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Was George Washington ‘Paranoid’ Too?

A question for Michael Medved and other “moderates.”

by
Mary Grabar

Bio

February 22, 2011 - 12:00 am
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A reading of his speeches (especially the pre-“shellacking” ones) shows that the religion Obama most respects is Islam. And what of patriotism? Everything from declaring himself a “citizen of the world” while on the international stage to bowing before Saudi princes to refraining from saying the Pledge of Allegiance indicates where Obama’s allegiances lie.

Allegiance to the Constitution is a duty that is “sacredly obligatory upon all,” said Washington. But Obama’s Constitution-subverting actions are legion — from the unprecedented government takeover of a private car company to the health care bill now being challenged in the courts on Constitutional grounds.

Washington reminds future generations that “the very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.” The Constitution provides a hedge against the sort of “mere hypothesis and opinion” that leads to “perpetual change” and, ultimately, anarchy, chaos, and despotism. “Resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles,” Washington writes.

What was Obama’s campaign slogan?  That’s right: “change.” He aims to change the country in a fundamental way, casting Republicans’ objections to his Constitution-subverting actions as “obstructionist.”

Washington’s parting words were intended to advance unity based on American allegiance and faithfulness to the Constitution. Obama’s strategy has been to pit Americans against each other — to not only “not let a crisis go to waste,” in the words of Rahm Emanuel, but to manufacture crises where there are none. We all remember the use of Henry Louis Gates’ arrest to begin a conversation on “race” — to stir up racial resentments that lead to what Washington warns against: “the spirit of revenge.”

In fact, in opposition to his claims of “bipartisanship,” Obama has done everything he can to divide the nation.

He doesn’t sound like a unifier to me. Nor does he by Washington’s standards. For him, national unity provides the “political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed.”

Oh, could we have “internal enemies” who act “covertly”? Or would Michael Medved call that “paranoia”?

By Medved’s estimation such treason could never afflict the office of president, for John Adams prayed that “May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof,” and Franklin Roosevelt ordered “the inscription of these words on a mantel piece in the State Dining Room.” Therefore, the record of the White House “of more than 200 years shows plenty of bad decisions but no bad men. For all their foibles, every president attempted to rise to the challenges of leadership and never displayed disloyal or treasonous intent.” Ergo, it would be impossible for Barack Obama to be disloyal or treasonous. In fact, we must attribute to him that universal desire of all U.S. presidents — “to secure a positive verdict on their own place in history.”

Well, it depends on which country’s history. Obama has already demonstrated that he values the opinion of world tyrants over America and her allies. We also have plenty of evidence from twentieth-century history to show that megalomaniac leaders don’t always act in such rational ways.

Michael Medved, in his opinion piece in the venerable Wall Street Journal, continues his radio program’s “conspiracy” hours,” by attacking “the president’s most paranoid critics.”

But let me propose a “conspiracy theory” of my own. The community organizer’s strategy is to use the tools of democracy to bring it down. That’s why comments emanating from the White House are often unbelievably insulting and divisive. They are intended to provoke outrage — and to deliberately give up the game just enough so that some will see the naked emperor and some who like to present themselves as “reasonable moderates” will dismiss such concerns as evidence of paranoia. They will distance themselves from these people who are not the professoriate, think tank fellows, or svelte television announcers.

Thus, the “moderates” will be pitted against the “conservatives” — many of them the average plumbers, accountants, and housewives that go to tea parties.  Others, like Rush Limbaugh, are the ready targets for singling out by name and being denied access to forums that “moderates” have access to. Far from promoting the kind of unity that George Washington encouraged, our community-organizer-in-chief has not only used his office to rile up the resentful masses, but to split the opposition.

A “conspiracy theory”? Maybe. But I would think that George Washington would say that it is not unreasonable, given the evidence, to suspect that our own president is conspiring against his own country.

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Mary Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and teaches in Atlanta. She is organizing the Resistance to the Re-Education of America at www.dissidentprof.com. Her writing can be found at www.marygrabar.com. Subscribe to dispatches here.
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