November 05, 2008
Boy, Was I Wrong!By Steven M. Warshawsky
The election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States is unprecedented in American history. Yes, he is the nation's first black president.
But he also is the least experienced and least accomplished candidate to be elected to the office in at least a century.
He is a man who spent his formative adult years as a member of a black nationalist church, whose minister performed Obama's marriage, baptized his children, and provided Obama with spiritual guidance and political support.
He has been a close associate of an unrepentant domestic terrorist, and a frequent dinner companion of an advocate for the PLO.
His legislative record in the U.S. Senate and the Illinois state senate reflects a consistently far-left agenda on such issues as taxes, welfare, affirmative action, gun control, crime, and abortion.
Perhaps most amazingly, Obama openly campaigned on a promise to use the power of government to take from the "rich" (now apparently meaning anyone who earns more than $120,000 per year) and give to the poor and middle-class - and the American people rewarded him with a decisive victory in both the popular and electoral votes. Who would have believed that the philosophy of Karl Marx - "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" - would triumph so spectacularly in the United States of America?
So much for the longstanding conventional wisdom that the nation's first black president would be a conservative Republican!
Frankly, I cannot understand how a man like Obama became president. It contradicts everything I know, or thought I knew, about American history, culture, and politics. Whatever happened to individual liberty, limited government, self-reliance, and the American Dream? Whatever happened to patriotism? Has the Left in this country finally completed its "long march" through America's institutions, now capturing the White House? Has the Left at last succeeded in destroying the birthright of freedom and prosperity that the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us more than two hundred years ago?
I fear it has. Yes, I have long believed that the country is moving left. But I didn't appreciate that, in 2008, we had moved this far left. Still, it will take days, weeks, even months, to sort out the results of this election, to make sense of the outcome, and to see where we are heading as a nation. There may be a silver lining to this dark cloud yet.
Nevertheless, some consequences of this election are clear, and in my opinion dire:
In just a few short months, the leadership of the United States, and of the so-called free world, will reside in the hands of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. Just stunning. Some pundits already are suggesting that, once Obama is faced with the grave responsibilities of the oval office, he might turn out to be a "Clintonian" moderate who will rein in the tax-and-spend excesses of the liberals in Congress. I believe this is wishful thinking. On the contrary, I expect the Democrats to form a united front and to move swiftly (in "the first 100 days") to consolidate their power and to implement their agenda for "change." This is their "moment in time." They are not about to let it slip by.
What is the "change" that Obama and his allies have in store for us? Western European-style socialism, which has been the avowed goal of liberals (including Hillary Clinton) for decades. This means "free" health care, "free" child care, "free" education, "free" housing, and so on. An entire economic and social program based on a "spread the wealth" philosophy that will necessitate greater government control, less individual freedom, and diminished expectations for all.
Liberals like Obama and his allies look at Great Britain, Germany, France, and Canada, and see progress. I see international weakness, economic stagnation, and demographic collapse. Furthermore, for the past sixty years, the security and prosperity of the West has been built on American military and economic power. With Democrats in Congress promising a 25 percent reduction in military spending and the largest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society, how much of that power will remain under an Obama administration? Certainly much less than we have today.
Next, the conservative effort -- which has lasted more than 20 years - to return the Supreme Court to its constitutional moorings has been defeated. Under an Obama administration, young, left-wing judges will be nominated to replace Justice Stevens, Justice Ginsberg, Justice Souter, and perhaps Justice Breyer. Justice Kennedy is likely to "evolve" ever more rapidly into a liberal jurist. While Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito are likely to form a "loyal opposition" for many years to come, how long will Justice Scalia (who is 72) remain on the bench? Conservatives came very close to remaking the Court, but they needed one more presidential administration to accomplish that goal. They didn't get it.
I further predict that the Democrats (remembering what happened to Bill Clinton) will attempt to stifle conservative opposition by reviving the so-called "fairness doctrine," by regulating internet speech, and by using the various agencies of the federal government to investigate, harass, and prosecute administration opponents. The mainstream media will be complicit in these efforts, by refusing to subject the Obama administration to appropriate scrutiny and by continuing to deny conservative voices a meaningful opportunity to be heard in newspapers, on television, and in the movies. A similar suppression campaign is taking place in Western Europe and Canada with respect to critics of political unification and Muslim immigration (consider the case of Mark Steyn). It can, and I think will, happen here.
Lastly, I believe that Obama's election sends an unmistakable message of American weakness in foreign affairs. Our enemies in the Middle East, in China, in Russia, and elsewhere must be rubbing their hands with glee. While I disagreed with John McCain on many issues (immigration and the bailout topped the list), on this issue he was right: The world just became a much more dangerous place. Under an Obama administration, I believe there will be a greater likelihood of a major Middle East conflict. There will be a greater likelihood that China will flex its fast-growing military and economic muscle to intimidate its neighbors. What will happen to Taiwan? Will Japan decide it needs to build its own nuclear arsenal to protect itself from this threat? I believe that Russia will continue its efforts to restore the geopolitical position it enjoyed under the former Soviet Union - a position that was deeply hostile to our national interests. And I believe that Islamic terrorists and their supporters across the globe will feel confirmed in their view that the United States is a "weak horse" that can be intimidated into submission.
Not a very rosy picture.
But I was wrong about the election, spectacularly so.
I hope that the Democrats will prove me wrong again.