Alexander's Column

Tyranny? What Tyranny?

Liberty Lesson 101 for the Class of 2013

By Mark Alexander · May 9, 2013
“The time to guard against corruption and tyranny, is before they shall have gotten hold on us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.” –Thomas Jefferson (1781)

In commencement remarks to graduates sparsely convened in the Ohio State University football stadium in Columbus last weekend, Barack Hussein Obama offered the following observations and advice:

“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted. We don’t think the government is the source of all our problems … we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it’s not about what America can do for us, it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government. And class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process.”

Clearly, Obama’s absurd and overtly partisan assertions were aimed at young constituents whom he hopes embody the future of his Socialist Democratic Party. After all, an effective speechmaker knows his audience, and Obama knows that most of these youthful citizens are indoctrinated in government institutions since they were weaned.

Indeed, the socialist protagonist, Karl Marx, wrote, “The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.” Marx’s disciple, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, concurred: “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

From the days of Woodrow Wilson to those of Barack Obama, and encompassing all the “progressives” in between, taxpayer-funded academic institutions have been the breeding ground for generations of socialists. For most leftists, the crucial years that cemented their worldview were the ones they spent in our nation’s colleges and universities.

Given that some substantial number of the adoring, bright-eyed beneficiaries of Obama’s rhetoric have no concept of Essential Liberty and its antithesis, tyranny, let me take apart the selected excerpt of Obama’s oration and provide those graduates with an introductory lesson in Liberty.

After all, most of the class of 2013 will have plenty of time to contemplate this lesson, as more than half of college and university graduates entering the “Obamanomic” job market will be either underemployed or unemployed until the primacy of free enterprise is restored.

Obama claimed, “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.”

I’m not sure what incessant voices those might be – certainly not those of our Founders – because a growing number of college graduates can’t name but a few if any. And they’re certainly not the voices of a majority of government schoolteachers and professors, who are little more than useful idiots in the service of socialism.

Obama might be talking about the handful of courageous young American Patriots on campuses across the nation – those who stand in the face of peer and professorial ridicule in order to speak in defense of Liberty. Or maybe he’s referring to that rarest of creatures, the conservative professor whose lone voice extols the virtues of Liberty amid the academic statism desert.

Or perhaps the voices Obama alludes to are those of the current generation of grassroots Patriots, who gave rise to the Tea Party movement a couple of years back. They fortunately “gummed up the works” in the 2010 midterm elections when they sent more than 70 Democrats packing and replaced them with grassroots conservatives to retake the House of Representatives. That provided a gauntlet to Obama’s socialist agenda, one that notably crushed the crown jewel of that agenda last month – his so-called “assault weapons” ban (known in our humble shop as the defensive weapons ban.)

Obama continued, “You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

Well, not quite. It is Obama and his statist cadres who believe that “we, the people” can’t be trusted, and thus he has perpetually campaigned since 2006 to implement his plan of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Obama’s objective is to reject the voices of those who support Liberty and the Rule of Law over the rule of men, the terminus of which is always tyranny. As Lord Acton famously wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Finally, Obama said, “We don’t think the government is the source of all our problems … we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it’s not about what America can do for us, it’s about what can be done by us, together…”

This is just a heap of unadulterated double-speak.

First, in regard to “the source of our problems,” I remind you of the inimitable words of Ronald Reagan, which are truer today than when he spoke them in 1981: “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” As his colleague Margaret Thatcher once said, “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. … They then start to nationalise everything and … control everything by other means.”

Sound familiar, class?

Second, we are not a “democracy,” but a Constitutional Republic. Of course, a “community organizer” wouldn’t know the difference, but someone who bills himself a “constitutional scholar” should!

Third, “it’s not about what America can do for us”? This is clearly some kind of cheap JFK knockoff. John Kennedy, of course, said, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” But Obama has built his constituent voter blocs on the exact opposite theme, “Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you.”

And, when Obama says, “it’s about what can be done by us, together,” he’s not talking about equal partners, but about government dominion over people. This is in keeping with the socialist theme trumpeted at the grand opening of his 2012 Demo Confab: “Government is the only thing we all belong to!”

To summarize, here is the shorter catechism of Obama’s message to graduates of The Ohio State University, and, of course, to college graduates everywhere: “Government is great, Government is good, you should thank us for your food. By its hands we all are fed, government provides our daily bread.”

For those in the class of 2013 who really want to impact the world for good, they must arm themselves with the right intellectual perspective on Liberty and tyranny. Here is the syllabus for Liberty Lesson 101:

1. Read Essential Liberty, a brief but comprehensive essay on the origins of Liberty. Learn the difference between Rule of Law and rule of men.

2. Read A “Living Constitution” for a Dying Republic. Learn the difference between our authentic Constitution and the so-called “living constitution.”

3. Read Our Sacred Honor … to Support and Defend. Learn about the oaths all elected officials take to “support and defend” our Constitution. Generations of uniformed American Patriots have given their lives defending our Constitution. Honor their sacrifice.

4. Read On American Patriotism. Learn about your obligation to extend Liberty to the next generation.

Finally, visit The Patriot Post’s outstanding Historic Documents repository for the complete texts of our nation’s most significant formative documents.

I leave you with these words from President Reagan: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”