In that town hall, Obama really laid bare the driving force behind his philosophy of governance: Me Want.
To make a broader point, so often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist. And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property. And I mean, those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory — you should just decide what works.
And I said this to President Castro in Cuba. I said, look, you’ve made great progress in educating young people. Every child in Cuba gets a basic education — that’s a huge improvement from where it was. Medical care — the life expectancy of Cubans is equivalent to the United States, despite it being a very poor country, because they have access to health care. That’s a huge achievement. They should be congratulated. But you drive around Havana and you say this economy is not working. It looks like it did in the 1950s. And so you have to be practical in asking yourself how can you achieve the goals of equality and inclusion, but also recognize that the market system produces a lot of wealth and goods and services and innovation. And it also gives individuals freedom because they have initiative.
And so you don’t have to be rigid in saying it’s either this or that, you can say — depending on the problem you’re trying to solve, depending on the social issues that you’re trying to address what works. And I think that what you’ll find is that the most successful societies, the most successful economies are ones that are rooted in a market-based system, but also recognize that a market does not work by itself. It has to have a social and moral and ethical and community basis, and there has to be inclusion. Otherwise it’s not stable.
And it’s up to you — whether you’re in business or in academia or the nonprofit sector, whatever you’re doing — to create new forms that are adapted to the new conditions that we live in today.
When I first started listening I was appalled. Communism and capitalism are much more than “interesting intellectual arguments.” They are one facet of how a society views its people, subject versus citizen, and the role of the government, master of the people or servant of the people. Then I thought, maybe I’m being too critical. But as he finished I was truly horrified at what I’d heard.
First, we need to knock away the undergrowth. Let’s ignore the idea that there is a “sharp division” between left and right. That isn’t true and I’m not sure who, other than Obama, believes that. Certainly no one who lived in Latin America in the 1950s and 60s would. And no, Cuba does not have life expectancy comparable to the United States. Infants who die of birth defects and suicides do not count in Cuban statistics. And, ultimately, no one really knows what Cuban life expectancy is because it is not transparent of outside observation.
The real point here would be that fundamentally, Obama is a Marxist. As far as he is concerned the conflict between East and West from the end of World War II until the collapse of the Soviet empire was between competing economic arrangements. That was not the case. It was the conflict between the autonomy of the person and the autonomy of the state. No where is his argument more obviously fallacious than in Argentina which has suffered under differing varieties of Peronism, an amalgamation of socialist and capitalist impulses under the banner of Argentine superiority.
Doing “what works,” absent any guiding principles is dangerous. As far as Obama is concerned, letting Mexican drug cartels buy weapons in the United States is okay because his objective was creating a set of facts that justified more restrictive gun laws. One could actually argue that he was using “capitalism”, that is the sale of firearms, to achieve a “socialist” aim, disarming the American people. This is the same logic that led to the involuntary sterilization of undesirable people in the United States (three generations of imbeciles is enough, after all) and the extermination of undesirables in Nazi Germany. The only difference between the two is the grandiosity of scale and concept. Both are based on “what works.” “What works” is a subsidiary question that government should look at. The primary questions are “what is right” and “what is least intrusive upon the rights of the citizens.”
The scary idea that “inclusion and equality” are core govermental goals is evident in ObamaCare forcing nuns to be provided with contraceptive coverage and in the way the beliefs of religious people are not allowed to be taken outside the church.
Obama is profoundly un-American. Not from the standpoint that he is not an American per se, but because he has consciously rejected the very founding principles of the nation. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have been sent to the ashcan and we are left with “what works.”