Obama's 'farewell' speech proves he is out of touch with reality
President Obama gave his farewell address last night, touting his great accomplishments as if his audience had returned from living on another planet and were unaware of the events of the past eight years.
For 240 years, our nation's call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation. It's what led patriots to choose republic over tyranny, pioneers to trek west, slaves to brave that makeshift railroad to freedom. It's what pulled immigrants and refugees across oceans and the Rio Grande[.]
Obama has just compared patriots to illegal aliens.
It's why GIs gave their lives at Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima; Iraq and Afghanistan – and why men and women from Selma to Stonewall were prepared to give theirs as well.
Obama has just compared soldiers who died for their country to people having sex at a gay bar.
[I]f I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, and ... win marriage equality, and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens – you might have said our sights were set a little too high.
Islamic nukes, unconstitutional redefinition of marriage, flirting with a Cuban dictatorship, and driving insurance premiums so high that people can't afford it...that's not "setting sights too high"; that's setting sights on the American people.
Understand, democracy does not require uniformity[.]
Except in health care. And education. And environmental regulation. And overtime wage laws. And putting boys in girls' bathrooms.
[D]emocracy does require a basic sense of solidarity – the idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.
Obama never talked about rising or falling as one when he vilified the police, or identified with black crime victims but never white ones.
After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. For race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society.
And who has made it more divisive?
After all, if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and undeserving minorities, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps[.]
Obama prefers to frame every economic issue as a struggle between hardworking minorities and an undeserving white middle class.
If we decline to invest in the children of immigrants, just because they don't look like us ...
Or what if they looked exactly like us but came into the country illegally and demanded our tax dollars?
... those brown kids will represent a larger share of America's workforce.
Do minorities like being called "brown kids"? It sounds derogatory to me. Have you ever seen anyone call a Hispanic a "brown kid"?
But stark inequality is also corrosive to our democratic principles.
Why? Stark equality is even more corrosive to our democratic principles. To have everyone earn the same money regardless of talent, regardless of how hard they work, smacks of totalitarian communism.
[T]oo many families, in inner cities and rural counties, have been left behind – the laid-off factory worker; the waitress and health care worker who struggle to pay the bills – convinced that the game is fixed against them, that their government only serves the interests of the powerful – a recipe for more cynicism and polarization in our politics.
Is this a jab at Hillary for failing to campaign in Michigan and Wisconsin?
Going forward, we must uphold laws against discrimination – in hiring, in housing, in education and the criminal justice system. That's what our Constitution and highest ideals require. But laws alone won't be enough.
Laws were never enough for Obama. That's why he ignored them so frequently.
For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't suddenly vanish in the '60s; that when minority groups voice discontent, they're not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness; that when they wage peaceful protest, they're not demanding special treatment[.]
When do they ever wage peaceful protest? When do they ever not demand special treatment?
How can elected officials rage about deficits when we propose to spend money on preschool for kids, but not when we're cutting taxes for corporations?
How did our elected president rage about deficits when talking about raising taxes on individuals, but not when spending money on a useless $1-trillion stimulus?
How do we excuse ethical lapses in our own party, but pounce when the other party does the same thing?
I don't know. How did Obama excuse all of Hillary Clinton's ethical lapses, or the work of his minions prosecuting conservative groups at the IRS?
Take the challenge of climate change. In just eight years, we've halved our dependence on foreign oil, doubled our renewable energy, and led the world to an agreement that has the promise to save this planet. But without bolder action, our children won't have time to debate the existence of climate change; they'll be busy dealing with its effects: environmental disasters, economic disruptions, and waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary.
Isn't it a little concerning that for eight years the man in charge of our country believed in these things? What's most frightening is that he talks like a fanatic but doesn't even realize it.
[O]rder is now being challenged – first by violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam; more recently by autocrats in foreign capitals who see free markets, open democracies, and civil society itself as a threat to their power.
Wow. The words "violent" and "Islam" in the same sentence. Surely a first. But what autocrat is Obama thinking of, who governed this country for eight years by bypassing Congress and making his own laws, when it came to the environment, immigration, Obamacare, and workfare laws?
[F]or the past eight years, I've worked to put the fight against terrorism on a firm legal footing. That's why we've ended torture, worked to close Gitmo, and reform our laws governing surveillance to protect privacy and civil liberties. That's why I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans.
Instead of putting the fight against terrorism on a "firm legal footing," what about a fight against terrorism that protected Americans? At the rate Obama is importing Muslims, he'll soon be able to create a caliphate the size of Vermont.
Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it's really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own.
Now for once Obama is being honest. He has disregarded the Constitution on numerous occasions, most notably when he ignored the treaty clause to give Iran a big payoff for its nuclear weapons program without getting the approval of Congress, granting mass amnesty without enabling legislation, and bullying the Congress to let him write his own budgets without interference.
1) It is customary to name something important after a departing two-term president. What do you think would best bear the Obama name, a prison, a nuclear waste repository, a mosque, a disease, a violent crime, or something else?
Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.