Obama Revisionism

Brion McClanahan

7/16/2009 3:22:03 PM - Brion McClanahan

During his 4th of July message to the United States, Barack Obama engaged in another round of historical revisionism. Many have probably not heard the speech—as of Tuesday, July 7 only 48,000 people had watched on YouTube—but the message Obama attempted to sell was a clear distortion of the founding principles of the United States. Uneducated or undereducated Americans, the products of liberal, politically correct “instruction” in most public schools, probably would not be able to challenge his slick, deceitful incorporation of the founding generation into a speech about big government. Obama was most certainly counting on it. This makes his descent into demagoguery much more problematic. If Americans cannot separate truth from fiction, and in particular recognize that the founding principles offer a clear refutation of the Obama agenda, then the United States will continue on the fast track to national socialism.

The tone of the speech was a militaristic call to action, as to suggest the men who bled for independence would somehow accept national healthcare, unprecedented fiscal irresponsibility, and the destruction of property rights through “cap and trade.” Obama seems to forget or conveniently ignore that most members of the founding generation favored limited government, and in particular a small, almost powerless, federal government. King George III would be envious of the powers Obama has arrogated to himself since his inauguration in January. The founding generation declared their independence from the king because he was not respecting their rights as Englishman, not to create something new in a time of “change,” as Obama suggested with the following: “They forget that we as a people did not get here by standing pat in a time of change. We didn’t get here by doing what was easy. That’s not how a cluster of thirteen colonies became the United States of America.” Certainly, winning independence was a difficult process, in many ways a miracle as George Washington suggested, but equating the noble cause of independence and a quest for the preservation of the God given rights of Englishmen with a push for unlimited central authority is a laughable yet frightening departure from elementary logic.

He further corrupted the historical record with this statement: “And on this July 4th, we need to summon that spirit once more. We need to summon the same spirit that inhabited Independence Hall 233 years ago today.” That “spirit” was manifested in a determined cause for independence, or secession from the British Empire. The founding generation was a hearty, independent group. They were a collection of individuals who would have chafed at the idea that government exists to provide a job, healthcare or a paycheck. George Rogers Clark, with his own blood and money, helped secure the Old Northwest Territory for Virginia during the War for Independence. Southerners resorted to unprecedented means to harass the British during their occupation of the Carolinas and Georgia. Francis Marion, the old Swamp Fox, and his band of rugged South Carolina militia drank swamp water and melted pewter for ammunition in a determined guerilla struggle against superior British numbers. George Washington reported that many of his men were virtually naked during the harsh winter at Valley Forge in 1777-1778, and Washington himself was almost broke by the end of the war and did not accept a salary during the duration of the conflict. Patrick Henry equated British rule to slavery in his famous “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” speech. These men sank their lives, fortunes and honor into the cause of independence. Obama is demanding that Americans accept the very slavery and loss of liberty the founding generation fought against. As Henry thundered in 1775, “Forbid it, Almighty God!”

Obama was correct in one regard during his address. He said that, “there are those who would have us try what’s already failed, who would defend the status quo….These naysayers have short memories.” Yet, Obama disingenuously links the opponents of his programs to the “status quo.” On the contrary, the “status quo” is the welfare state and big government. History, indeed, has proven that the progressive “status quo” does not work. National healthcare, a command economy, central banking, unlimited executive authority and government owned businesses have bankrupt and crippled countless countries. Obama wants Americans to believe that big government and government action are “reasonable” and prudent steps to take in order to stave off financial collapse. This has been tried and it has failed.

John Dickinson said during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, “Experience must be our only guide. Reason may mislead us.” Experience has proven that free markets and free men produce the best government and most robust economies for the greatest number of individuals. The founding generation believed that government had a charge to protect life, liberty, and property. If Americans continue the blind, headfirst plunge into national socialism, the end result will be a destruction of the founding principles and most importantly liberty, property and life as we know it. Do not fall for Obama revisionism. The Founding Fathers and the principles of the original “united States” as Jefferson called them in the Declaration of Independence do not comport with his agenda.