Jewish World Review Jan 27, 2012/ 3 Shevat, 5772
Obama's vision for a Spartan America
By Jonah Goldberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Obama's State of the Union address was disgusting.
The president began with a moving tribute to the armed forces and their accomplishments. But as he has done many times now, he celebrated martial virtues not to rally support for the military, but to cover himself in glory -- he killed
He said of the military: "At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They're not consumed with personal ambition. They don't obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach."
That is disgusting.
What Obama is saying, quite plainly, is that America would be better off if it wasn't America any longer. He's making the case not for American exceptionalism, but Spartan exceptionalism.
It's far worse than anything
Indeed, Obama is upending the very point of a military in a free society. We have a military to keep our society free. We do not have a military to teach us the best way to give up our freedom. Our warriors surrender their liberties and risk their lives to protect ours. The promise of American life for Obama is that if we all try our best and work our hardest, we can be like a military unit striving for a single goal. I've seen pictures of that from
Of course, Obama's militaristic fantasizing isn't new. Ever since
This is why Obama's administration believes a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. This is why Obama has been prattling about "Sputnik moments" and sighing over his envy of
At the end of his address, Obama once again cast the slain bin Laden as the Vercingetorix to his Caesar. (Vercingetorix was the defeated Gaulic chieftain whom Caesar triumphantly paraded through
The warriors on the ground "only succeeded ... because every single member of that unit did their job. ... More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other -- because you can't charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there's somebody behind you, watching your back. So it is with America."
"This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other's backs."
No. Wrong. It is not so with America. This nation isn't great because we work as a team with the president as our captain. America is great because America is free. It is great not because we put our self-interest aside, but because we have the right to pursue happiness.
I don't blame the president for being exhausted with the mess and bother of democracy and politics, since he has proved so inadequate at coping with the demands of both. Nor do I think he truly seeks to impose martial virtues on America. But he does desperately want his opponents to shut up and march in place. And he seems to think this bilge will convince them to do so.
What I can't forgive, however, is the way he tries to pass off his ideal of an America where everyone marches as one as a better America. It wouldn't be America at all.
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