Obama Can Heal America. Will He?

Thoughts for a victorious new president.

When Richard Milhous Nixon was elected President in 1969, the United States had no diplomatic relations with what's now called "China"; instead, we formally behaved as if what's now Taiwan was the master of the whole, which had long been a preposterous impossibility.  Although his trip to Red China followed by formal diplomatic recognition in 1972 angered his anti-communist core supporters, his personal anti-communist credentials were strong enough to protect him against charges of being "soft on communism."

Mr. Nixon saw that opening diplomatic relations with mainland China was the right thing to do even though it gave his supporters apoplexy.  No one doubts that we're better off for having recognized that China exists.

President William Jefferson Clinton infuriated his core supporters when he signed the welfare reform bill in 1996.  He had identified a major problem, saying, "A long time ago... I concluded that the current welfare system undermines the basic values of work, responsibility and family, trapping generation after generation in dependency and hurting the very people it was designed to help."

Mr. Clinton saw that making it harder to collect welfare was the right thing to do; his liberal credentials were strong enough to protect him from charges of wanting to starve babies to death even though it angered his supporters.  The Boston Globe proclaimed that the people who found jobs as a result of Mr. Clinton's reforms were better off and that his bipartisan reforms were a success.

President-elect Barack Hussein Obama raised more money from more supporters than any candidate in history.  They not only gave their money, they gave their hearts; the Yeswiccans worked tirelessly on his behalf.  He has his own "get out the vote" army which is in no way dependent on the Democratic party, the unions, or on any other interest group.  Having paid his own way to the White House, Mr. Obama will enter office with fewer strings attached to him than any President in living memory.

Mr. Obama Doesn't Owe Black Leaders

Before the primaries started a lifetime ago, the black establishment had been bought and paid for by the Clintons; they not only returned the favor at the polls, but anointed him as the "first black president."  Mr. Obama went over the heads of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and all the other self-appointed black eminences to appeal directly to black voters; they voted for him instead of letting their leaders hand them to Mrs. Clinton.

When the Jeremiah Wright furore erupted, Mr. Wright kept quiet for a while, but the NAACP brought him back to national attention by inviting him to address their annual dinner.  The NAACP not only didn't support Mr. Obama, they tried to drive a stake through his heart, as well as other less salubrious surgical procedures.

Mr. Obama doesn't owe these divisive black leaders anything.  He knows that, as Chief Justice John Roberts put it, "The way to end racial discrimination is to stop discriminating by race."  He knows that his wife Michelle was hurt by affirmative action.

His credentials as a community organizer will protect him against charges that he's an "Uncle Tom."  If he truly believes "Yes, we can," if he truly believes that black people can succeed without race-based "help" from white people,  he can cure a major source of racial tension and establish himself as President of All America by ending affirmative action.

He can also remind the black community in general and black parents in particular to stop blaming whites when their kids go to jail, and take responsibility for raising their children.  He had a few "Bill Cosby moments" during the campaign; he can use his "bully pulpit" to speak of duty and responsibility.

Mr. Obama Doesn't Owe the Teachers Unions

Although teacher support helped, it wasn't decisive given Mr. Obama's adoring hordes.  Having attended Harvard and put his children in a private school, Mr. Obama is acutely aware of the value of education.  Having attended a black city church for twenty years, Mr. Obama is just as aware of the utter failure of our government-sponsored educational monopoly to educate inner-city black children and of the callous refusal of the teachers unions to do anything about it.

Mr. Obama surely knows that competition is the only way to improve a mediocre monopoly.  There are enough well-tested educational solutions - charter schools, vouchers, scholarships - that Mr. Obama could have a major impact on education by encouraging competition.  We wrote that Sen. Obama wouldn't make that change; President Obama could, and should.

Mr. Obama Doesn't Owe Big Labor

Union membership declined as workers learned that unionization pushes up costs so much that their employers either fail or move overseas.  Unions can't persuade workers to join; they want laws passed to force people to pay union dues whether they want to join or not.  Having government force people to buy from you is a typical monopolistic strategy; monopolies hurt society immediately and destroy jobs over time.

