Liberty. It’s a simple idea, but it’s also the linchpin of a complex system of values and practices: justice, prosperity, responsibility, toleration, cooperation, and peace. Many people believe that liberty is the core political value of modern civilization itself, the one that gives substance and form to all the other values of social life. They’re called libertarians.
his horrendous performance in the first debate, President Obama came
out swinging in the second. Although void of any excuse for adding $5
trillion to the national debt and for never proposing a balanced budget,
the President waxed confident and offered rebuttals throughout. But
that is not enough to justify re-election, even among the Democratic
Party faithful. He needed to appear presidential, command the facts,
and rebut charges against his administration, that is true, but he also
needed to articulate a clear vision for a prosperous and free America.
He failed miserably to articulate that vision.
although many pundits appear to think otherwise, he compounded his problems
over the botched Benghazi terror cover-up. He had a superlative opportunity
to take the high road. He could have said that Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton had been gracious in accepting responsibility for failed security
but that the buck stops with him. He eluded to that but did not state
it directly. He should have said that the Administration erred because
while in possession of evidence of terror, they proceeded with a second
justification, the public riot over the Nakoula Youtube video, which
in fact had nothing to do with it. He should have said that the youtube
explanation went on for too long, past the administration’s knowledge
of the facts of terror. He should have apologized to the American people.
Had he done that, there would be no post-debate firestorm of controversy.
blew it. Instead of taking the high road and telling the truth, he reinforced
the original lie. He said that indeed he had called the event an act
of terror in his Rose Garden speech one day after the attack. That is
misleading, because in his brief Rose Garden presentation he spoke in
generalities of “acts” of terror, and he never said the
Benghazi attack was itself an act of terror. A week later at the United
Nations, he plainly propounded the false representation (which he does
not now deny was false) that the attack was a spontaneous uprising in
response to the infamous Nakoula Youtube video.
President’s failure to admit error and apologize, and his choice
to misrepresent his Rose Garden speech adds to the mountain of evidence
calling into question Obama’s integrity. The Administration’s
attempted Benghazi terror cover-up pales in comparison, however, to
the significance of an error that should cost him the election: his
utter failure to articulate a clear vision for a prosperous and free
America. If the second debate was a draw without Obama articulating
a clear vision for the future, it is in effect a loss for Obama, because
he cannot persuade those still capable of being persuaded without inspiring
them, giving them hope for a restoration of American greatness.
the midst of an economic crisis, with the national debt soaring past
$16 trillion, annual deficits of $1 trillion plus into the foreseeable
future, and entitlements that are unaffordable by any measure, this
President offered no solutions to America’s economic woes, not
a single one. A president void of vision, particularly void of vision
in a crisis, is a loser by the ordinary American scale. We expect our
presidents to lead in a crisis, not bemoan the plight of America and
offer no solutions. Obama complained, lamely tried to show empathy for
the plight of the unemployed, but did not chart a clear path for economic
recovery and renewed prosperity. His silence is in fact a comment. It
bespeaks four more years of a failed status quo, which is entirely unsustainable,
to use the economists’ favorite phrase in describing it.
was therefore correct in describing the course Obama has charted for
the nation as one that emulates the Greek example. Is there any voter
who seriously doubts that economic dissolution follows from massive
deficit spending and that there is no more critical need for the next
President than implementing a plan to restore economic solvency to the
government and nation?
second debate will give Obama a slight, transient boost because his
performance in round two was vastly superior to his disaster in round
one, but it will not give him a decisive lead over Romney. To do that,
he had to articulate a clear vision for returning America to greatness.
He utterly failed to explain America’s way to prosperity, revealing
himself to be bankrupt of vision and of leadership on the most important
issue facing voters. That lack of vision is particularly appalling when
one considers that he has had four years in office to develop a coherent
strategy for recovery, yet has deferred to others, principally to Congress
to act. Because he is void of vision, even the Democratic faithful should
refrain from voting for him.
to the NewsWithViews Daily News Alerts!
election will turn on which presidential campaign organization has the
ability to turn out the vote. The Republicans are motivated, and Romney
is a master of organization. Republicans dislike of Obama is profound
and their fear for the American future in a second Obama Administration
is deep rooted. The Democrats, by contrast, are not as motivated. They
are not equally disdainful of Romney; they are discouraged by the lackluster
performance and broken promises of President Obama. They are fragmented
with divided opinions about their leader. If that translates into a
low voter turnout among Democrats, then Romney will win because Republicans
will go to the polls in very high numbers and will find allies with
certain independents, conservative Democrats, and single issue voters
who deplore Obama’s failure to defend Israel, abhor Obama’s
attack on religious liberty, and fear Obama’s “tax”
increase via Obamacare due to hit January 1, 2014.
failed to articulate a clear vision for a prosperous and free American
future, Obama missed the opportunity to inspire his base to vote en
masse. That may be the very error that turns this election.