Pat Buchanan: The old republic and Obama's America
"Second Term Begins With a Sweeping Agenda for Equality," ran the eight-column banner in which The Washington Post captured the essence of Obama's second inaugural. There he declared:
"What binds this nation together ... what makes us exceptional - what makes us American - is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago."
Obama then quoted our Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Our "union," Obama went on, was "founded on the principles of liberty and equality."
Nice prose - and transparent nonsense.
How could the American Union have been founded on the principle of equality, when "equality" is not mentioned in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or the Federalist papers? How could equality be a founding principle of a nation, six of whose 13 original states had legalized slavery, and five of whose first seven Presidents owned slaves all their lives?
What Obama preached in his inaugural was not historical truth but progressive propaganda, an Orwellian rewrite of American history.
Undeniably, the post-Civil War 13th, 14th and 15th amendments established an equality of constitutional rights. And from the Brown decision of 1954 through the civil rights acts of the 1960s, there was established an equality of civil rights. Black Americans were assured equal access to schools, public accommodations, the voting booth and housing. And Congress and the people overwhelmingly supported those laws.
But if the nation did not establish equality of constitutional rights until the 1860s and equality of civil rights until the 1960s, how can Obama claim that "equality" has been the feature that "makes us American" and "binds this nation together."
How can he say that our commitment to equality is what makes us "exceptional" - when every Western country believes in equal rights for all of its citizens, and it was the French Revolution, not ours, that elevated "egalite" to a founding principle.
And when he says equality "is the star that guides us still," exactly what kind of equality is Obama talking about?
Answer: The equality of which Obama speaks is not an equality of rights but an equality of results, an idea that dates not to the Founding Fathers, who would have been appalled by the idea, but to the 1960s.
This equality is not a founding principle of the republic. It is ideological contraband. For such equality can only be achieved at the price of freedom, our true founding principle.
That idea that "all of us are created equal - is the star that guides us still," said Obama in his inaugural, "just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall."
Astonishing. The President is here making the brazen claim that the roots of modern feminism and gay rights can be traced straight back to the Founding Fathers and founding principles of our republic.
But how? The sanctum sanctorum of modern feminism is Roe v. Wade, the discovery of a constitutional right to an abortion. Yet, for every generation of Americans before 1973, abortion was a heinous crime.
And can anyone seriously argue that a barroom brawl with cops by homosexual patrons of Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in 1969 was but another battle in the long war for liberty begun at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill?
How could that be, when the author of the declaration Obama cites, Thomas Jefferson, believed homosexuality should be treated as rape, and George Washington ordered homosexuals drummed out of his army?
What Obama was attempting at the Capitol, with his repeated lifts from Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, was to portray his own and his party's egalitarianism as a continuation of the great cause that triumphed at Yorktown and Appomattox.
He is hijacking the American Revolution, claiming an ancestral lineage for his ideology that is utterly fraudulent and bogus.
Feminism, the gay rights movement and the post-1965 civil rights movement, with their demand for equality not simply of rights but of rewards, cannot be achieved without trampling on the freedoms for which the patriot fathers fought. And they cannot triumph without creating a permanent, mammoth and redistributionist state more powerful, intrusive and dictatorial than anything George III ever dreamed of.
The freedom of all Americans to compete academically, athletically, artistically and economically must inevitably result in an inequality of incomes, wealth and rewards.
Why? Because all men and women are by nature and nurture unequal. Some are talented, ambitious, industrious, lucky. And in a free society, such men and women will always reap a disproportionate share of fame and fortune.
The only way to equalize rewards is to take from those who have earned and give to those who have not. And that requires the kind of redistributionst regime the Founding Fathers would have risen up against.
As Obama's America rises, the old republic falls.
Pat Buchanan is a former Republican and Reform Party candidate for President, an adviser to two Presidents, a syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C., and the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"