Obama's Trip to the Dark Side

Let's try a thought experiment: Put yourself in the shoes of America-hating strongmen like Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Venezuela's Hugo Chavez: The United States is the biggest thorn in your side; your ultimate dream would be to inflict a humiliating defeat on the United States and cause its ruin, but such an achievement lies far beyond your capabilities. What can you do to accomplish your nefarious purpose?

The answer to the malevolent yearnings of America's enemies may be found in Abraham Lincoln's "Lyceum Address," delivered on January 27, 1838. Speaking of potential threats to the American Republic, Lincoln told his audience that danger "cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

If the Ahmadinejads of the world want to defeat us, they need inside help. They need leaders who loathe America as they do -- leaders who will pursue destructive policies that progressively weaken us from within. America's enemies need an American president to adopt Carter-esque policies like these:

  • 1. Snub our allies and friends while doing favors for our enemies.

For instance, disdain Great Britain not just by dissing Churchill and giving disgraceful gifts to the queen, but to the point of refusing to acknowledge the residents of the Falkland Islands as British citizens even if the Falklanders express that preference in a plebiscite.

Alienate our next-door neighbors, Canada and Mexico, by violating our free trade agreements with them and impeding the importation of Canadian energy resources by blocking construction of a pipeline that both Americans and Canadians want.

Resist trade agreements with such friends as South Korea, Panama, and Colombia.

Send a message to the smaller countries of the world that we will take the side of undemocratic, leftist leaders who are willing to seize power unconstitutionally as Manuel Zelaya attempted in Honduras.

Show that American commitments are worthless, such as by unilaterally withdrawing missile defenses from Poland and the Czech Republic, and then make unilateral concessions to Russia's Putin.

Remain silent when Iranians protest stolen elections while giving encouragement to the Muslim brotherhood while shunning a flawed ally like Hosni Mubarak.

Show the whole world that meeting with Israel's prime minister is a low priority while indiscreetly letting it be known by Israel's enemies that you despise their leader.

Fail to protect our foreign diplomats and treat national security briefings as a nuisance.

  • 2. On the domestic front, vastly increase the already-bloated welfare state and bankrupt it by hugely expanding the number of Americans receiving government handouts and indulging in trillions of dollars of deficit spending while refusing to work on necessary reforms to ballooning entitlement programs. Get a compliant Federal Reserve Chairman to facilitate the process by suppressing interest rates to disguise the true cost of government overspending and to create trillions of additional dollars that cheapen dollars and threaten its future viability.
  • 3. Lower standards of living and interfere with economic growth by imposing bureaucratic regulatory overkill; centralizing control of credit to choke off the supply of capital -- the lifeblood of an economy -- from the private sector; cramming down interest rates to near zero; adopting an anti-energy policy that artificially boosts the price of energy -- the fuel that drives humankind's economic progress; always trying to tax successful businesses to subsidize inefficient, uneconomical businesses.
  • 4. Paving the way for a feeble future, not only by bankrupting the rising generation with runaway federal spending, but by stunting the economic prospects of that generation by inducing large numbers of youth to take out loans for college that reduce those borrowers to long-term debt slaves. Choke off economic growth and the creation of new jobs so that many young adults have to live with their parents. Those policies will compel millions of young Americans to postpone, if not cancel, plans for starting families. What better way to weaken a nation than to depopulate it in every way possible? Thus, be sure to exalt contraception and encourage abortion. Fewer Americans equals a weaker America.

Well, this thought experiment about "how to ruin America" is getting depressing. But what makes it most depressing is that the incumbent president has pushed for every one of these America-weakening policies. It's no wonder Hugo Chavez can't refrain from expressing his hope that Obama will be re-elected. The real question, though, is whether enough Americans side with Chavez and Ahmadinejad to re-elect him. If so, Lincoln's tragic scenario of national suicide may play out before our eyes.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

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