After the surprising election of Scott Brown to the people’s-Senate-seat-formerly-known-as-Ted-Kennedy’s, Obama has been trying to explain this Republican win. He said people elected Brown for the same reason they elected him: they’re angry and have been for eight years, i.e., it’s Bush’s fault. But he also said he’s been so busy getting things done this year that he neglected to speak directly to the American people about “their core values.” It’s hard to see how he overlooked any subject in the world since he’s the most speechifying of presidents.
His mistake is in thinking he needs to talk to Americans about their core values. What he meant was tell them what their core values are, but in fact he ought to be listening to Americans talk about their core values. But if the core values of the average American are not his, it won’t make any difference to him.
You can’t determine what his core values are by listening to him. John Ellis wrote for FrontPage a list of 30 lies Obama has told, which he says is not an exhaustive list. Americans of differing core values may have voted for him because they hoped and believed he shared their values. At one time or another, he sounded like he did.
Sooner or later, though, you have to get down to the practical application of values and how much it will cost. That means a trade-off of one value for another.
Niceness is a value, and maybe people will like the U.S. more if we’re nice. It’s nice to be nice, especially to our enemies, so maybe we shouldn’t ask them questions they don’t want to answer, or make them uncomfortable … but what about making New Yorkers uncomfortable by putting their enemies in their neighborhood and then making them (us) pay for it? The jihadist trials in New York will take years, probably, and projected legal and security costs are up to a billion dollars.
Helping sick people is nice. Sick people generally already have health care now, and if they can’t pay, we do. Not long ago a local Cincinnati hospital staffer said, “Don’t tell anyone I said this, but if you were Mexican, we wouldn’t send you a bill.” That’s a fact. People dying in the streets from lack of health care is not. We would have noticed the bodies. The proposed health insurance (not health care) bill is, among other things, a back door way of encouraging more illegal immigration if it mandates what is already the reality of compassionate medical policy. But cheaper medical care would be nice. Obama promises cheap or free medical insurance for everybody. With the magic of number fiddling and borrowing money, he promises to make it so. Ditto for jobs for everyone. Borrow enough money and raise more taxes, and everyone can work for the government one way or another. That’s job security. It’s just not income security.
Obama hasn’t lived a typical American life so he has no way of knowing what core American values really are. For example, he and his wife didn’t work to pay for their very expensive educations in elite universities. Obama’s work in “community organizing” meant getting government money to pay for projects that didn’t often work because people weren’t working for themselves; and in Obama’s case the projects also had a political goal, i.e. his political rise, which did pan out. The Obamas’ experience in receiving scholarship money and public funding and so on didn’t make him or his wife grateful for their success in this “mean” country, full of bitter Americans clinging to guns and religion, which is how he characterized core American values. Instead, they seem to have became saturated with a never-to-be satisfied longing to make somebody pay.