Obama, the Great Educator
Back in the day, our liberal friends were eagerly telling each other what a great orator President Obama was. Today, not so much.
But I think that all the talk about oratory was missing the point. President Obama is not that great an orator. His skills lie elsewhere, and I have finally realized where his true talent lies.
President Obama is the great educator of our age. Whoever you are, whatever your politics, you have to admit that the last three and a half years has really turned out to be an education.
Take the education we all got on Friday the 13th, when the president told us that government was the source of all our blessings. I thought I'd heard it all until John Kass told the story of his dad's struggling grocery store in South Chicago and all the help it got from the government.
And for their troubles they were muscled by the politicos, by the city inspectors and the chiselers and the weasels, all those smiling extortionists who held the government hammer over all of our heads...
We didn't eat red steaks at home or yellow bananas. We took home the brown bananas and the brown steaks because we couldn't sell them. But the government men liked the big, red steaks, the fat rib-eyes two to a shrink-wrapped package. You could put 20 or so in a shopping bag.
"Thanks, Greek," they'd say.
That was government.
Wow, I thought. Did I get an education from that! But there was more to come, from American Thinker's Robert Oscar Lopez.
When Obama says "you didn't build that," he is employing the rhetorical strategies of two subcultures that he remains closely involved with:
(1) the urban Democratic political machines that often shake down both businesses and minorities using City Hall's power over permits, union jobs, fines, and bonds; and
(2) the higher education system that has monopolized credentialing and apprenticeships, forcing racial minorities into submissive gratitude by inserting affirmative action into their careers at early stages.
Lopez experienced this shakedown culture personally when he went to Yale as an affirmative action student. When you are a minority, he discovered, you'd better truckle to the liberal professors, or you soon find out that you'll never get a job in that town again.
Thugs in such a climate get you indebted to them pre-emptively. They make sure you can't get ahead without their collusion, and once you do get ahead, they claim with chutzpah that you owe them. Two sayings I hated: "don't bite the hand that feeds you" and "don't burn your bridges." Basically, the liberal "pro-civil rights" whites in my memory inserted themselves into one's life and then retroactively claimed credit for anything one did.
All very educational. I'd never thought about affirmative action that way. And it dovetails with all that we know about Obama the left-wing community organizer and student of Alinsky. You rile up the multitude, turn them into Democratic clients, and then make sure they continue to be grateful. Or else.
And for all this education we have our teacher, President Obama, to be thankful for.
I remember the first real lesson I learned from the president. It was the Reverend-Wright-and-the-90-percent-Democratic-black-vote lesson. I already knew in 2008 that the only way you could get 90 percent of people to vote one way on anything was to scare the pants off them. And I knew about race-baiters like Reverends Jackson and Sharpton. But the video excerpts of Reverend Wright's sermons opened my eyes. There are black preachers in every big city in America preaching that kind of hate every Sunday, I realized. That's how the Democrats get 90 percent of the black vote. And the white liberal ruling class, the ones passing those "hate speech" laws all the time, they know it. They condone it; they encourage it.
(I am not, absolutely not, going to mention the way that the Democrats rack up the Jewish vote by scaring American Jews into believing that Republicans are anti-Semitic. That would not be educational.)
Of course, all these political shenanigans are mere by-play. For a real education, I've been reading the Brit James Delingpole recently, and he has picked up the line from someone that the property-owning classes will not get out of the present debt overhang without a 30 percent haircut on their assets.
Any ideas on how I can dodge that haircut, Mr. President? I sure could use an education on how to avoid the coming government debt default or confiscation or whatever. I wouldn't want anyone to think that I could do that on my own.
Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us. At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.