ed by: Herman Cain on Monday June 9th, 2014
And Americans need to think more wisely about what we expect from our government.
There is so much going wrong in the Obama Administration right now, it’s hard to really keep tabs on it all by doing a three-hour daily radio show or by publishing commentaries on HermanCain.com. If it’s not the Bowe Bergdahl swap, it’s the VA mess, or the IRS scandal, or the Benghazi lies.
And in the midst of it all, we just went through a quarter of 1.0 percent GDP contraction (one more in negative territory would make for an official recession), and of course all the things wrong with ObamaCare could keep us busy for weeks on end all by themselves, and often have.
With so much going in the wrong direction (and honestly, the things mentioned above are just the start), it’s worthwhile to step back and consider if there is one main thing that laid the groundwork for all this disaster. And I believe there is. I believe the entire premise for electing Barack Obama was a fraud, and even now many people haven’t figured that out.
The premise was essentially this: Many wonderful things could be happening for the people of America, but all this requires action by the federal government and right-wing Republicans are preventing this action. Get rid of the right-wing Republicans and replace them with people who believe in activist government, and all the good will come to pass.
Obama was so convinced not only of the power of government, but of his ability to lead it, that he actually talked about the planet healing and rise of the oceans reversing, just because he got elected. It’s astonishing to look back and realize he actually said such things, and perhaps even more astonishing to think people still voted for him.
But as absurd as that statement was, it was consistent with the emotions of the time. People were tired of the Bush Administration, tired of the Iraq War and unsettled over the collapse of the mortgage market. They were ready to believe that an activist government could make things right, even though history offers no evidence that this ever really works in practice.
So Obama got his shot, and we see what happened. An $862 billion spending blowout did not make the economy better, but it did explode annual deficits and the national debt. Ripping up our system of health care finance and constructing a new one under tighter federal control has proven to be a disaster. And much to the surprise of many people, the man who was supposed to make the planet heal is instead abusing the levers of government to attack his political opponents and chip away at the constitutional rights of the American people.
The fundamental flaw was this: Government neither has the power nor the competency to solve all the problems people want it to solve. And the people who think it does – and thus try to become its leaders – tend to be more than a little delusional not only about the power of government but about their own brilliance. They abuse the power of agencies like the IRS because they are convinced their own political survival is the most important thing on the planet, and they concoct justifications for doing whatever they think they need to do.
Worse, because they are so convinced that government under their leadership is the answer to everything, they turn this in their own minds into an unfalsifiable doctrine. If they are not getting the results they want, it has to be because Republicans are afflicting them with so much political resistance, or not letting them spend enough. The answer must always be to tax more, spend more and attack Republicans more. Policy failure is never the result of the policy itself being flawed. It’s always because someone, somewhere, didn’t get on board, and so that person or those people need to be dealt with – and then everything will be fine.
And perhaps worse than any of this, Obama confuses his own political skills with true executive leadership qualities that equip him to actually reshape this country according to his left-wing utopian vision. He actually has no such ability, and as we’ve seen with growing frequency of late, neither do many of those he appointed to serve in his administration. They may be skilled at politics, and at playing the game, but they don’t know how to make an organization function at a high level or how to get tangible results.
The solution to America’s problems was always more complicated than Obama’s proposition that we turn the federal government loose to take bold action. The government is neither that competent nor that resourceful, and Obama personally is absolutely not those things. Real solutions start with the citizenry re-assessing what it expects from itself, and then taking a more sober view of what it thinks government can do.
But it was easy in 2008, at a time when we were stressed out, to just believe in a champion of big-government activism despite all the reasons to doubt he could really do what he was promising. I guess that by the time 2012 came around, not enough of the electorate had learned its lesson.
It’s time we start learning it, though. We don’t have any more time to waste putting our faith in people whose basic proposition is a fraud, and who are so sold on the fraud that they can’t even recognize when they’ve failed.