When Julius Caesar was Rome’s Pontifus Maximus (Chief Priest), he had eyes on quashing the Senate and arguably, becoming the Emperor. One of his tactics was to offer a bread allowance to the common man, and it worked as the people were fooled into thinking that they had someone looking out for them. Julius’ rise continued as he was perceived as a “man of the people.” It is this type of divisive strategy that the current administration is trying. “My plan… is to ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more.” (President Obama, 2012). It is an enticing bit of political strategy. The ‘If you elect me I will take from the rich and give it to you’ appeal is not a new tactic and seems quite desperate.
However, there is one big difference with Obama’s latest pitch, in that it is usually the rhetoric of an outsider hoping to get into power or someone looking to move up the ladder. It is not usually the cry of someone who has been in charge for almost four years. If the Obama administration had shown any success in the past four years at turning around unemployment and productivity in the United States, this type of shameless encouragement to covet would not be “necessary”.
The real sacrilege here is that we already have a “System of Opportunity” (or at least we did). We already fought the revolution against a King. Worth noting was that the U.S. revolution was not fought for a government which would confiscate the wealth of someone else in order to raise the standard of living of another. The United States was created with the notion that government was something to minimize and was to be created to stop the taking from one by another.
Franklin said when people learn that they can vote themselves the money of others the Republic will be over. While this resonates with truth, we should realize that the potential for a kleptocracy – by proxy has always been there. However, it has been stifled by a majority work ethic which ostracized people who were expecting something for nothing.
In addition, there was also a Free Market system in place which bore witness to the fact that you could improve your lot in life. It is illogical to look at today’s market and blame our troubles on the Free Market and not the mercurial rise in the infiltration of government laws and regulations as the primary cause of the economic woes of the economy.
To openly tell the American people, ‘if the majority of you elect me, I will take their money and give it to you’, is completely counter to the fundamental principles that made this country great. This country was devised with a limited government and a free market which allowed people to rise up from humble means. It was the promise of the opportunity to succeed without government interference that made the American Dream so appealing. To tell people in the United States that they cannot succeed without government’s help is pessimistic, condescending, and downright un-American.
It is an insult to those that have endeavored and succeeded in raising their individual standard of living. Even the most ardent supporter should be able to realize that Obama’s message has devolved from one of encouragement and inspiration, to one of covetousness and division.