Speaking on Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, President Obama laid out his plan for the failing economy. After his hour-long mashup of old Keynesian bromides, leftist platitudes, authoritarian braggadocio, and demonization of political opponents, he concluded with this glittery line, paraphrasing writer Carl Sandburg:
America, we have made it through the worst of yesterday’s winds. And if we find the courage to keep moving forward; if we set our eyes on the horizon, we too will find an ocean of tomorrows, a sky of tomorrows – for America’s people, and for this great country that we love.
How will we reach these glorious seas and heavens of the future? By taking the Barack Obama Starship: “I have now run my last campaign. I do not intend to wait until the next one before tackling the issues that matter. I care about one thing and one thing only, and that’s how to use every minute of the 1,276 days remaining in my term to make this country work for working Americans again. Because I believe this is where America needs to go. I believe this is where the American people want to go.”
It’s all about him. Obama used the word “I” or one of its derivatives some 46 times in an hourlong speech. It’s as though the first term of Barack Obama never existed; he’s still dreaming of a fictional future without reference to his own failed past. Which is why he’s dooming America to repeat that past.
But, Obama assured Americans, this isn’t about Barack’s dream: “We haven’t just wanted success for ourselves – we’ve wanted it for our neighbors, too. That’s why we don’t call it John’s dream or Susie’s dream or Barack’s dream – we call it the American Dream. That’s what makes this country special – the idea that no matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from or who you love – you can make it if you try.”
If only he believed it. Sadly, Obama’s windbaggery doesn’t match his actual policies, which detract from individual liberty and success in favor of collectivism and failure. It turns out that Obama was right when he said in 2008 that his election would mark the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow. He was talking about the ocean of tomorrows. We just didn’t know it yet.
If Obama had wandered some 450 miles east, he could have seen his dream in action – in Detroit. He wouldn’t have to cross any oceans or skies to get there. He’d just have to keep his feet on the ground. But he obviously has trouble doing that.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).