The PJ Tatler

Peggy Noonan Misdiagnoses Riots' 'Root Causes'

Given her early and often effusive praise of the era of Obama following the 2008 election, I find it ironic that Peggy Noonan writes today of “riots and flash mobs” threatening our country. She includes an interesting admission that these events “have root causes that government can’t reach.” Is this the culmination of the Obama era of government she first envisioned?

She also accurately observes that the cause for the mayhem currently wracking Britain—and in transit to the U.S.—is, in a phrase, the result of a “lack of moral grounding.” The depressing truth, of course, she now attributes—quite accurately in my view—to “the distorting effects of the welfare state and a degenerate . . . popular culture.” Yet it is the very size and scope of the welfare state, with all its malignant dependency, that Barack Obama is hell-bent on expanding beyond recognition. Noonan says nothing about this. Indeed, Obama’s name is never once mentioned in her article.

One problem Ms. Noonan does seem to recognize is this: Like British youth today, America’s youth know little about our own country’s past. And, sadly, what they hear from our own president is little short of a full-throated indictment of our history. Given Obama’s non-stop denunciations of so much that is American, and his willingness to label amazingly large segments of our population as stupid if not hopelessly evil, is it any wonder a substantial portion of our youth care little for America’s past, and even less for its present? What young person would think otherwise if all they heard were Obama’s words filled with barely-concealed anger and disdain for our country?

The flash mobs in Philadelphia—with no knowledge of, much less allegiance to, what our founding fathers put into place—seem to want, in the now famous Obama phrase, fundamental “change” in America. So, Ms. Noonan, how is that “change” looking so far? And what will it look like a year from now if this administration continues along its present ideological trajectory or, God forbid, if Obama is rewarded with another four years beginning in January 2013?

In the meantime, even though we have myriad problems that government cannot reach, where are the personal examples of principled leadership from which the American people can take strength? There certainly isn’t one currently residing in the White House.