Howard Chandler Christy Depicts The Founders Signing The U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States" (1940)

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Tale of Two Democrat Presidents: How Bill Clinton's Second Inaugural Address Shows the Radical Nature of Barack Obama's Second Inaugural

September 5th, 2012. Two Democrat presidents: one successful for the American economy, the other a failure, but both appearing to be of the same fabric, embraced each other on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, to celebrate their partnership in Barack Obama's bid for re-election. The embraced commanders-in-chief were Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, himself.

January 21st, 2013. A triumphantly re-elected President Obama delivered an inaugural address more striking for the difference in ideology and purpose it highlighted between himself and President Clinton than for the similar mind and resolve projected in Charlotte, last fall. The key difference was no less than a fundamental contradiction between these two presidents' beliefs about the proper role of government in relation to the people - and by extension - the responsibility of the community to ensure a fair standard of living for every single citizen.

January 20th, 1997.  A victoriously re-elected Bill Clinton gave an inaugural address more comfortable with the sentiments of Ronald Reagan than with Barack Obama. Clinton declared, "We need a new government for a new century - humble enough not to try to solve all our problems for us, but strong enough to give us the tools to solve our problems for ourselves; a government that is smaller, lives within its means, and does more with less." 

To make his point clearer, Clinton emphasized that our government must "give all Americans an opportunity - not a guarantee, but a real opportunity - to build better lives...Beyond that, the future is up to us. Our founders taught us that the preservation of our liberty and our union depends upon responsible citizenship."

The 42nd president did call for collective action in his second inaugural, but it was focused on healthy avenues for social responsibility, for example, working together to make further progress in burying the racism and other prejudices continuing from the past. Nowhere in his speech did President Clinton apply collective action toward a guaranteed standard of living for all Americans. Instead, the Clintonesque government would ensure, "Everyone who can work will work, with today's permanent underclass part of tomorrow's growing middle class." 

All such messages shifting responsibility for individual prosperity from the government's shoulders to the individual's hands were a nod to President Clinton's proudest first-term achievement: the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. This legislation implemented a program of moving unprecedented numbers of welfare recipients off the rolls and into work training programs in which they would receive aid until they became established in an employment situation sustaining their economic needs.

In July 2012, clothed in the executive powers of the presidency, Barack Obama purposefully undermined the signature social policy accomplishment of the man he embraced in Charlotte. Through executive order, President Obama announced his administration would no longer honor the work requirements of Clinton's welfare reform.  

Today, standing before throngs of spectators in the nation's capital, President Obama declared an unconditional guarantee that collective action be responsible to provide a standard of living for every individual. The president promised, "Our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American." Later in the speech, he returned to this theme of guaranteed economic outcomes and applied it to America's women, "For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts."

Wouldn't we all love to earn a living equal to our efforts? Wouldn't any teacher, firefighter, or policemen, want to earn a living equal to his or her efforts? Wouldn't any soldier want to earn a living equal to his or her sacrifices in the name of service to family, community, and country? 

Sadly, none of us are qualified to measure what amount of effort is deserving of what amount of compensation. How can the collective body of the nation know how much effort a certain grocery store clerk is putting into her job performance? Are we all watching her, all day long, measuring how many customers she helps in an eight-hour period? Is the collective body alerted every time she arrives late to work, or leaves early?

In contrast to President Clinton, President Obama curiously avoided use of the word government when calling for action on individual prosperity in his second inaugural. Instead, he used the words: "our nation...a great nation...collective action...we must do these things together, as one people."

Government was primarily invoked when the president said it should be transformed, "We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government..." For a president who just took another oath to preserve and uphold the U.S. Constitution, it appears a conflict of interest for him to advocate a remake of our government. 

Taken together, the strands of President Obama's second inaugural address show a chief executive with radical goals for his second term, and that these ambitions depart from his predecessors, Democratic as well as Republican. For never has it been America's founding creed that collective action is responsible for the standard of living enjoyed by every single citizen. For such inspiration, one must consult the works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

Patriot Thought  

1 comment:

  1. Good comparison of two leading Dems to make people think about about just how far left Obama is. Of course, everyone should have known that when Obama stated in the first campaign that America is the strongest, most free nation in the world and he's going to change that. “I’m in this race not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform a nation.” He's doing it!


Visitor Comments

The dated links and statements below show interaction between the readers and makers of this blog to further the marketplace of ideas that enrich the education of patriots. Certain opinions made to posts are excerpted and re-posted here to highlight interesting discussions by fellow patriots.

Chris CJuly 28, 2013 at 12:31 PM [writing in response to Thursday, July 25, 2013: Moral Reflections on the Zimmerman Trial and on the Right to Self Defense]

I think it is absurd to draw a moral equivalence between innocent until proven guilty and guilty until proven innocent. It should be clear that one is far more protective and respectful of individual rights than the other. It's ironic that you attack the American system here, when it obviously takes more into account that someone could be falsely accused. Hence the burden of proof is on the prosecution rather than the defense.

DonaldJuly 28, 2013 at 8:27 AM[writing in response to Thursday, July 25, 2013: Moral Reflections on the Zimmerman Trial and on the Right to Self Defense]

It is interesting because the American Justice system goes from a innocent until proven guilty point of view. It definitely is no better in China where it is from a guilty until proven innocent point of view. Both are flawed because both lend themselves to being tainted with corruption as well as the norms of society.

Living the JourneyJuly 26, 2013 at 10:11 AM [writing in response to Thursday, July 25, 2013: Moral Reflections on the Zimmerman Trial and on the Right to Self Defense]

I found it interesting that Donald's perception of how America out to be was originally influenced by American fiction. This reminds me of when I arrived in China the first time expecting to see sword toting warriors running on the roofs of ancient temple like buildings. I was definitely surprised by reality.

