Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Immolation of America

I’m discouraged to say the least about our choices for President this time around, but I don’t generally bother talking about either because I dislike both candidates. I have resolved to vote for neither, but am resigned to the fact that one of them is going to be our next President.

When, on occasion, I hear or read the candidates own words, it is hard to ignore. Mr. Obama’s commencement speech to the graduates at Wesleyan University a few weekends ago is a must read. You can read it in its entirety here. There is a brief, but excellent dismantling of some of his inspirational collectivist buzz words here. The most telling is his phrase “the poverty of ambition.”

Despite his references to our second President elsewhere, Mr. Obama does not appear to have read any biographies of John Adams. Mr. Adams was well known to have recognized and struggled mightily with the potential problem of ambition – his own – in wishing to govern this great nation. It would appear that Mr. Obama recognizes and struggles mightily with only the ambition of others – also known as personal achievement.

He equates the American ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with the immediate gratification of a young child rather than the long-term rational self-interests they are. He suggests that we are in debt to others for our happiness rather than responsible for it.

If you don’t like to follow links, just read some of his excerpts below and judge for yourself.

There's no community service requirement in the real world; no one forcing you to care. You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should by. You can choose to narrow your concerns and live your life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America's.

But I hope you don't. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, though you do have that obligation. Not because you have a debt to all those who helped you get here, though you do have that debt.


I ask you to seek these opportunities when you leave here, because the future of this country – your future – depends on it. At a time when our security and moral standing depend on winning hearts and minds in the forgotten corners of this world, we need more of you to serve abroad. As President, I intend to grow the Foreign Service, double the Peace Corps over the next few years, and engage the young people of other nations in similar programs, so that we work side by side to take on the common challenges that confront all humanity. I ask you to seek these opportunities when you leave here, because the future of this country – your future – depends on it.


We'll have to face some hard truths, and some sacrifice will be required – not only from you individually, but from the nation as a whole.


I guarantee you, there will certainly be times when friends or family urge you to pursue more sensible endeavors with more tangible rewards. And there will be times when you are tempted to take their advice.

If I may paraphrase: While I can’t make you sacrifice your life, your values, your hard work for the lives of others, I will do my utmost to whip this nation into a frenzy of senseless self-sacrificing fodder and international humanitarians who turn their backs on personal productivity in order to wear the collectivist-altruist badge of service to others! Screw your own values – pursue what is of value to others! Live your life as if the lives of others – total strangers – depended on it….(purely in the immediate sense, of course).

Hmmmm? Doesn’t sound very American to me.

Independent of whether or not this turns out to be the new American ideal, it clearly reads like a plan for self-immolation.

2 comments:

Shez said...

I'm just shaking my head. I had a discussion this weekend with a lawyer friend who is working on Obama's campaign. She was trying to work out why I am a Ron Paul fan. One of the things I said to her was that Paul has an unwavering set of principles upon which he bases his actions. From what I've seen of Obama, he changes what he stands for depending on who he is talking to. She was shocked that I found that unacceptable. Her answer to me was that he is a politician and that you can't get elected unless you sway with the pressure. UGHH.

It's our job to talk to our children about rational self interest, to show them that this frenzy of bleeding heart do goodness is not the only way.

Rational Jenn said...

"No one forcing you to care."

Does he hear himself talk? What kind of nonsense is that?

(Never mind . . . I know what kind of nonsense it is.)