Wednesday 9 May 2012

Obama’s Creeping Tyranny

I dedicate this article to Bob Mack and all other American patriots

I love America.  It’s like a second home to me.  We have close family friends in south-west Georgia, people I’ve been visiting on and off since I was a child.  They live in the old Georgia, semi-rural Georgia, a town surrounded by cotton fields, further from the chaos of Atlanta than mere distance would suggest.  It was in cotton fields in winter that I first learned to shoot.  Georgia and the Old South is all part of my romantic vision of the United States.

It's going with the wind.  Romance is shattered by reality, the reality of what is happening to America today, what is happening to American democracy and the American people.  On this side of the Pond we know all about creeping tyranny, as democracy is steadily eroded by the European Union, a bureaucratic monster that eats ever further into our individual lives.  We should have seen this coming.  Sadly we were betrayed by the lies and dissimulation of our politicians over many decades.  The betrayal of America has taken place over a far shorter period.  The betrayal of America is Obama.

Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote a classic study of American democracy in the nineteenth century, would no longer recognise the country.  I do not mean simply because so much has changed in two hundred years.  No, it’s at a more fundamental level.  His American Republic was based on overlapping communities, a plurality of interests, something which gave it meaning and strength, something that kept state and government at suitable distance.  Now the state, Obama state, is effectively crowding out the older forms of civil society, the older forms of liberty.  It’s the big battalions now, no longer Edmund Burke’s small platoons.

The whole process saddens me.  It saddens me that more Americans are not aware just how civil society and civil liberties have been eroded over the past four years by the most centralising government in the country’s history, a form of government that would once have been described as, well, un-American.  Even religious communities are threatened by the overweening power of the state.

My thoughts here were focused by a brilliant article by George Weigel in the latest issue of the political journal Prospect (Liberty, faith and Obama’s Leviathan).  Take the massive health care bill which Congress passed in 2010.  Did the senators and representatives actually read this document in its entirety?  Has anyone read its 2000 odd pages and lived?  No, probably not, but it’s a monster that has acquired a life of its own.  Its acquired a life in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where, as Weigel says, one finds Obama’s statist tendencies at the most refined.  Here the sacred flame of creeping state socialism is guarded with care. 

This self-serving bureaucracy is set to acquire power over so many aspects of American life, of the life of ordinary Americans, set to be strangled in red tape.  It’s staffed by people who represent the hard left of American politics.  These are the refugees from The West Wing, now enjoying unprecedented and vicarious power, like the bureaucrats in Europe.  They have a bigger agenda.  Weigel puts it thus;

For the regulators at HHS are not simply dedicated to the nationalisation of healthcare in the United States; they are committed to the use of federal regulatory power to promote and enforce their understanding of “preventative healthcare”, a euphemism that masks their commitment to the sexual revolution in its most extreme forms and their devotion to a virtually unrestricted abortion licence…Thus it seemed self-evidently clear o those drawing up plans for implementation of Obamacare that all employers be required to buy insurance plans that covered, not only contraceptives, but sterilisation and abortifacient drugs – all of which, to the permanent bureaucracy at HHS, are components of “preventative healthcare.”

Contraception here is not the issue.  Contraception is widely available in the States.  No, we are dealing with something more crucial; we are dealing with matters of conscience, conviction and religious principle.  Obama, in his lack of wisdom, has taken on the Catholic Church and other religious communities in a manner I would never have believed possible in the United States

It’s not about birth control; the Church is not trying to impose itself on anyone.  It’s about the use of coercive state power. It’s the insistence that the Church carry out procedures which conflict directly with its own teachings.  In essence it’s about religious freedom and freedom of conscience, an issue over which Obama and his HHS minions have little or no comprehension.  In Stalin’s Russia, when the church was not being persecuted, it was turned into a department of state.  In Obama’s America the Church is similarly set to be turned into a department of state. 

An administration blind to religious freedom is also blind to other forms of freedom. The state is filling so many areas of discourse.  The bureaucratic nightmare of Obamacare is creating, as Weigel indicates, a new Leviathan, the anti-pluralist form of rule identified in the seventeenth century by Thomas Hobbes.  Power is being centralised, dissent marginalised.  This is not a disease in isolation.  America has been infected by a European virus.  Here the left is intolerant of dissent and debate.  In American the left is equally intolerant of dissent and debate.  Public space, in other words, is being filled with state power.  American democracy is being consumed.  Leviathan has a huge appetite.  

