Demagogues Need Not Apply
By Matt McDonald | January 11, 2017, 7:12 EST
President Barack Obama couldn’t resist descending into demagoguery during his farewell address Tuesday night.
It was billed as an uplifting, forward-looking speech, and if you look past the rhetorical tricks he used to make it look as if his administration has brought us prosperity, you could say it was.
But there were a couple of ugly moments that must be rebutted if we are to have a healthy political discussion in this country.
“If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades are going to be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves,” he said.
This is race-baiting disguised as calling out race-baiting.
Which politicians talk like this?
A more honest discussion would center on what the proper role of government is when it comes to poor people, whoever they may be.
We have in America many people who prefer to game the system than to provide for themselves. That’s not a racial statement. It’s a statement of fact. It’s not about the color of anyone’s skin; it’s about the content of some people’s character.
But more to the point, it’s a comment on the incentives some politicians have created because they prefer to use public money as a sort of campaign war chest, spreading it around where future votes are to be found. Since at least the 1960s, such politicians have created dependency on the government that is in no one’s best interests except, possibly, their own.
But Obama’s next statement was even worse:
“If we’re unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants just because they don’t look like us, we will diminish the prospects of our own children because those brown kids will represent a larger and larger share of America’s workforce,” he said.
Translated, this comes across as both an insult and a threat. It appears to mean that every skeptic of immigration is a racist, and that the racists’ children are going to suffer because the racists wouldn’t “invest” in Latinos who will soon outnumber them.
How absurd. And what better evidence is there that many on the Left do not understand what just happened in this country?
To begin with, when a liberal politician asks you to “invest,” grab your wallet. He’s about to try to lift some of your money and create a government program with it that likely will help no one except, possibly, himself.
But let’s get to the heart of the matter.
Later in the speech Obama noted that America has racial problems. So does every country on earth that has more than one race. We just happen to handle racial differences better than any other country on earth. We are the least racist society in the history of the planet. People from all over the world come here for economic opportunity, but in short order they are stunned by how quickly they are accepted and how openly and freely they can live.
That’s who Americans are and what we’re about. So when an ordinary American pushes back against government immigration policy, it isn’t because he’s a racist. It’s because most Americans are fed up with a government that refuses to protect them from terrorists who come here from abroad; and they’re fed up with transfer payments from able-bodied working people who come from here to able-bodied non-working people who come here from somewhere else.
Think this is all rhetoric?
Consider the Tsarnaevs of Boston Marathon fame. We let them into this country from a faraway place; we paid them welfare and gave them all kinds of government services for years; when one or more of them committed relatively minor crimes, we did not kick them out; when one of them became a radical terrorist wannabe, we investigated and then let it drop; when that one and his brother committed mayhem and murder, we watched as their family members went back to their country of origin and then continued to collect welfare from an EBT card, which we found out about more than a year later.
To sum up: We let them in. We paid them. They stole from us. They killed us. We continued to pay them.
If you are an American citizen and you are against any or all of the things described in the above two paragraphs, does that make you a racist unwilling to “invest in the children of immigrants just because they don’t look like us”?
Or does it make you someone unwilling to commit cultural suicide?
When later Obama mentioned the difficulties encountered by past immigrants like Irish and Italians and Poles, he left out two important differences: Terrorism and transfer payments. There’s nothing racial about them.
Of the immigrants of old he said: “these newcomers embraced this nation’s creed.”
Talk about begging the question. What about all the people we are letting in who don’t “embrace this nation’s creed”?
If liberals would like to have a free and fair exchange of ideas when it comes to immigration, let’s have it. Possibly there are new approaches and compromises to be worked out.
But before any such discussion can begin, check the demagoguery at the door.