Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

No, YOU Can’t!

The mantra of the Barack Obama campaign--when it isn’t simply "Hope" or "Change"--has been "Yes We Can!" In a country built on "can do" attitudes stretching all the way back to Benjamin Franklin (or earlier), such an appeal gets to the center of the American heart. It has served Obama well, but does he really understand it in the same sense that most Americans understand it? Or is Obama’s politics of "can" really a politics of "can’t"? As Terrence O. Moore ably demonstrates, understanding the real import of "Yes We Can!" requires a serious examination of just who Obama means when he says, "We." His conclusion? "We" is "they"--as in "they" (Obama and his crack team of government experts) promise to do everything you once thought you could do, only better. The implication, of course, is that you really can’t.    

Discussions - 3 Comments

All of us heard the infamous words from Obama that he wanted to spread the wealth. I was very disturbed by this idea of taking from group and giving to another, which is ethically and morally wrong. What was more disturbing was how many people accepted and agreed with this concept. The great Ronald Reagan warned us about this in a speech he gave October 14, 1969 when he said “When the less affluent feel the urge to break a commandment and begin to covet that which their more affluent neighbors possess, they are tempted to use their votes to obtain instant satisfaction. Then equal opportunity at the starting line becomes an extended guarantee of at least a tie at the finish of the race. Under the euphemism the greatest good for the greatest number, we destroy a system which has accomplished just that and move toward the managed economy which strangles freedom and mortgages generations yet to come.” If he we alive today I’m sure he would be surprised and disappointed that many Americans believe they are entitled to monetary equality..

Another post on this blog basically condemns the right for calling Obama a socialist. But then Mr. Moore seeks to lecture us on Obama's use of 'we' and 'can'. It is reminiscent of Clinton's educating us on what 'is' is. When comparing the right wing's use of socialist and Obama's use of 'we' which is the greater linguistic sin? First lesson in linguistics: one does not receive one's semantic instruction from right-wing ideologues in right-wing colleges on right-wing web sites. It is like learning to think from Bill O'Reilly. To Mr. Grasshoff: I too am troubled by taking from one group and giving to another, which is ethically wrong, I am sure the right wing will start with gutting the multi-billion dollar defense budget, who's wealth transfer to the trans-nationals goes oddly unmentioned. One thing I have learned from Bush and the Right wing, it is not THAT wealth gets transferred, but to WHOM.

Or, if McCain had it his way, Tim, it'd be just as bad as "socialist" re-distribution. He'd cut taxes and probably continue to borrow money for a long-term war, leaving taxpayers to worry about the cost later. How is that any more moral or ethical than re-distribution? At some point, somebody is going to have to pay either way.

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