by Dr. Walter Williams
Dr. Thomas Sowell, in “Dismantling America,” said in reference to President Obama, “That such an administration could be elected in the first place, headed by a man whose only qualifications to be president of the United States at a dangerous time in the history of the world were rhetoric, style and symbolism — and whose animus against the values and institutions of America had been demonstrated repeatedly over a period of decades beforehand — speaks volumes about the inadequacies of our educational system and the degeneration of our culture.” Obama is by no means unique; his characteristics are shared by other Americans, but what is unique is that no other time in our history would such a person been elected president. That says a lot about the degeneration of our culture, values, thinking abilities and acceptance of what’s no less than tyranny. As Sowell says, “Barack Obama is unlike any other President of the United States in having come from a background of decades of associations and alliances with people who resent this country and its people.” In 2008, Americans voted for Obama’s change. Let’s look at some of it.
Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius threatened that there would be “zero tolerance” for “misinformation” in response to an insurance company executive who said that ObamaCare would create costs that force up health insurance premiums. That’s not only an attack on our constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights but an official threat against people who express views damaging to the administration.
Not to be outdone by his HHS secretary’s attack on free speech, Obama wants full disclosure of the names of people who were backers of campaign commercials critical of his administration, saying that there has been a “flood of deceptive attack ads sponsored by special interests, using front groups with misleading names.” Disclosure would leave administration critics open to government and mob retaliation.
Obama and his congressional and union allies have lectured us that socialized medicine is the cure for the nation’s ills, but I have a question. If socialized medicine, Obamacare, is so great for the nation, why permit anyone to be exempted from it? It turns out that as of the end of November, Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary has issued over 200 waivers to major labor unions such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union and Transport Workers Union of America and major companies such as McDonald’s and Darden Restaurants, which operates Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Keep in mind that the power to grant waivers is also the power not to grant waivers. Such power can be used to reward administration friends and punish administration critics by saddling them with millions of dollars of health care costs.
Obama’s heath care legislation contains deviousness that has become all too common in Washington. What was sold to the American people as health care reform legislation includes a provision that would more heavily regulate and tax gold coin and bullion transactions. Whether gold and bullion transactions should or should not be more heavily regulated and taxed is not the issue. The administration’s devious inclusion of it as a part of health care reform is.
Fighting government intrusion into our lives is becoming increasingly difficult for at least two reasons. The first reason is that educators at the primary, secondary and university levels have been successful in teaching our youngsters to despise the values of our Constitution and the founders of our nation — “those dead, old, racist white men.” Their success in that arena might explain why educators have been unable to get our youngsters to read, write and compute on a level comparable with other developed nations; they are too busy proselytizing students.
The second reason is we’ve become a nation of thieves, accustomed to living at the expense of one another and to accommodate that we’re obliged to support tyrannical and overreaching government.
Adolf Hitler had it right when he said, “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”
Walter E. Williams
Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well.