John Ransom

While Obama remains a great curiosity outside of the U.S., it’s largely his American-ness that draws the crowds, rather than some innate ability of his own.

A man comes from low beginnings and ascends to the White House.

That tale quintessentially remains the American strive-and-succeed story since Washington was first born poor and lowly in a kind-of log cabin.

While Washington is represented as a rich, privileged, white guy, the success Washington enjoyed and the wealth he built -- yes, built -- he earned by working hard on the dangerous and brutal, American frontier, going places often were few men traveled.         

Obama was not quite born in a log cabin, but a straw hut or a condo in Hawaii will do as well.

The Obama story also is another measurement of how far a free society-- through its own efforts-- can go toward healing centuries-old wrongs, without resorting to interminable blood-lettings that still feature so large in ethnic conflicts around the world.

That is not to say that ethic blood wasn’t spilled in America as atonement for much sin, but at least we learn.



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In this, Obama is also a measure of the eagerness with which Americans are anxious to redress old wrongs.

But there are two things that Obama’s story certainly are not.

And it is here that tale differs from the Washington story: It’s not a measure of the capacity of Barack Hussein Obama, nor yet his devotion to liberty.

First, forget Jimmy Carter as the mean of failure for Democrat presidents.

You’d have to hearken back to James Buchanan to graph the order of magnitude of the disaster Obama has left, not just for the United States, but for the world.

Buchanan, like Obama, was more interested in theoretical freedom than he was in freedom that might apply to any actual, living persons.    

Buchanan’s presidency, it will be recalled, helped lead America to its great civil war, as Mr. Lincoln said, testing whether our nation, or any nation, conceived in liberty, can long endure.

Today we are still met on a battlefield of that war.  

The Obama presidency is testing new concepts of “liberty.” There’s a new type of freedom, Democrats promise, but really, it is just slavery in disguise.

If Obama’s presidency has one unifying theme, it’s that freedom is represented as slavery and slavery is represented as freedom.

Slavery now comes with a free cell phone and texting. What’s more freedom-loving than a free cell phone with unlimited texting?   

And while the most prominent feature Obama’s thematic presidency is the general growth of government control here in the United States, Obama has also exported this theory overseas.

In the Middle East, Obama has fostered, nurtured and enabled an Arab Spring as a kind of freedom rally for the old Ottoman Empire. But it really is just the first steps in starting country-specific dictatorships of the Caliphate-- again, in the name of freedom.

And because these would-be dictators in North Africa get elected with turnout of only 15 percent of the electorate, it doesn’t mean that they represent freedom and democracy, any more than when dictators get 99.9 percent of the vote with 100 percent turnout.

It’s still a swindle. That it’s being sold as liberty in the Middle East by the administration is as much of an indictment upon Obama as his concept that debt makes you free.

The Fire Eaters in the pre-civil war era South-- allies of Buchanan-- argued for slavery as a positive good, because the slave was never in want.

So, too, today the Democrats argue that keeping everyone on the government plantation is the great freedom that we have all been waiting for, because someday soon the government will be so powerful that no one individual will ever be burdened by having to make decisions for themselves.

We are the ones, they argue, that we have been waiting for.

Of course, the “we” they mention doesn’t include “you” or “me.”

And they care not a whit about liberty.

But they have a great texting plan and they come in a variety of colors.   


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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