Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Obama, Government, Politics and War

If only, writes Victor David Hanson, President Obama would show the same aggressiveness towards thug dictators that he demonstrates towards evil Republicans.
I cannot recall, in the last five years, Barack Obama ever identifying the Iranians, Hezbollah, or the late Hugo Chavez as among our “enemies,” in the fashion that he once urged Latino leaders to punish conservatives at the polls: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”
I've written about this in the recent past.  In fact I am always writing about it.  Our liberal friends are always making allowances for foreign governments, allowances that they never make about conservatives and Republicans.  For conservatives it's "punch back twice as hard" or "bring a gun to a knife fight."

The explanation is, of course, very simple.  Government always needs a war to justify its resort to force.  The war that President Obama and his people are waging is the war against conservatives.  In this they are not conjuring up straw men or imagining enemies on the right; conservatives really are the people that stand in the way of liberals and their vision for a better society.  Conservatives really are the enemy.

Now I like to say that government is force, politics is division, system is domination.  But war is the intersection of all these notions.  Why start with politics unless you have a war to wage against a monstrous enemy?  Why win control of the government unless you mean to mobilize the nation to arms?  And how can that war be waged without the systematic domination of the nation and the culture and the conversion of all interests and factions to the single overriding need to win the war?

Now we know what Republicans were missing in 2008 and 2012.  They were missing a reason to go to war.  It is not enough to rally your supporters and paint a vision of a glorious future of good jobs as Mitt Romney did.  You must have an enemy to vanquish, and President Obama was off the table because that would be racist.

In 2008 the Democrats had George W. Bush to run against.  In 2012 they had the monster Mitt Romney that had put a dog on the roof of his car and ruined the life of laid-off steelworker Joe Soptic.   And did they ever.

In 2014 and 2016 it is obvious what Republicans will be running against.  They will be running against the corruption and the injustice of Obama.  And the IRS and the NSA and Obamacare and scandals yet unseen that demonstrate that, for the Obamis, there is no law that should hinder them in their righteous war against "Republicans and all they stand for."  Republicans will be running against Big Government.  But not, of course, against the vital entitlements like Medicare and Social Security.  Oh no.  Those are insurance programs, for which we paid FICA taxes.  We are owed.

But what about foreign enemies, from radical Islam to thug Russia and ambitious China?  Shouldn't we be sounding the tocsin against those dangers?

In my view, we should use the Obama years as a chance to regroup: winter quarters, Valley Forge and all that.  Maybe we don't care about Islam in the Middle East so much.  Maybe our focus should be on Islam in the West.  Maybe Islam isn't the problem but liberalism is.  Just as the Carter interregnum provided a necessary pause before the Reagan years, maybe the Obama years give us a chance to think, and come up with a better strategy than the Bush occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

But we can never shrink from the truth that we are in a war.  We are in a war because war is the intersection of government, politics, and system.  There is no escape from it.  If you haven't figured out who the enemy is then you don't have a war and you can't enter the lists of politics or win the powers of government.

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