Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is it Michelle Peron, or Eva Obama?

The other day I heard a speech that Michelle Obama made at UCLA earlier this year, and in hearing it, my thought was that I was hearing a 21st century Eva Peron, speaking about how Juan Peron loved Argentinians, and how he alone could save Argentina from all the ills, and usher in heaven on earth. And except for the thousands of people who disappeared and the many more who suffered economically under Peron's corruption and fascist socialism, Peronist Argentina was not bad.

Anyway, back to 21st Century United States.
The two sections of Ms Obama's speech phrase that sent chills down my spine are this:

"We have lost the understanding that in a democracy we have a mutual obligation to one another. That we cannot measure our greatness in this society by the strongest and richest of us. But we have to measure our greatness by the least of these. That we have to compromise and sacrifice for one another in order to get things done. That is why I am here. Because Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that. That before we can work on the problems we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation. If we can't see ourselves in one another we will never make those sacrifices. So I am here right now because I am married to the only person in this race who has a chance of healing this nation."

And This:

Change will always be hard. And it doesn't happen from the top down. We do not get universal health care, we do not get better schools, because somebody else in the White House. We get change because folks from the grass roots up decide they are sick and tired of other people telling them how their lives will be. When they decide to roll up their sleeves and work. And Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your division. That you come out of your isolation. That you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual; uninvolved, uninformed."

No, Ms Obama, we owe gratitude that we live under a relative freedom of a Constitutional Republic, and nothing more. The only duty we owe to other Americans is that of maintaining and defending that freedom against all who seek to destroy that freedom. The only obligation we have is only to ourselves and our families, to ensure that our and our families needs are met. The "least of these" have the same obligation. It is not my problem if they are not meeting that obligation and it does not matter if this failure to meet their obligation is lack of ability, lack of opportunity, lack of education, lack of effort, or any other factor.

Now, morally we should do all we can to help others, but only so far as we can after meeting our own obligations. However, while helping others is a moral requirement, this does not mean that it should ever be a legal requirement that is enforced by the State. There is some other entity to whom we are morally accountable, and that entity does not reside in the District of Columbia.

The idea that the Obama camp seems to be espousing here - namely that other Americans have a claim on our lives, to the point that we are required to sacrifice our and our family's own treasure on behalf of these others. Furthermore this claim is to be enforced by the power of the state through taxation and imprisonment. There is a word for this - slavery. If we are so sick and tired of other people telling us how our lives will be, how is it a good thing that Barack Obama can tell us how our lives will be? By what authority does Barack Obama have the power to force me to work for his agenda?

Oh and one more thing Ms Obama, my soul is just fine, and the healing and protection of which is in infinitely more capable hands than Barack Obama's - thank you very much.


pamibe said...

Excellent rebuttal!

Some people are mistakenly calling obama the 'messiah'. I call him Socialist.

Kim said...


Princess Jami said...

"And Barack Obama will require you to work." - scary