This past Friday, Team Obama stepped on to the court in my backyard and at my alma mater, the University of Richmond. I’m happy to report that the home team, the Richmond Tea Party, showed up to defend our fine city, peacefully demonstrating outside the Robbins Center where President Obama spoke. Some of his cheerleaders—the college students who haven’t yet figured out that they’re about to enter a workforce in which their demographic suffers from the highest unemployment rate—trotted out the old standby chant of, “Four more years!”
I thought, Four more years of what? Big-Government policies that squash freedom and eventually topple economies?
While President Obama has certainly slammed the accelerator to the mat on those types of policies since 2009*, he simply is serving the same economic ideology that has increasingly governed both major political parties for a hundred years. The ideological degrees vary, the faces and the rhetoric change, but it’s the same message we’ve heard in America for far too long.
“We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably attained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had [emphasis mine], but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”
And so began the century-long (and counting) war among the classes, the purpose of which is to expand governmental control over our lives.
There was no need to watch President Obama’s big speech before Congress on Thursday, because we’ve already heard it from him consistently since he stepped onto the campaign trail in 2007 (which he has never left). The only things that change are some of the numbers behind the policies and the focus group tested phrases used to describe those policies. But when you fan away all the smoke, you find nothing but old fashioned class warfare. This drives much of what our President does.
Instinctively, he knows this, because in his speech he insisted, “This isn’t class warfare,” after earlier advocating making “the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.” Audible laughter from Congress ensued, as it did around America because the majority finally sees through this President. They know the only tactic he has left to convince us to support a stimulus package of $447,000,000,000 after the abysmal failure of the last one is to convince us that greedy rich people who don’t want to “pay their fair share” must be forced to open their wallets for the “good of society.”
President Obama is merely the latest in a long line of Big-Government politicians to play class warfare politics, pitting classes of Americans against each other, teaching many contempt for the rich while coveting what they have earned. This is how we end up with redistributive policies, such as a 70,000-page tax code, much of which is meant to reward and punish political allies and opponents; the Community Reinvestment Act that was involved in helping blow the housing bubble that burst, leading to the financial crisis of 2008 (which hasn’t yet been solved); and Obamacare, which is loaded with new taxes and regulations, further hammering an already crippled economy. These examples, along with many others, collectively are why America is now speeding toward an economic black hole that we soon may not be able to pull back from.
Those University of Richmond students who want “Four more years!” should take a few moments to realize that they’re actually riding a shuttle that was launched a hundred years ago. It has accelerated and decelerated in varying degrees over that century, but the ultimate destination is clear, as they’ll soon learn when they attempt to enter the over-regulated workforce full time.
I believe a valuable addition to the Voices of the Tea Party series would be an e-book explaining to college students the fruits of the policies many of them support. Then when they graduate into firsthand experience in a managed economy, maybe instead of wanting “A hundred more years!” they’ll open their eyes and will join the Tea Party’s efforts to immediately turn the shuttle around and speed in the opposite direction, treating all Americans equally and fostering cooperation rather than contempt, throwing out our entire tax code and replacing it with a uniform tax rate, removing government from the housing and health care industries—and many others—and allowing the free market to naturally produce more prosperity for all our people. If we choose this over class warfare for the next hundred years—or even ten—we may not only survive this fiscal crisis but thrive again and restore America to her basic founding principles that made it the greatest nation the world has ever known.
*I believe the Obama presidency has always been a race against time. His goal was to transfer as much power as possible from the people to the government and that by the time the American public woke up to his game it would be too late for them to stop the power grab. But what he—and no one else—anticipated was the birth and rapid development of an enormous non-partisan movement dedicated to restoring America to the founding principles of a limited government and an empowered citizenry. We the People have put our lives on hold to ensure that we preserve some form of freedom for our children and teach them to expand it when they take our place.
Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virgina Tea Party.