President Obama delivered a state of the union address that made no secret of his essentially statist political-economic philosophy. Apart from the details, the major message was that Americans must become part of a herd whether they actually want to, involuntarily serving the country. Even the conservative commentator, Charles Krauthammer, characterized Mr. Obama's viewpoint without reference to its coercive nature. That is how ingrained statism is in America now.
There was absolutely no reference in the speech to the quintessential American political idea, individual liberty. Instead the president promoted regimentation of the citizenry into a collective that would be guided -- no, ruled -- by him and his friends. He didn't propose that Americans volunteer to serve each other. He asserted that they will be forced to labor for common objectives.
As a naturalized citizen who escaped to America from communism Mr. Obama's political vision is sadly reactionary. It aims to take us all back to an era when kings, czars, and other forceful rulers herded populations into armies to serve impossible ideals. What Mr. Obama completely ignored in his speech is that America is supposed to be a community that respects and protects everyone's rights to pursue their own version of human happiness! And he promoted this idea on the back of one of the the most despicable Leftist mantras, namely, rich bashing. He evidently is counting on the prejudice of millions against those who are well off. He is, in short, counting on the envy of Americans.
One can only hope that Mr. Obama is misreading the American people's general outlook on social-economic issues. Do Americans really accept that the country is involved in a class war, a war pitting those who are striving to improve their lives against those who have attained that objective! I am hoping that the liberty I and millions of others came to America to enjoy as a matter of our individual human right will once again resume its place as America's public policy priority.*
*This comment was solicited by The Heartland Institute of Chicago, IL, and is among others submitted featured at its blog.
We are delighted to present Lessons in Freedom, essays by Dr. Tibor Machan, for your pleasure.
Dr. Machan holds the R. C. Hoiles Chair in Business Ethics & Free Enterprise at Chapman University's Argyros School of B&E.