth, and our president thinks otherwise. He rules with an iron fist, bypassing Congress when he does not get his way, creating divisions and agitating class warfare to keep us distracted from his poor job performance and socialist agenda. It’s quite strange that a president, who finds inspiration in the “Patriots of 1776,” omits the writers of that constitution he vows to protect were themselves the few and the elite.

George Washington was a rich, white slave owner from Virginia who, at one time, owned the largest distillery of whiskey in America, according to mountvernon.org. Benjamin Franklin was a white, well-to-do inventor, publisher and author. Most of the Founding Fathers were affluent, but apparently today, they would be nothing more than a “shrinking few.”

Babak Hamidi is a media production junior and may be reached at [email protected].

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