Because of Mr. Roosevelt's excesses, Congress changed the law such that Mr. Obama can run for office only once more.  Whom will the unions support four years from now, him or a Republican?

He's smart enough to understand that labor market rigidity under Roosevelt prolonged the Great Depression at great harm to workers.  He can and should tell unions that until they're able to benefit workers enough to persuade people to vote "Union" in secret ballots, they should cease asking government to help them exploit the working masses.

It might be thought to be a bit over the top for him to point out that being owned by a union boss is reminiscent of certain unfortunate aspects of black history, but he could say that if he wanted to - and in many ways, he'd be right: the preferred policy prescription of union bosses is the "closed shop", in which all workers must pay union dues, whether they want to or not, in order to be employed.

Mr. Obama Didn't Promise To Take Our Guns

Although Democrats are generally opposed to gun ownership to the point of insisting on putting themselves in harm's way, and he's made disparaging remarks about gun owners, Mr. Obama has not promised to take away our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Chicago taught him that when it comes to violent crime, the largest victim group is black women in inner-city housing projects.  He knows the saying, "All men weren't created equal - Sam'l Colt made 'em that way."  He knows what "the ol' equalizer" means.

He could point to the Supreme Court decision that the right to bear arms is an individual right and invite the National Rifle Association to come into the cities, teach women (not men) to defend themselves, and issue firearms to qualified women graduates of their classes.

Talk about empowerment!  Feminists have been urging men to treat women better for some years with little if any effect.  Arming women would protect more women more effectively than all the rhetoric in the world.  It's tough to pursue happiness when you're pushing up daisies; what better way to guarantee the right to pursue happiness than by abetting the right of self-defense?  What more could a feminist want?

Mr. Obama Is From Chicago

Mr. Obama cut his teeth on Chicago politics.  During the era of Mayor Richard Daley, father of the current mayor, Chicago was widely knows as "The City That Works."

Mr. Daley said, "When there's a problem, I study it from all sides and make the best decision.  Except when it crosses my base."  He also said, "Nobody gets everything; everybody gets something."

There are no term limits in Chicago; Mr. Daley stayed mayor until he died.  He always took care of the groups who supported him, but he was utterly intolerant of racial or ethnic politics.

He bashed heads as necessary to keep his city moving forward; when the Chinese got something, the Irish got something else.  When workers got something, employers got something.  Nobody got everything they wanted, but everybody got something, particularly if they needed help to stay in business so they could afford to pay taxes.  That made Chicago work.

The unions and the NAACP know the old Chicago saying, "You dance with the one what brung you."  Having brung Mr. Obama to the White House, they think, the unions expect him to dance with them while they call the tune.  The truth is, Mr. Obama was brung by his army of Yeswiccans.

He brung himself; he can dance with whomever he chooses.  He's facing only one more election; whom will they vote for four years from now?

Not only does Mr. Obama not owe them, he doesn't need them any more.

Instead of pandering to interest groups whose plans have done so much harm to black people through failing schools and driving businesses offshore, he could "Go to China", set students free to become well-educated wherever they will, and set well-educated workers free to restore prosperity.

Will President Obama cling to the failed economics of the past?  Or will he follow his Chicago heritage and turn America into "The Country That Works?"

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments
All very true, but it is PERCEIVED that the black leadership, teachers and unions "brung" him. So, yes, he will end up "cling[ing] to the failed economics of the past".
November 13, 2008 9:38 AM
Well, it's not totally unheard of for politicians to betray the groups that thought they bought them.

But you're right, it's rare for politicians on the LEFT to do that. That seems to be the exclusive prerogative of claimed "conservatives."
November 13, 2008 10:30 AM
Obama has promised another "Assault Weapons Ban" and vows to make this one permanent. I, for one, view this as an intolerable assault on the Bill of Rights and he will have no support from me.
November 13, 2008 5:33 PM

"Address Gun Violence in Cities: As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets."
November 13, 2008 5:35 PM
President Obama will serve one term. America will want it's change back after four years of socialism.
February 10, 2009 10:31 AM
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