Obama seems happier these days. It is almost as if the disembodied spirit of his mentor, Saul Alinsky, is watching and smiling. Americans are suffering. Losses in the stock market, panic in the financial market, pain at the gas pump and in the grocery -- all these miseries of average Americans are a delicious narcotic to socialists like Barack Obama.
What was the historic maxim of the Left? "The worse, the better." Alinsky said that if there was an afterlife, "I will unreservedly choose to go to hell." This is the man whose mind guides Obama's thoughts.
Americans ought to ponder that before electing a man who thrives politically -- the sphere of his life that really matter to him -- on the unhappiness, helplessness, and hopelessness of his fellow citizens. When his voice promises "hope," as it so often does, we should recall that what he is promising is communal "hope." Our experiences, our lives, our souls, to Obama, belong to society. We cannot have hope by ourselves. We can only have hope as part of a vast mass of humanity.
The "change" he promises is also collective change, enforced by the rod of government. Hope and change, in a free world, are the private possessions of motivated individuals. Political leaders bring benefits like honest government, national security, sensible and moderate programs to accomplish the broad purposes of the Constitution, and blind justice. But in a free world, in a free country, politicians do not complete our personal dreams or our private hopes.
It takes much to separate Americans from ownership of their lives. The means of rendering people from their lives is misery. Let the mortgage giants collapse. Let refineries and oil exploration stop. Let food prices spike. Let individual lives drown in worries and in troubles created by the state. Then make those individuals turn to the state for release from pain. Long ago, the formula was written: "The worse, the better."
Existence ordered by free hearts and minds is chaos to the Left. We cannot find happiness in our own, unorganized and unregulated pursuits. We cannot have meaningful lives separate from the dogma of the Party and, as Obama put in it the closed doors of San Francisco elites, "clinging to our religion."
No, it is not our religion which we must cling to. It is his religion, the religion of collectivism, the faith in the coercive power of the state, that must become our passionate system of belief. But men do not chain themselves willingly. There must be a pressure cooker, an artificial creation of unbearable forces, before men place manacles on their wrists and feet and smile. Men must be made to believe inwardly what the Left whispers quietly: The worse, the better.
Do not doubt that Barack Obama is just as thrilled with the panic in our economic markets as Adolph Hitler was seventy-five years ago in Germany by the heartbreak of the German middle class. Obama is a much more humane, sane, and placid man than Hitler, but the basic principle of all radical Leftists -- Hitler or Obama -- is identical. A happy society is a society that does not need them. A desperate society, alone, will grant them the power they crave, and "The worse, the better" is the unstated goal of men who want power above all else.
It is not coincidence that the rhetoric of Obama is so blank that almost anyone could put almost any wish within the womb of his words. Barack Obama does not intend to really say anything. He seeks, instead, to promise vague emotional fulfillment to unhappy people. He whispers undefined action which will make the dreariness of life go away. He needs your sadness to grant his dreams. If Americans are doing well, Barack Obama cannot do well. He grasps at every level the grim truth of the Left: The worse, the better.
So what do we think will happen if we choose a man so fixed upon our wretchedness? Do we assume that he will solve our problems? When, if ever, has that happened in human history? True saviors are men like Churchill, who do not promise hope but rather blood, toil, sweat, and tears. True saviors are men like Washington, who told his countrymen as often as he could that they did not need him. True saviors are men like Reagan, who did not make his fame or fortune in politics, but entered politics to liberate us all. None of those great men ever relished a single pain of their countrymen.
The hungry Left always imagines that the end, truly, justifies the means. It holds (it thinks) the key to secular heaven and the suffering of ordinary people feeds the bonfires of its march to power. History is the lesson book of man. We do not have to guess about what happens when the people, without hope, give power to those who thrive on suffering. "The worse, the better" always leads to things much worse than the causes that made men barter their rights for promises.
Bruce Walker is the author of Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and the recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.