July 26, 2013 at 9:09 AM [writing in response to Thursday, July 25, 2013: Moral Reflections on the Zimmerman Trial and on the Right to Self Defense]

Long before Zimmerman was pronounced innocent, people in my country were laughing at the thought of a white man (yes he is white Hispanic really) being found guilty of killing a black teenager. That will never happen they say. When things like that happen, it is the stuff of legend and stories and hollywood scripts. Look at some of the greatest literature found out there (to kill a mocking bird for example). It is the stand of the downtrodden black defendant who triumphs over the hard and brutal white man. This in itself is a tragedy as well because of the stereotypical vision people then have of the US as in the case of many of my country people as well as others from other countries in their view of America.

December 28, 2012 12:13 PM [writing in response to Friday, December 28, 2012: Beyond Gun Control: The Real Reason For Sandy Hook (A Moral Analysis)]

I do believe in evil but I also believe that Adam Lanza had mental issues that weren't being addressed. Also, he had been abandoned by his father whom he hadn't seen in over 2 years and who had a second family which Adam was not a part of. Adam had been assigned a school psychologist but somewhere along the line he dropped through the cracks and didn't get the care he needed that could possibly have prevented this tragedy. We'll never know...

Living the JourneyDecember 31, 2012 7:16 AM[writing in response to Friday, December 28, 2012: Beyond Gun Control: The Real Reason For Sandy Hook (A Moral Analysis)]

How can evil be defined in a pluralistic society? Is morality something decided by vote? And then following that question, how can evil be "treated"? Jason, I think you're trying to open a door that very few want to walk through because if we do, we are forced to make choices about things many would like to leave "relative".

December 31, 2012 7:36 AM[writing in response to Friday, December 28, 2012: Beyond Gun Control: The Real Reason For Sandy Hook (A Moral Analysis)]

I think we should stop offering up drug store psychology and focus on the one common denominator- GUNS. Psychotic people exist in all cultures, nations and religions. Look at the countries in the world with strict gun control laws; such as Japan, Australia, Canada to name a few, and they have far less violence involving guns. Are you blaming secularism? Science? The devil made him do it! Right? Simply, Adam Lanza and other mass murderers are mentally ill. So let's make it impossible for people like him to obtain guns of mass destruction.

Jason Aldous
December 31, 2012 10:56 AM[writing in response to Friday, December 28, 2012: Beyond Gun Control: The Real Reason For Sandy Hook (A Moral Analysis)]

Dear Living the Journey, We will always have tragedies so long as there is evil. Evil as such can not be cured through government policy. On the contrary, its work can only be limited through choices made by individuals.

Dear Anonymous, I do blame secular reasoning for making it difficult for us to address the problem. If you take good and evil out of your worldview, morally you can not say there is anything wrong with what Adam Lanza did. You may be horrified at what he did, but you can not judge it against any standards, if good and evil are removed as avenues of inquiry.

Jason AldousDecember 27, 2012 6:39 PM [writing in response to Wednesday, December 26, 2012: Gun Control Part 3: The Second Amendment (A Legal Analysis)]

Let's see, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Even if the wording implies that the populace must be armed when called up for militia service, it says "the right of the people shall not be infringed." Since the amendment states that bearing arms is a "right" and "not to be infringed" it is an open and shut case for anyone taking an objective reading of it. "Rights" are entitlements. Privileges can be taken away, but not rights. It matters not if this right was given with militia service in mind. Good work, Mr. Emma.

AnonymousDecember 17, 2012 3:46 PM [writing in response to Monday, December 17, 2012, Gun Control Part 2: Would Society Be Better Off If All Guns Were Made Illegal? (A Reasonable Treatment)]

On my part, I think that all guns should definitely be regulated and strictly controlled. Its interesting that almost all Americans point to the 2nd amendment. From my point of view, this 2nd Amendment was written in a time when there was 'trust' among people and their government. Today this trust has been flushed down the drain

AnonymousDecember 17, 2012 5:26 PM [writing in response to Monday, December 17, 2012, Gun Control Part 2: Would Society Be Better Off If All Guns Were Made Illegal? (A Reasonable Treatment)]

In 1959, 60% of the American public favored a ban on handguns. Today, the majority of the American people don't even support a ban on assault rifles. Why? Because since 1959, the argument that tighter gun control would reduce crime has been effectively refuted in the mind of the public. The change in attitude toward gun control is primarily due to fear of crime rather than distrust of government.

GeoDecember 8, 2012 2:11 PM [writing in response to Friday, December 7, 2012, Pearl Harbor: Was It Japan's Fault, or America's? (Conspiracy Theory vs. History)]

FDR campainged on keeping the US out of the war but when he wanted to get into the war he needed an excuse. He may very well have been tempted to withhold information from his top commanders at Pearl Harbor. They certainly suspected he did.

GeoDecember 8, 2012 at 1:28 PM[writing in response to Saturday, December 1, 2012, Voting In A Bad Economy, Recession Myths: De-Constructing Historical Falsification]

Can't argue with your observations, Jason, but even with the limited space no mention of the Smoot-Hawley Tariffs in any discussion of Hoover/Great Depression/FDR is to ignore an elephant in the room.

Chris CDecember 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM[writing in response to Tuesday, November 27, 2012, The Next Great American President: Who We Need To Look For In 2016]

One qualm: I don't think Suez can be regarded as a long-term success for Eisenhower. It bought us no credibility with the developing world and managed to alienate important Allies. As a result, we got no real help from Britain in Vietnam and plenty of hostility from France in the 1960's. France's desire to oppose or sabotage us on key issues has continued to this day.