It seems to me, that in this electoral year, that America stands on a crossroads almost as critical as that in 1860.  I can’t predict the future but the auspices are not good.  I could only wish for a more effective and persuasive opponent to Obama than Mitt Romney.  So much depends on opening the eyes and minds of the people to the dangers they face.  If you want a possible view of the American future look to the European present - big government, big bureaucracy and massive waste all against the diminishing of personal freedom.  It’s not a happy prospect.  I feel sure that De Tocqueville would be horrified by the land of Obama, the land of creeping tyranny. 


  1. The Kenyan has got to go! He has just come out openly supporting gay marriage, a political move that hopefully will be his undoing. Mass Abortion the 'American Holocaust'.

    1. Back to Kenya, or Hawaii or wherever, Anthony. :-)

  2. Great post, Ana, & thanks for the mention. The late Alex de T ain't the only one horrified by the Obama Nation, I'll tell ya that, though I recently had a semi-literate commenter describe our Commander-In-Chief as "the greatest president in the history of American" ... I'm not sure if she made a typo there at the end or if she was just too stoned to finish her thought -- anyone who thinks the Big Red One is a great president, after all, has gotta be smoking something powerful.

    1. Welcome, Bob. Ah, I'm sure you know all about that section of the people who can be fooled all of the time. It was probably a thought so stunning that she was incapable of finishing. :-))

  3. Hi Ana, there have been hints before, but I think you've just outed yourself as a Lynyrd Skynyrd Dixiecrat . . . I suppose you know the lyrics to "Sweet Home Alabama", but if not they're witty . . .

    I'm bemused but by no means disappointed--quite the contrary--to also learn that your quicksilver intellectual / political tastes include George Weigel, the staunch Roman Catholic intellectual and supporter of both Polish and German Popes.

    . . . I just wonder how this sits with your view of Charles I as a "martyr"? I wonder whether you also admire Stephen Gardiner, aka "Wily Winchester" (the key contemporary scholar of Gardiner is Glyn Redworth, who was an undergraduate at Cambridge as well but is more associated now, I believe with Oxford).

    All things considered, and I mean this seriously, I am sensible that you're throwing down the gauntlet in your post. Your comparison to the Election of 1860 resonates, although I suspect it's more like 1852 still . . . big trouble brewing, but as you point out, Romney is no Lincoln . . . hopefully there's an Honest Abe out there, somewhere . . .

    1. Chris, I can just see myself as Scarlett O' Hara. :-)

      Oh, I'm the most electrically eclectic person that you will ever know! I see no harm in borrowing from a wide range of sources, or seeing virtue spread across a wide range of people. It's not Weigel's Catholicism that appeals to me but his political critique. So Charles remains the martyr king. :-) Gardiner was indeed an astute politician.

      Oh, if only.

  4. Ana another astute post. I agree with you wholeheartedly and as someone who spends a lot of time in the States I do discern a thrust towards a theocracy, is had being going on for years.

  5. Ana,

    I suspect that Left liberals, and this includes Obama, are under the impression - they are, of course, deluded in this regard - that they are creating secular heaven on earth.

    This is their Raison d'etre.

    How many times has something like this happened before?

    The State increases its power ten fold. It ends in tragedy. It ends in bankruptcy. But before this it is evident that the State does not trust the people who pay it the most taxes. Hence, the ever increasing number of politically correct laws - 5000 new laws since 1997 - and an increasing level or number of taxes.

    Once again the Left aim for a noble cause to justify their ignorance about life and ignore the lessons of history. They no nothing or very little about the world.

    In the UK most representatives of Left liberalism have very little experience of the world. Most have not travelled to more than a few countries worldwide.

    Most of those who live in splendid isolation in the Home counties or in some enclave elsewhere have not even experienced the problems that exist in everyday urban life beyond a week of shopping in London or New York.

    What the Liberal Left believe in, Polly Toynbee is an example, is a Sisterhood of secular humanity living, as it were, in one big tent of love. It is an ideal which has no understanding of different people or cultures.

    What they so often fail to see is that people worldwide are far more traditional and conservative then they imagine. I have seen this in China, India, Japan, Thailand and in the Gulf region where I currently teach.

    In private discussion, I often find that I have more in common with the views of local people than I do with my so called left liberal compatriots.

    Of course, if the poor and marginalized from all over the world are given the opportunity by British governments to get free healthcare, accommodation, Education and Welfare Benefits, they will come - and who can blame them?

