Like chewing gum stuck to the heel of your shoe, racism seems to be stuck forever to American public discourse. No matter what we do or what happens, somebody will find a racial motive.
Democrats have passed government health care with no Republican votes. Their leadership threatened and bribed their own members to eek out a majority. They resorted to an arcane procedure that maybe 100 people in the whole country can explain in order to pass a massive bill that polls show a majority of Americans don’t want.
The federal government, for the first time ever, will force every American to buy, with a big chunk of their income, a product designed by government bureaucrats, with an army of IRS agents snooping on each of us to make sure we did it.
And how are many liberals explaining why so many Americans are ticked off?
It’s because our president is black. It’s about racism.
I’m steamed. And even though I happen to be black – I’ve even spoken at some-tea party rallies – I still must be a racist.
Obama’s approval rating has dropped from 70 percent when he was elected to 50 percent today. His disapproval has skyrocketed from 10 percent when he was elected to 42 percent today.
Per the Washington Post, in January 2009 58 percent of Americans said that the Obama presidency helped race relations. By January 2010, this was down to 40 percent.
Has this wave of disillusionment with Obama been driven by a sudden realization that the man Americans elected president is black?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approval has dropped from 41 percent in January 2009 to 36 percent today, and her disapproval has risen from 42 percent to 54 percent. Is she black?
Were the raucous town halls last summer – which fueled the growing tea-party movement – where irate constituents gave their representatives a piece of their mind about Obamacare racially motivated?
Care to understand what all this is really about?
Consider a powerful observation about a former time by one of America’s great historians, Jacques Barzun. Barzun was a professor and dean at Columbia University and a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner.
“We make a great mistake in calling the American War of Independence, the ‘American Revolution,’” he wrote. “In 1776 the Americans rebelled against recent rules and impositions. What they wanted was not a new type of government, but the old type they enjoyed. They were used to many freedoms, which they claimed as the immemorial rights of Englishmen. Once they defeated the English armies and expelled the Loyalists, they went back to their former ways, which they modestly enlarged, and codified in the Bill of Rights.”
In a similar fashion today, Americans are rebelling as the freedom we have enjoyed, freedom that defines life in this country, is being taken away and new “rules and impositions” are being imposed.
It’s not about theory or some abstract ideology. The intense feelings flow from losing what you have and what you know is vital.
What is new today is we can no longer continue the illusion of having our cake and eating it. We can no longer afford to be both a big-government entitlement state and a free, creative and prosperous nation. It’s the prosperity created by our freedom that has financed the entitlements. But now the entitlements are overtaking and strangling our freedom.
So now is a time of choosing. We’re either going to remain the land of the free or transform into the land of the bureaucrat.
The antipathy of activists toward Mr. Obama is not about how he looks but what he has done – that he has chosen and imposed on us the path of bureaucracy.