Hope and Fear: Obama into 2014
In the days before the 1905 Russian Revolution, there was great discontent with the Tsar's dictatorship. The revolution was a "wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. Some of it was directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included terrorism, worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies."
These cataclysmic changes evoked a number of reactions. Isaac Leib Peretz, one of the luminaries of Yiddish literature, wrote a small essay entitled "Hope and Fear," wherein he asserted the following.
As victors. You may become the bureaucracy: apportioning to each his morsel, as to inmates in a poorhouse: allotting work, like a sentence of hard labor. You will destroy that creator of new worlds-the human spirit. You will fill the purest well of human happiness-initiative-the force that is able to pit one man against thousands. You will mechanize life. To improve it, you will command it to be burned.
You will be occupied with regulations: with writing, assessing, making notations. You'll be busy prescribing: how strongly, how often, a pulse is permitted to beat: how far an eye may see: how much an ear may take: what kind of dream is permitted to a yearning heart.
Peretz's concerns seem very apropos these days as we see a lawless government grabbing as many of our rights as they can. For an overview of the scandals, see here. In addition, the multitudinous bureaucracies created under Obama have stymied the economy and numbed the citizenry, and they continue to evoke deep fear among Americans.
Consider Mr. Obama's overhaul of the welfare system, eliminating the work requirement and thus consigning people to the care of the government (and ultimately dispiriting them). Then there is the PPACA, better known as ObamaCare, which continues to unfurl its onerous requirements. And to add insult to injury, we now discover that the very same person who was in charge of tax-exempt organizations when the IRS targeted Tea Party groups "now runs the IRS office responsible for enforcing ObamaCare." Furthermore, she was very nicely financially rewarded by Obama. And we are to trust these individuals as they pry into our financial and medical private affairs?
Writing the short essay in 1906, Isaac Peretz notes that "[j]ustice, [the] companion on the thorny way to victory, is going to leave you" because "[w]inners and rulers are blind to such things." And, "[c]ruelly, will [the ruler] defend the equal rights of the herd -- to grass beneath its feet. [The] enemy will be the individual: the superior man, prophet, emancipator, poet, [and] artist."
Consider the many who have been targeted by this White House via the Occupy Wall Street movement, ACORN thugs, and the IRS. Religious groups, the military, and small businesses -- frankly, for that matter, anyone who disagrees with Mr. Obama -- have all felt his ire. The incessant race-baiting is a direct slap in the face of the civil rights movement. Obama may have honored the late Dorothy Height, civil rights and women's rights activist, but his ongoing animus against America dishonors the words of Height, who wrote:
We had people of all backgrounds coming together -- races, all creeds, all colors, all status in life. And coming together there was a kind of quiet dignity and a kind of sense of caring and a feeling of joint responsibility.
That "caring and feeling of joint responsibility" certainly did not exist for the Mexicans and Americans murdered in Operation Fast and Furious, or in Benghazi, where not one rescue attempt was made by this imperial president. His indifference led to the ultimate sacrifice of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, and Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods.
The Department of Injustice, -- oops, I mean Justice -- makes a mockery of the Lady Justice statue. After all, Holder seems concerned only with "his people" and not the entire American populace. Thus, mounting evidence exists "that in this administration, law enforcement has an important racial component."
I.L. Peretz, like many enlightened Jews of the period, was supportive of the Russian Revolution of 1905, but unlike so many of the Jewish intellectuals who were unrestrained in their support, "Peretz's view was more reserved, focusing more on the pogroms that took place within the revolution, and concerned that the revolution's universalist ideals would leave little space for Jewish non-conformism." In fact, he "rejected cultural universalism, seeing the world as composed of different nations, each with its own character." This is the exact opposite of the White House occupant who yearns for a universal new world order, as evinced by United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
And so I worry.
Obama and his sycophants break the law with impunity and, thus far, complete immunity. The 44th president is determined to "ignore Congress and govern by executive fiat, executive rules, and executive orders wherever and whenever he deems it expedient or necessary in his crusade to 'fundamentally transform America.'" As explained by Judicial Watch, Obama has nationalized American health care, flagrantly failed to enforce American immigration law, reduced American freedom, and burdened America with an unsustainable debt. The president uses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote his disastrous green energy projects; he uses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to restrict the speech of conservatives on radio and television. And now the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal grows ever more worrisome as additional details emerge.
Peretz died in April of 1915, so he did not live to see the massive and destructive horrors of Nazism and Communism. Yet he was realistic enough to sense the inherent dangers of such blind faith to systems that degrade the human spirit. Though many Obama followers disdain religiosity, they zealously claim a blind allegiance to him, all the while ignoring the blatant evidence of what is actually happening.
But we should also recall that at the end of "Hope and Fear" Peretz writes that "[y]ou will build prisons for those who show you the depth to which you sink."
We should not forget the filmmaker who still languishes in jail in order to accommodate Obama's lies and prevarications about Benghazi. So much for the First Amendment!
You will tear out the tongues of any who warn you of those who are coming to destroy you and your injustice.
Obama's full-bodied support of the Muslim Brotherhood should chill those who understand that the Brotherhood is waging jihad against its enemies and does not hesitate to say so. At the Center for Security Policy, it is clearly explained how the Muslim Brotherhood is waging a war against the United States, complete with Brotherhood infiltration into the White House. And when Obama speaks of "punishing [his] enemies," the bull's-eye is not on these terrorist groups. It is on Americans.
But ultimately, the hubris of an evil demagogue, however genteel he may appear, is his ultimate downfall. And so Peretz concludes that "[y]ou will sink into injustice. You will not feel the swamp beneath your feet. A ruler feels secure -- until he has fallen."
I worry. But I ardently believe that the ideals of this great country still live in the hearts of good people. American decency and dignity will show itself in November 2014, and the people will vote their conscience and push back against the secrecy, lawlessness, deceit, and lies that are Obama's legacy.
I worry, but I hope.
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.