President Obama and Vice President Biden mirrored each other’s thematics particularly well last night. They were on point with regard to redistribution of wealth and foreign policy. They were shoulder-to-shoulder on government spending and fibs about Obama’s personal history. But where they really came together was in the proposition that everyone who doesn’t vote for the Obama/Biden ticket is unpatriotic.
In little-noticed line in Biden’s speech, he laid the groundwork for this absurdly insulting argument. “I’ve got news for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan, it has never, never, ever, been a good bet to bet against the American people,” he said. The implication is obvious: Romney and Ryan and their political allies want to bet against the American people. This is insipid, since it is the Democrats who bet against the American people by seizing their wealth and handling it themselves. It is Republicans who bet on the American people by relying on the American people to make their own financial decisions.
But no matter. Disloyalty to Barack is disloyalty to the American people.
Just in case you missed it, President Obama doubled down on this vitriolic stance. Twice. First, he claimed that to oppose redistributionism is to oppose basic notions of American citizenship:
We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk- takers, the entrepreneurs who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the greatest engine of growth and prosperity that the world's ever known.
But we also believe in something called citizenship — citizenship, a word at the very heart of our founding, a word at the very essence of our democracy, the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations …
Citizenship, then, is about us giving up our cash to one another. Or rather, rich citizens giving up their cash. Because what obligations are there for the poor under Obamaism? Only rich people can be good Obama citizens, and only rich people can be bad Obama citizens. But we can all be good Obama citizens by voting for Obama.
Is that reading too much into Obama’s words? Not really, since he followed up with this doozy:
We, the people recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only, what's in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.
As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That's what we believe.
So you see, the election four years ago wasn't about me. It was about you.
According to Obama, he embodies the best element of Americanism: communalism via government. He’s not a big fan of the church, and he’s not a big fan of entrepreneurial associations like the Chamber of Commerce. But he is a huge fan of “commitment to others” via “self-government.” In fact, only that value makes you patriotic. Anything else makes you unworthy of soldiers who died for America.
Obama’s citation of founding ideals here is nauseating. He does not give a damn about the Constitution of the United States – his view of the Constitution is the same as that of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and FDR, who saw it as a barrier to progress. He merely uses the Alinsky tactic of covering his radicalism in the flag.
And that’s what this election is about: a president who believes that all who oppose him oppose America. A president who believes he is the embodiment of the communal will. A president who thinks that his vision of America is the only vision of America that can earn you the title “patriot.” A president who is a demagogue.