Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Obama Calls On Young Americans to Serve (Him)

In Barack Obama's Wesleyan Commencement Address he urges students to dedicate their lives to service to others rather than the pursuit of money. Obama equates altruism and collectivism with Americanism:

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.

Obama doesn't seem to understand that individualism and the rational self-interest of our "money culture" are expressed in America's founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation.

He has it backward. America's prosperity and liberty depend on individual prosperity and individual liberty. Why does the poorest American today have luxuries that kings did not have 100 years ago? Because Americans have been free to pursue their greed in a free market. Because rapacious capitalists have made billions of dollars in profits that Obama considers obscene and thinks should be taken from them. Battalions of social workers wiping babies' butts in ghettoes will not create an ounce of wealth that can be invested in our future and make us more prosperous. New cures for diseases, new drugs, life extension, higher quality of life -- all of these things and many more depend on capital savings invested by individual capitalists. All the state can do -- if it tries to do more than protect and defend individual rights -- is interfere with that process. When the state interferes with the economy it only destroys; it destroys wealth and it destroys our future.

But then, Obama probably does not equate prosperity with our "collective salvation." Maybe he thinks we would be better off spiritually if we were all wallowing in mud in an orgy of mutual self-sacrifice.

You don’t have to be a community organizer or do something crazy like run for President.

Doesn't that just make you want to throw up? Yes, Obama is merely doing his community service by attempting to gain power over America and enslave us all to his vision of collectivism and altruism. You so crazy, Obama!

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.

Our moral standing does not depend on America sacrificing more for the socialist hell-holes of the world in make work programs like the Peace Corps that serve only to allow altruist young Americans to strut around in moral exhibitionism. Those forgotten corners of the world that think America is in low moral standing do not understand American liberty and capitalism -- and neither does Barack Obama, who might spend the next four years working to destroy it from the Oval Office.

At a time when our ice caps are melting and our oceans are rising, we need you to help lead a green revolution. We still have time to avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change if we get serious about investing in renewable sources of energy, and if we get a generation of volunteers to work on renewable energy projects, and teach folks about conservation, and help clean up polluted areas; if we send talented engineers and scientists abroad to help developing countries promote clean energy.

The man is ready to enchain our economy for a fantasy.

At a time when a child in Boston must compete with children in Beijing and Bangalore, we need an army of you to become teachers and principals in schools that this nation cannot afford to give up on. I will pay our educators what they deserve, and give them more support, but I will also ask more of them to be mentors to other teachers, and serve in high-need schools and high-need subject areas like math and science.

He plans to turn American education into another welfare state scheme of redistributing wealth.

On the big issues that our nation faces, difficult choices await. 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.

Ever notice how power-lusters are always willing to make the rest of us sacrifice? We're all just insignificant parts of Obama's excellent community service adventure; we exist only so he can dictate how we will all suffer and then preen about his altruist morality.

You know, Ted Kennedy often tells a story about the fifth anniversary celebration of the Peace Corps. He was there, and he asked one of the young Americans why he had chosen to volunteer. And the man replied, “Because it was the first time someone asked me to do something for my country.”

I don’t know how many of you have been asked that question, but after today, you have no excuses. I am asking you, and if I should have the honor of serving this nation as President, I will be asking again in the coming years.

How do you "ask" something with a gun in your hand? That's like the Godfather saying, "I'm asking you to do me a favor." You can do what he asks or you can end up at the bottom of the East River. The whole apparatus and propaganda of the welfare state serve only to obfuscate the common denominator between the Godfather and Barack Obama.

If Obama becomes President, we will be electing a mediocrity who is too goddamned stupid to understand that you cannot make America better by violating individual rights. All Obama can do with his altruist-statist-collectivist premises is make America less free, less prosperous, less happy and less successful. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will all suffer at the dictates of a two-bit, sanctimonious, dull-witted social worker. Obama will leave America mired in cynicism, bitterness and despair because statism does not work. And he will do it all while orating insufferable banalities about service to the collective.

If McCain is elected, we will be electing the same ignoramus.


Monica said...

I love it. I did not see much of the text for this speech before now. It is infuriating!

One of my friends returned from the Peace Corps about 5 years ago. Despite the fact that she does buy into many altruist premises, she's basically a decent, hardworking individual -- by no means an Objectivist. She gave a talk at my university about her experience in the Peace Corps in Fiji. Her conclusion, to the entire audience? "The people of Fiji don't need the Peace Corps. We're just wasting our time and money there."

Wow. If someone who is a believer can come back from such an experience and say that, I think that really sends a message. (I have Christian friends that have said similar things about foreign aid and the Peace Corps after their experiences.)

These are the rational people on the left and the right whose sense of life gives me some hope -- in addition to the fact that Objectivist ideas ARE spreading. All such people need are the intellectual tools to combat this nonsense. The rest of the Obama types who continue to advocate this junk are not our concern.

Richard said...

Wow Monica,
I'd like to meet you; someone with a brain (besides Myrhaf ;-) !

you wrote, "He plans to turn American education into another welfare state scheme of redistributing wealth."

I see your comment as a "cri de coeur", and I as a teacher of the sciences bear the same pain.

