The Right Opinion

Obama's Orwellian Inaugural Address

By Ben Shapiro · Jan. 23, 2013

On Monday, President Barack Obama delivered a monumental address to the nation. It wasn't monumental in terms of rhetoric – in fact, it wasn't even memorable. It was monumental because it signaled for the first time just how grand Obama's ambitions for the left are. No longer is the left content to wage a war against Constitutional principles on behalf of a Marxist philosophical system. Now they will attempt to convince the American people that Constitutional principles dictate Marxism.

Obama opened his address by quoting the Declaration of Independence: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Declaration of Independence sets forth a vision of limited government designed to avoid tyranny. But Obama, employing all the linguistic slight-of-hand in his multitudinous bag of tricks, had a plan to turn the Declaration inside out.

He began by rendering the document meaningless. As it turned out, “when times change, so must we.” More importantly, when times change, so must our concept of liberty. Obama said, “our generation's task [is] to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.” But what do those high-sounding phrases mean? Obama said they have no meaning: “Being true to our founding … does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time.”

In other words, liberty has no meaning.

It is simply a lie to state that our founders did not have a singular definition of liberty. They did. It is expressed in the Declaration itself. Liberty, says the Declaration, is freedom from government “abuses and usurpations.” It is not government guarantees of healthcare, pensions and food stamps. The Constitution was ratified in order to preserve the founders' vision of liberty and to prevent a “good government” from usurping power in order to achieve the social engineering the left adores.

Obama knows this just as his progressive predecessors knew this. That's why Woodrow Wilson despised the Constitution. So does Obama. But unlike Wilson, Obama realizes that the American people still like the Constitution. And so he must somehow read his anti-Constitutionalism into founding philosophy itself.

And so he turns liberty into a meaningless word. But it is there that the magic show truly begins. Once liberty is meaningless, how can government preserve it? Only by giving each individual his or her heart's desire. As Obama said, “preserving our individual freedoms,” he said, “ultimately requires collective action.” This is Orwellian in its reversal of language. Individual freedoms require government to leave us alone, aside from protecting our lives and property rights.

But for Obama, individual freedom cannot exist in the absence of government.

What of those individuals who define liberty in the way the founders defined it? In Obama's Orwellian world, they are anti-liberty, because government is liberty. Obama used the phrase “We, the people” – the first words of the Constitution – no less than five times. Each time, substituting “government” would have been more accurate. For example, “We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.” How? Via government redistributionism. “We, the people,” said Obama, “will respond to the threat of climate change.” How? Through the government.

Government is liberty. Freedom is tyranny. Individualism is collectivism.

And the Constitution is meaningless unless it is being wielded as a club against those who actually value the founding ideology for which it stands.

Welcome to Barack Obama's second term.

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11 Comments

Alex in NJ said:

Precisely.
BTW, loved the trouncing you gave Piers on 2nd amendment.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

rab in jo,mo said:

It's going to be a long 4 years.

Forward, Comrades! Forward into the abyss...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Ct-Tom in NC said:

Great column, Ben. And I loved your session with Lou Dobbs the other knight.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 9:27 AM

wjm in Colorado said:

America does need a wake-up call, and also people need to get their children out the public child abuse system of indoctrination. Homeschool, voucher programs, whatever it takes because the traitors are turning out useful idiots.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

The next Republican who says to me he didn't vote because Romney was not a good candidate I'm going to call him a traitor to his country. The next one who tells me he didn't vote for Romney because he is a Mormon I'm going to say then you are a bigger bigot than any liberal atheist. Mac, is right, These people gave Odumbo the election and will deserve whatever happens to them when the riots start.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

billy396 in ohio replied:

I've already called out people who didn't vote for Romney. They ARE traitors. One woman said that she didn't like him because she thought that Romney would raise taxes on the middle class. When I asked her where she got that information, she said "Time magazine". I tried to illustrate to her that Time magazine was about as reliable an indicator of the facts as all the other mainstream propagandists, but she wouldn't listen, After the election, I pointed out to her that MSNBC had a Time mag correspondent in their booth at the convention, and she just turned away. She has already admited that she knows that MSNBC and the rest of the gang of liars are pure propaganda. Anyone who didn't take the time to try to defeat Obozo is a traitor, period.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

We saw the real, most dangerous terrorist giving "we the people" a middle finger salute in his address. We are indeed witnessing the desecration of our most important document of freedom, our Constitution.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM

RudyT in Pittsburgh, PA replied:

Keep your powder dry, my patriot friends. We are next on his "to do" list.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Rod in USA replied:

You are correct. I did not watch the speech as I cannot bear to irritate myself. So I look forward to reading the Patriot Post where we see actual quotes and real, honest critical analyis. BHO signaled his shift to high gear with this speech in which he gave the middle finger to our founding fathers, those patriots whose blood earned our freedom and our very culture.

Too bad there were a lot of sheeple too mesmerized by BS to understand what he had just told them. He told them he's going to screw them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Rod in USA said:

"*Being true to our founding ... does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness" -- BHO*

**Be Afraid** He intends to re-define liberty with more slights of hand so that we all knuckle under and pay even more and more and more of our "fair share" to help those who won't help themselves, thus helping BHO create more disciples.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

billy396 in ohio said:

When I heard the recording of the liar-in-chief swearing a vow to "preserve protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", it made me want to gag. He's a liar. Furthermore, he knew he was lying every time that he has sworn that oath. He's a commie, in the worst possible definition of the word. He's absolutely out to destroy freedoms and liberties that are enshrined in our founding documents, no matter what it takes. True patriotic American citizens MUST continually berate their Congressmen and Senators and make it very crystal clear that if they go along with this commie BS, then they will be voted OUT of office, ASAP. I'm sending emails, writing letters, leaving voice mail messages, and sending faxes to my "representatives" letting them know, in no uncertain terms, that they'll be EX-representatives if they go along with the murder of our way of life. I would advisem plead, and beg each and every person reading this to keep this message spreading to everyone that they talk to. These politicians are more concerned with being reelected than anything else. We must ALL beat them over the head, repeatedly, with the message that they will lose their jobs if they betray us. If enough people do so, it will work.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM