Equality as a basis for society doesn’t work. History provides vivid accounts of the failure of societies whose goal was total equality. Two of the more notable examples are the French Revolution, and former Soviet Union. It is ironic that the more ardent the perpetrators of equality-i.e. French revolutionaries and Russian Marxists- the more violent they become. It is an exercise in futility and is inherently dangerous to attempt to redesign society along the lines of total equality.
In his landmark, social critique entitled, Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver warns of the danger of those wielding the olive branch of equalitarianism,
“I would mention here the fact, obvious to any candid observer, that “equality” is found most often in the mouths of those engaged in artful self-promotion. These secretly cherish the ladder to high designs but find that they can mount the lower rungs more easily by making use of the catchword. We do not necessarily grudge them their rise, but the concept they foster is fatal to the harmony of the world.”
Barack Obama was not around when Weaver penned these words but one would be hard pressed to find a better incarnation.
Obama’s campaign began like that of the antichrist foretold in the Book of Revelation – riding a white horse and carrying a bow with no arrows. He spoke of peace, unity, change, and equality. He tickled the ears of throngs of swooning supporters and even caught the attention of people not easily mesmerized by populist themes. Obama became an opiate that a high following could not get enough of. That was the old Obama.
At some point in time, however, Obama began to reveal his true agenda. His rhetoric shifted from idealistic platitudes to outright class warfare. For example, consider Obama’s statements about residents of small town America delivered to his left-wing faithful in San Francisco back in April,
“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
As if that weren’t troubling enough, a few weeks later, Obama responded to statements made by McCain about his private property by saying,
“I guess if you think that being rich means you gotta make five million dollars, and if you don’t know how many houses you have, then it’s not surprising that you might think the economy is fundamentally strong. “
This effort by Obama and company to portray McCain as elitist and out of touch may have scored with an unsuspecting public but to any discerning ear, it smacks of equalitarianism. It is a scary thing that a politician of any party should use property ownership as a means for pitting one set of Americans against another. It is likely a futile effort to remind Senator Obama that property ownership- a.k.a the pursuit of happiness- was one of the “inalienable rights” that Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence.
Obama’s efforts at divide and conquer, however, have not been limited to social status. He has also sought to split the country along racial lines. In a stump speech in Missouri Obama claimed,
“Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” Obama said. “You know,
he's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name,' you know,he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.'”
It is patently obvious to what Obama is referring. His use of racial politics is petty, self-serving, and not worthy of the legacy handed him by Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and others.Is Obama suffering from some sort of political amnesia? Has he forgotten the message of change and hope that ushered him to the center of a likely political coup? No, the reality is that after months of hiding his stripes we are finally getting to see them. Obama’s ends may sound novel and inspiring but his means bear out the old adage, “The devil is in the details.”