A new Pew Research survey shows that the number of Americans who consider themselves “lower class” has climbed dramatically in President Obama’s America. More importantly, a full 77 percent of Americans thought it was harder to get ahead now than it was 10 years ago; just 51 percent said hard work bring success.
And this is precisely how Obama wants it.
The American dream is exactly those two principles: first, that in America, hard work results in success; second, that in America, you will leave your children better off than you were.
Both principles have been undermined by Obama. His rhetoric consistently suggests that hard work doesn’t result in success. Instead, you need luck and a handout. That’s exactly what the “you didn’t build that” speech was about:
I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help … The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
There is a corollary to this argument: if you don’t succeed, it’s not because you didn’t work hard. It’s because the government – and society more broadly – failed you.
As to the belief that you will leave America to your children in a better position than it is now, Obama has undermined that, too. That’s why so many Obama-allied economists have suggested that 8 percent unemployment is the “new normal.” It is under Obama. Obama wants to freeze the world as is, then gradually shrink American power.
In fact, it’s his argument for re-election. Things are bad, and they’re not going to get any better. You are helpless on your own. We are all victims.
But we are “stronger together,” as Obama says. You need the government. It’s the “only thing we all belong to,” as the DNC slogan went.
And you need something more. You need a leader. A leader like President Obama to tell you who the bad guys are, and how to target them.
Obama’s campaign isn’t about hope. It’s about despair: despair for the American dream. Instead, he posits a New American Dream: an American dream in which we are all more equal because we all share our successes and failures, but in which those success are minor and those failures are more widespread. Sure, it’s fairer. Sure, it’s more comforting – it doesn’t imply that if you fail, it’s because of your own failings. But it’s not a dream. It’s a nightmare.