The Obama Inaugural Address
Part three in a series on how the Left thinks.

President Obama delivers his inaugural address, January 21, 2013.


Dennis Prager

To understand leftism, the most dynamic religion of the last 100 years, you have to understand how the Left thinks. The 2013 inaugural address of President Barack Obama provides one such opportunity. To begin:

What makes us exceptional — what makes us American — is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

What American does not resonate to a president’s reaffirming this magnificent statement from our Declaration of Independence?

But here’s the intellectual sleight of hand: “What makes us exceptional — what makes us American” is indeed the belief that rights come from God.

And this seminal idea is not mentioned again in the entire inaugural address.

This was most unfortunate. An inaugural address that would concentrate on the decreasing significance of God in American life — one of the Left’s proudest accomplishments — would address what may well be the single most important development in the last half-century of American life.

We learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

If there is one word that most excites progressives, it is “new.” (“Old” things turn the Left off; Judeo-Christian religions and the Constitution are two such examples.)

The fact is that Americans did not make “themselves anew” after the Civil War. What they did was finally affirm what was old — the Founders’ belief that “all men are created equal.”

So why did the president say this? Because what he and the Left want to do is to make America anew — by making it a left-wing country.

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers.

The president used the word “together” four times in his speech. In no instance did it make sense. What he meant each time is “government.” In the mind of the Left, “together” and government are one.

Moreover, the point is meaningless. We determined that “a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce”? Isn’t that utterly self-evident? Isn’t it as meaningless as saying that “together, we determined that jets are faster than propeller planes?

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

Again, “together” — meaning the government.

And, again, an intellectual sleight of hand in order to make his case for more government.

To make this clear, apply this statement to baseball: “Together, we discovered that a baseball team only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.”

Baseball thrives when athletes commit their lives to excelling and when owners take financial risks to produce excellent teams. It is not “only” umpires and rules that enable baseball to thrive.

The free market “only thrives” when individuals have the freedom to take risks. Too large a government and too many rules choke the free market. Look at Europe and every other society with too many rules governing the marketplace.

Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.

This is pure leftism: Individual freedom will be preserved by an ever-expanding state.

The whole American experiment in individual freedom has been predicated on as small a government as possible.