Distrust in Government at Historic Highs Under Obama
Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama boasted, “Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.”
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Back then, much of America was swooning over the charismatic, hopeful rhetoric of an inexperienced senator from Illinois. Obama, having clinched the Democrat Party nomination for president, spoke the words above to throngs of cheering, weeping supporters, who sincerely believed this community organizer with no prior executive experience would completely change the face of politics for decades to come.
Alas, the Progressive Pied Piper, the great Obamessiah, has been exposed as a naked emperor.
A recent study by the Pew Research Center found Americans' trust in government is at “historic lows,” with an anemic 19% saying they trust government to do the right thing always or most of the time (11% for Republican/leaning, and 26% for Democrats/leaning). The fact that barely a quarter of Democrats trust government is shocking, considering their standard-bearer, Obama, has had virtually free reign to do as he pleased for the last seven years. How is it that Obama has managed to implement nearly everything he wanted from the progressives' wish list, yet trust in government has decreased?
The answer, of course, is that the larger and more powerful government grows, the more inept, sluggardly and corrupt it becomes. Businesses that are run inefficiently shutter. Yet government, never punished for its failures, has no natural incentive to improve (indeed, the biggest failures are usually rewarded with more power and more money). It becomes a breeding ground for slothful public “servants” and petty tyrants.
It was another Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, who became the first president to openly denigrate the Constitution as an anachronism, insufficient for the times, and who preached against the Separation of Powers doctrine that limited the ability of the executive to enact his agenda without obstruction. Indeed, in his book, “Constitutional Government in the United States,” Wilson declared no theoretical limitations to the presidency beyond the capacity of the man holding the office: “The President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit.”
Wilson’s philosophy took root in the Democrat Party and the size and scope of the federal government exploded, primarily through the New Deal and Great Society programs, and in the unchecked growth of the fourth branch of government — the bureaucracy and the regulatory apparatus.
So how has that worked out for America?
One has only to look at the to-do list in Obama’s lofty speech to judge the scope of the failure. ObamaCare, which was supposed to bring health care to every American and “bend the cost curve down,” has instead kicked millions of Americans off of private health insurance plans they liked and into the ObamaCare exchanges and Medicare. More than half of the ObamaCare exchanges have now gone bankrupt, and the number of doctors refusing to accept Medicare patients has skyrocketed, leaving many with health insurance on paper, but no access to doctors, even as they now pay significantly more for health care.
Then there’s the federal student loan industry, which was supposed to make college more affordable. Instead, college tuition costs have increased rapidly, leaving millions of college students with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and no prospects for jobs with which to pay off those debts. Ironically, the dimwitted denizens of Dreamworld, the ones suffering from government’s ineptitude, are demanding more government as the solution.
Continuing down the list of Obama’s utopian promises, we certainly have not seen “good jobs for the jobless,” with the workforce participation rate lower now than at any time since the malaise of the Carter era. Obama has added tens of millions of Americans to the welfare and food stamp rolls, and the percentage of long-term unemployed has stayed stubbornly high.
Likewise, America learned the painful lesson that unilaterally disarming is not the same thing as ending a war, as Obama sits idly by and watches as the Middle East burns and the Islamic State is decidedly not “contained.” Sadly, as horrific as its campaign of evil has been, it pales in comparison to the danger we now face at the looming prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran flush with cash, courtesy of the prevaricator in chief. How to explain the lunacy of the so-called Leader of the Free World, who believes a conference on global warming can defeat terrorists when those Islamofascists envision their reign of murder will usher in the coming of the Islamic messiah?
As bad as this is, it only scratches the surface of the fecklessness and corruption of the Obama administration, which includes the Obama Justice Department running guns to Mexican drug cartels, the IRS targeting Obama’s political opponents, the deaths of four Americans at Benghazi, and the deaths of many battalions worth of beloved veterans after the VA Hospital system let them languish for months without treatment. Then there is the EPA dumping millions of gallons of toxic sludge into Colorado’s Animas River after being warned of the danger, even as the same EPA uses regulatory law as a bludgeon against businesses and private citizens. The list is virtually endless.
Obama laments the distrust of American citizens for their government (while still predicting a Democrat successor), but that distrust is well-deserved, and both parties are to blame. He complains that everything has become politicized, but how can it not be when the federal government impacts every aspect of our lives? If this distrust leads Americans to demand the federal government be limited to its functions under the Article I, Section 8 enumerated powers, we will finally see power back where it belongs — in the hands of the people.