A.J. DiCintio
Franklin's aphorisms explain Obama's failures
By A.J. DiCintio
December 11, 2011

In addition to documents that set forth the structure and commented upon the nature of a republic that has made the United States the freest, most prosperous nation ever to exist, the Founders bequeathed us a great amount of other writing, all of which, it must be added, is under-taught these days to the enormous detriment of our culture.

For example, we have inherited Ben Franklin's aphorisms, infused with wisdom acquired over the ages and hardened by lessons learned by self-reliant individuals whose labors created a brave new world on a new frontier.

Those sayings didn't just make Poor Richard's Almanac a best seller. They expressed truths that apply with unforgiving constancy to all humans, including those whom we regard (or who regard themselves) as the most important among us, a reality that means they can explain the failure of no less a VIP than our current president.

Now, anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Obama's history since the product of the Chicago Political Machine flashed onto the American political scene just a few years ago will agree that the task of explaining his failures must begin with the maxim that warns "He that lives upon hope will die fasting."

Yes, it is true that hope is an essential element of the healthy human psyche. But false hope? Let's just say it's so dangerous we need to give thanks it "cannot fool all of the people all the time."

And as millions of Americans suspected and millions more have come to realize, candidate Obama didn't offer hope rooted in reality but rather the kind peddled by a snake oil salesman.

Actually, the hope hawked by a very clever practitioner of that perverse vocation; for borrowing from former psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer, we can say Obama successfully presented himself as nothing more than a Rorschach figure into whom angry, frustrated, and frightened citizens projected their hopes for better days in a better America.

However, with the end of 2011 approaching and Americans still "fasting" as they wait for the nation they hope for, a majority of the public, now aware of Barack Obama's fundamental incompetence, have come to embrace the truth of Franklin's maxim as well as that of another which counsels, "Well done is better than well said."

But this dedication by Obama to a shtick that exclusively sings and dances to a tune titled "Vague, Vacuous Hope" begs the question "why?"

The answer to that question is this:

If a proud, brave Barack Obama were to come clean with the American people about his lifelong adherence to the tenets of American liberalism and European social democracy, he would doom himself politically.

Of course, once he assumed office, the president could no longer scam the public solely with Hamlet's mere "words, words, words" but actually had to take actions.

As the public has now perceived, his actions reveal the truth about his fundamental love of increasing the size and power of the federal government, the level of government most remote from the Constitution's We the People.

To put it another way, Obama's deeds have exposed his kinship to the radic-lib element of American politics, an element that ignores the consequences of a $15 trillion national debt and a $1.5 trillion annual deficit to demand increased spending, taxing, and borrowing, thereby placing itself in obnoxious harmony with the sentiment of this Poor Richard adage:

"The king's cheese is half wasted in the parings; but no matter, 'tis made of the people's milk."

Obama's unflagging commitment to leftist ideology explains why immediately after taking office, he didn't fight doggedly for innovative programs and reforms that would have energized the private sector and spurred job creation.

It explains why, instead, he employed every vile trick in the political playbook to impose on the nation a federal-government-bloating, no-real-reform-of-healthcare monstrosity based upon the discredited sixies-style welfare model.

It explains why his idea of economic stimulus was devoid of creative ideas regarding the role of government and private enterprise in modernizing America's infrastructure.

It explains why, instead, he turned the spending of 800 billion stimulus dollars over to a pack of power mad, pork loving political hacks led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

It explains why in one of the most morally, intellectually, and pragmatically repulsive acts ever committed by an American president, Barack Obama appointed a bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform only to imitate the most extreme politicians of his party by immediately and completely turning his back on proposals advanced by the commission's most courageous members.

It explains why during these hard economic times for ordinary citizens, the man of mellifluously delivered teleprompter speeches has remained absolutely silent about an Accountability Office report that exposes Washington as spending $200 billion of the "people's milk" on duplicate offices and programs every year.

And it explains why, continuing in his dangerously foolish dream of making the federal government America's know-all, control-all nanny, he has to this day remained aloofly detached from every other attempt to bring honest, pragmatic, common sense economic reform to Washington.

Not that we ought to be surprised at Obama's behavior, for in the following line spoken through the persona of Poor Richard more than 200 years ago, Ben Franklin left us a gift of truth about the arrogance and scorn that drive the thoughts, actions, and attitudes of every elitist ideologue who with false and lying promises asks the people for more money and, worse, more power:

"Pride dines on vanity, sups on contempt."

Arrogance and scorn . . . in two words the fundamental forces behind Barack Obama's failure.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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