Wednesday, January 11, 2017

President Obama's Last Words

For a racist sexist homophobe like me President Obama is the Worst President Ever, for a simple reason. He actually believes in the reactionary politics of the left. He believes that, after the two centuries of the Great Enrichment, when poor people have been covered with wealth unimaginable in history to anyone except the most be-jeweled emperor, the overwhelming reality is the oppression and marginalization of -- well whatever the current lefty victims of the week happen to be. And he believes that politics is the solution to this problem.

So he starts his farewell speech with this:
So I first came to Chicago when I was in my early twenties, and I was still trying to figure out who I was; still searching for a purpose to my life. And it was a neighborhood not far from here where I began working with church groups in the shadows of closed steel mills.

It was on these streets where I witnessed the power of faith, and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss...

Now this is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, and they get engaged, and they come together to demand it.
In actual fact, the young Obama achieved nothing in the two years he community-organized in South Chicago. Because the steel plants weren't coming back, however much "ordinary people get involved... and demand it."

So then the president gives us short history of America to justify his lefty faith, that the founders' dream was not "self-executing." It required people to step up and organize.
It’s what pushed women to reach for the ballot. It’s what powered workers to organize. It’s why GIs gave their lives at Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima; Iraq and Afghanistan — and why men and women from Selma to Stonewall were prepared to give theirs as well. 
 Actually, I am not sure that is true, even in the right-wing version of sturdy pioneers creating civilization out of the wilderness.

I think that what has powered the last 200 years is that political power doesn't work. Top-down political power doesn't work because it protects the status-quo, and bottom-up political power only gets organized after the factories have closed and the old status-quo cannot be continued and it is too late to fix things.

In my view the freedoms and liberties and prosperity of the last 200 years arise out of the fact that free and responsible workers make more prosperity for themselves and the world than subordinate peasants and workers. The wealth of the world depends not on wise and impartial experts constructing a National Plan but by innovators engaged in "creative destruction." In other words, prosperity is as much a process of destruction as of creation. I think that our prosperity comes from individual businessmen stumbling into this truth without any help from thinkers and politicians.

It is naturally the conceit of any political elite or ruling class that the rulers -- or their bribed apologists among the community organizers -- are the indispenaible ones. I doubt it, Mr President.
If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history — if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9-11 — if I had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens — if I had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high.
It always amazes me how good political speechwriters are at putting lipstick on a pig. But even though everything is great, there is still "The laid off factory worker, the waitress or health care worker who’s just barely getting by and struggling to pay the bills." So we need a new social compact
to guarantee all our kids the education they need. To give workers the power... to unionize for better wages. To update the social safety net to reflect the way we live now. And make more reforms to the tax code so corporations and the individuals who reap the most from this new economy don’t avoid their obligations to the country that’s made their very success possible.
 Hmm. The Obama record on education is bupkis. The contribution of unions is bupkis. The president's record on updating the social safety net is bupkis. Then there is race.
After my election there was talk of a post-racial America. And such a vision, however well intended, was never realistic. Race remains a potent... and often divisive force in our society. Now I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago, no matter what some folks say. You can see it not just in statistics. You see it in the attitudes of young Americans across the political spectrum. But we’re not where we need to be. And all of us have more work to do. If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades are going to be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves.
Well, Mr President, I'd say that a ton of white Americans voted for you on the promise that America's First Black President would extinguish the lie that America is the racist, sexist country of the left's reactionary faith. So to say we were disappointed in you is to say nothing. What we saw, over the last eight years, was a president and a secular faith that just cannot let go of the sacred totem that America remains irredeemably racist and sexist. Because that is the sacred fount of their power.

And so we reject you and your party and your secular liberal church.

But there is more.

We cannot just change the laws, but hearts and minds, says the president, and get out of our bubbles.

Yeah. Well. How's that working out for you, Mr. President. I ain't seen much changing of heart and mind in the Democratic Party or the liberal ruling class. What I see is a determination to press its cultural power to the utmost and not change hearts and minds so much as put them on the rack to confess their deplorabeness, on pain of losing their jobs.

And then onto climate change, beating the pants of ISIS, and thanking the people that worked for him,
And to all of you out there — every organizer who moved to an unfamiliar town, every kind family who welcomed them in, every volunteer who knocked on doors, every young person who cast a ballot for the first time, every American who lived and breathed the hard work of change — you are the best supporters and organizers anybody could ever hope for, and I will forever be grateful. Because you did change the world.
He looks to the young generation "to carry this hard work of democracy forward."

As though there was no question that more democracy, more community organizing, is the obvious solution to our problems.

I would ask our ruling class to step back for a moment. A good activity during such a pause would be to read Charles Murray's Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. It says that the top 25 percent, which includes most educated liberals, is doing fine. The middle 50 percent is not doing too good, and the bottom 25 percent is in real trouble: the men don't work much and the women don't marry much.

The point that Charles Murray makes in Coming Apart and throughout his life's work is that the whole political agenda of people like President Obama, people that fancy themselves as political activists and community organizers, has clearly made things worse for the least of us. Whatever they may think of "the hard work of democracy" they haven't paused to think about whether what they are doing is doing any good.

I would say to President Obama and the people that supported him that they all have a very narrow vision of human flourishing and how to work for something higher and fuller. It cannot just be carrying "this hard work of democracy forward," if nothing else because politics is just one sector of modern society, in the great contest of political power, economic power, and moral/cultural power.

The whole project of the left is to crowd out all human social interaction and replace it with politics.

That is something that our liberal friends just do not grasp, because their answer to every problem is more politics.

And politics, according to Mao Zedong, is war without bloodshed. Is that the best we can do?

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