Most campaigns for the presidency of the United States offer solutions to generally accepted problems that vary only by degrees. Every campaign in modern history has promoted the need to generate employment, the demand for fiscal responsibility, the need to keep America safe, the importance of the American family and culture, and the greatness of the American farmer and entrepreneur. The purpose of these was to woo the all-important independents. Bill Clinton famously said, “the era of big government is dead”; and then-candidate Obama even trumpeted the need to cut the deficits and reduce spending.
Occasionally, however, the true nature of a political project emerges. For President Obama, this is his “Julia” moment. Julia, of course, refers to a slideshow proudly displayed on the president’s re-election web site which features an imaginary beneficiary of President Obama’s prophetic leadership. In this short presentation the flaws with the president’s vision of both America and the federal government become apparent.
The first issue which the careful observer will note is that the presentation has President Obama in power for over sixty years. Now, clearly President Obama does not expect to be in power until 2070. Even if indefinite re-election were possible; which we all praise the vision of our founding fathers and the people who in 1951 approved the 22nd amendment for making sure it is not; this would be impossible. The reality is more concerning; President Obama intends that the remade federal government will exert influence well after he is gone. This would be a feat akin to Argentine “Peronism”; and no less dangerous. Through dependence upon the center and state populism; and the occasional use of “occupiers” addicted to entitlements; a particular ideology can rule forever.
Second, the slideshow depicts the president (not even the government) as the central figure in Julia’s life. From her pre-school education to her retirement, she depends upon Uncle Obama. This is also concerning. We in America have a natural aversion to authoritarianism. This comes from our culture; from the original tea partiers of Boston to the pioneers who bravely went west in search of freedom and prosperity, we are a bold, often rebellious people. Having somebody insert themselves, wanted or unwanted, into every aspect of life is an insult to our values. And it is a denial of exactly what made America great. The President’s vision of bad people only held in check by a benevolent and omnipotent government is clearly articulated; and very troubling.
Finally, Julia’s character is one dimensional; and appears to be amoral. She does not have a church; she volunteers nowhere; and she cannot depend upon family or friends in times of trouble. She evidently does not even feel the need for a husband in order to start a family; something which places her well outside the norm of American society. This could be read as an oversight for the purpose of brevity; except that apparently Julia is an avid gardener. In point of fact, the only relationship she appears to need is the one that she has with President Obama.
The truth of the matter is that average Americans know different. Our lives are nourished by a wealth of relationships; our needs are most often met by ourselves and our loved ones and most view the occasional intrusion of the Federal Government as unwanted and unwelcome. We are a multi-faceted people with a rich history and a deep and abiding faith in God and ourselves.
As for Julia, we thank her for her honesty in that – at last – she was able to get the president to show the country his vision. Unfortunately for the president, it is not a vision shared by the majority. Whether he is re-elected in November or not, he should be made to understand that Julia’s is not the life chosen by we the people.