In a commencement speech at Wesleyan University, Barack Obama advised graduates not to pursue the American dream of success. Ivy League graduates who live in big homes can be selfish, you know.
President Kennedy once spoke of a rising tide that would lift all boats. Obama wants us to pull into shore and tie them to a dock.
Worse than that, a disturbing pattern of rhetoric indicates he will not only counsel a draconian lifestyle, but also mandate it.
The man who made over $4 million last year, who lives in a $1.65 million house and who probably doesn't get his great suits off the rack, advised graduates: "You can take your diploma, walk off this stage and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should. But I hope you don't." I got mine.
He hopes you don't walk off the job and do something greedy like finding a way to economically retrieve the 2 trillion barrels of oil locked up in North American shale, lowering fuel and transportation costs, and helping America achieve energy independence.
Don't be another Bill Gates and amass a fortune making people more productive and, uh, successful in their daily lives and giving your countrymen a standard of living the world will envy. Exchange your cap and gown for sackcloth and ashes. Leave your possessions behind and come follow Obama.
"Fulfilling your immediate wants and needs betrays a poverty of ambition," he opined.
Shame on us for being selfish and buying that SUV built by an autoworker trying to fulfill his family's immediate wants and needs. "Our collective service can shape the destiny of this generation," he said. "Individual salvation depends on collective salvation."
So far, Obama's idea of hope and change sounds an awful lot like the Marxian vision of taking from each according to his ability and giving to each according to his needs. Though we're already the most charitable and giving nation in history, Obama doesn't seem to think volunteerism is part of it.
In a speech in California, wife Michelle, who has made a small fortune in the "helping industry," said: "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone. . . . Barack Obama will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual — uninvolved, uninformed."
Frankly, we like our comfort zone, even if Barack Obama doesn't. Campaigning in Oregon, he said: "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.
"That's not leadership," Obama added. "That's not going to happen."
Not going to happen? Require? Demand? Never allow? If you detect an ominous tone of authoritarianism, so do we. It's almost enough to make one cling bitterly to one's guns and Bible. Heck, we write conservative opinion and watch Fox News. We're uninformed and uninvolved. Obama will make us see the light
And if your idea of service is to join the military and keep others alive and free, forget about it. Obama has no place for those like Pat Tillman who are willing to abandon fame and fortune to lay down their lives for their friends.
"At a time of war," Obama said, "we need you to work for peace." That's what our troops are doing, Barack. They're working for peace — and freedom.
Those pulling the wagon with their taxes are already doing enough to "serve" the wagon riders.
Barack wants to raise their taxes by letting the Bush tax cuts expire and eliminating the earnings cap on Social Security taxes. But if you don't want to enlist in the Obama army of change, you will be drafted.
They have ways to make you volunteer.
(Forwarded to RiteOn by Iowa Guest Editor M. K. W. .......)