I had a student who's suicide was an unmistakable consequence of modern education! I wanted to "go Postal" on everyone at his funeral! His death was the second greatest pain of my 57 years.

I think that educational welfare accomplished was fully accomplished in 19th Century, America... the rest was details.

Now we are suffering the fallout.

And, it's brutal. In twenty years I'll be forced to live under a bridge, beneath a road over which no one drives.

Myrhaf said...

Fascinating comments from both Monica and Richard. Thank you.

Mike said...

In a twisted sense, I am glad that Obama is about to be elected. His administration will serve as a filtration device through which to enlighten the next 15-20% who, having never been taught the fundamental morality of capitalism, are still under the illusion that collectivism and statism are valid answers. Starting with health care and trickling all the way down to the price at the pump, Obama's policies will fail on every single metric, and this time the left will not have Dubya as a scapegoat. The media machine will go into overdrive trying to pin the tail on the donkey, but those 15-20% will see enough with their own eyes to join the 5-10% who already understand the morality of capitalism. Splitting the next vote, the capitalist bloc can be decisive even at the primary level. Whether there will be a candidate who has a clue about this is another issue.

Myrhaf said...

I hope you're right, Mike. Unfortunately, I don't think American voters are insane enough (yet) to vote for an explicit leftist. I think they will vote for McCain, who will then speak in the typical Republican way and govern as much of a statist as Obama. There will not be the clarity you and I hope for.

Richard said...

Mike, I had the same hope, until Obama came out as Left as he has. Now I have to agree with Myrhaf.

I now wish that Obama gets elected, because a) his policies will reveal the intellectual ruin of the Dems, and b) the Republicans may well think that pursuit of the religious right was pointless.

So my faint hope is, that in one Presidency, the American electorate might see the idiotic direction they have been taking. Then the hope is that party policy-makers will see the same point and provide some sort of capitalistic substance in their campaign that voters will understand.

This is from a Canadian counting on America to, again, set the standard for a civilized Western society. It sure ain't comin' from up here!

Mike said...

Bank on it, gentlemen. Obama is the next president. He knows it, he just can't say anything or it will queer the pitch.

My wife's best friend is a lobbyist and has been active in local Republican party leadership since high school. Her take on this is a pretty aggressive prediction, but I have to admit that all the elements are better-than-plausible:

Hillary was Obama's last great threat. Without an upset in NC and OR, Obama got to breathe a sigh of relief knowing the math finally landed on his side. The DNC knows this, too, and might have picked him even in a closer contest, because of the GOP settling on McCain.

Hillary was the initial front-runner because her best match-up was Romney, the initial GOP front-runner. Hillary hoped not to face McCain because he is her worst matchup. Where she is weak, he is at least mediocre, and where she is strong, he is stronger. On the other hand, McCain is an incredibly good matchup for Obama, weak where Obama is strong and strong in areas Obama can safely ignore or downplay. Obama would have struggled against Romney and a galvanized Deep Right, but now he doesn't have to worry about that.

Ignore the sound and fury of the Republican media machine; the voting public certainly will come October/November. If McCain picks Romney as his VP, he will win AZ, NV, UT, CO, MI, OH, and MA based on the spillover strength in his ticket. If McCain picks anyone else for VP, he will be Walter Mondale 1984 all over again and win nothing but AZ. He is incredibly weak as a candidate right now and it is becoming more apparent every week. If Vegas was taking bets with odds on the election, that's how I would be placing my bets.

Myrhaf said...

I have a hard time believing McCain is that weak with his appeal to independents. And many Republicans, even some conservatives who don't like McCain, will be scared by Obama's leftism into voting for McCain. But one thing this primary season has taught us is that strange things can happen.

Kyle Haight said...

I think we're looking at a phase change or inflection point in American politics. At such points, traditional alliances dissolve and reform in new ways. When that happens, the resulting changes often surprise observers in their scale and speed. (Think of the collapse of Communism as an example.)

Myrhaf said...

I've been wondering about that, Kyle. Cultures change continuously and at some point the old models need to be rethought or even thrown out. If America was the same country it was in 1984, I would have no doubt the election would be a similar blowout of the Democrat, even though McCain is more explicitly statist than Reagan.

Jim May said...

You can choose to narrow your concerns and live your life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America’s.

No, Mr. Obama. Living our lives that way IS America's story.

Monica said...

Totally. Talk about revisionist history!

Myrhaf, I'm glad you posted a link to this whole thing. I had no idea the entire speech was so bad. Ugh!

khartoum said...


I am from India and the more i hear about the election, the dumber the candidates sound. I have heard that women are voting for Hilary Clinton simply because she is a woman. Take a pause and analyze that. What are we, fourth grade kids who shout, "Girls are better than boys."?

In Barack Obama we find another dumb fellow who simply has no idea of the value of the greatest document in history - The Declaration Of Independence. He reminds me so much of those Indian professors to whome communism and capitalism are just different schools of thought.

Effects and justice are never the criteria.

Myrhaf said...

Khartoum, multiculturalism has brought the Democrat Party to this pass. Instead of judging candidates by abstract ideas and policies, it all comes down to tribalism.