    The upside for The Labour Party is that it is estimated that 80% of immigrants that vote will vote Labour which has led some to believe that uncontrolled immigration is the result of a cynical left liberal policy to increase chances of re-election.

    If this is the case, then it is a serious abuse of democracy which ought to be investigated by parliamentary review to find out the truth of the matter. But don't hold your breath. The State has politicized the Police and much else besides.

    We are all left liberals now and if we are not then thousands of new laws will make you see the 'error' of your ways. Eric Blair would turn in his grave at what is happening to freedom of speech in Britain today.

    If it were possible I would explain to Eric that the Left in Britain lost the economic argument during the 1980's and so latterly focused political attention on what they saw as noble ideas relating to cultural issues and in being part of a wider European community.

    National sovereignty is compromised but it is for a greater good: secular heaven on earth.

    Much of this applies more or less to the America today. In both Britain and America the Liberal Left are confident that there will be no more wars. What they fail to say is that this is because there is nothing left worth fighting for.

    1. Brilliant, Nobby. What can I say, other than I agree wholeheartedly.

      Did you see last week's Spectator? As usual Charles Moore was in brilliant form. Here is what he said about Lord Rumba of Rio;

      "How enjoyable to hear Peter Mandelson telling us that ‘more Europe’ is the answer to the post-electoral travails of the eurozone. To understand what happened to Italy and Greece when, last year, they had prime ministers with Brussels or Frankfurt experience forced upon them unelected, one must bear in mind that, if we had been in the euro, the same fate could have befallen us. Who would have fitted the bill better than Lord Mandelson?"

  6. Sorry but I find "That Kenyan" quite offensive. The "Hawaii" part isn't so bad but as an American who is black, I think "That president" or even "That American" would have been more appropriate. To each, his own, I suppose. I just wouldn't trust anyone who says that to have my best interest at heart if they were standing next to me at the voting polls or on the eve of battle.

    People criticize government and its policies but fail to act. I will include myself in this category because I hated the Bush and Reagan Administrations but I didn't spend everyday trying to round people together to overthrow the government. (I was only like eight years old when Reagan left office but maybe I could have stormed DC with my trusty GI Joe in hand) I didn't run for office or start a rebellion but I sure spoke a lot about my disdain. Today I'm simply living my life in the hopes that my voting choices pan out the way I want them to.

    Also, churches aren't necessarily the most innocent establishments and have been carrying on procedures which conflict directly with their own teachings for centuries. I am agnostic and just don't see them as error-proof and all-holy or not trying to control people's lives.

    Run for government if you think you can do better!And I don't mean this directly at you Anna the Imp:)

    1. Shahroh, my Hawaii comment was just meant to deflect Anthony with a spot of humour. He can be a bit insensitive sometimes but at heart he is a decent guy. I'm sorry, though, that you were offended.

      I think Bush was a disaster though I quite admire the Reagan administration...from a distance. It came before my time. :-)

      Ah, my dear friend, I stand outside politics thus preserving both independent thought and the liberty to criticise, regardless. :-)

    2. @:Shaharo, Obama's lineage is from Kenya, that is a fact, his grand mother is still there. The birth certificate provided by the White House is a computer generated fabrication, it has not been conclusively proven that he is American born. If he were called Marxist would the Marxists be offended?

  7. Ana, as your article precisely displays my beliefs about this subject, I didn't see the point of making additional comments (plus you already have my grim thoughts about 1860-ish crossroads). But today I ran across a related article (from a group called "The Clairemont Institute") that I thought might interest you:


    After reading this, O's background makes more sense - but quite honestly, some of it seems like tin-foil hat time! The only problem w/that hat is that the author has ironclad bona fides. He's a professor at Boston U, and a vice chair at the U.S. Army War College! So while it makes O's behaviour more understandable, given the author's credentials, parts of this document are terrifying.

    Take a look at it, and decide for yourself. Who knows - perhaps you can use this as the germ for a new article. :-)

    1. CB, yes, I'm going to look at this.

    2. Ana, I asked another blogger (who is a pro on the national political lecture circuit) about this - his response:

      "...the Clairemont Institute is a respected organization. A dear friend of mine is a fellow there. They are a serious group of policy wonks and thinkers."

      So if they are actually "in the loop", and write stuff like this, it REALLY makes you wonder what is going on!

    3. CB, there is a lot of food for thought here. Keep watching!

  8. Great post and great blog. I found this post just as I am reading "The road to serfdom" , Hayek

  9. I came across this after looking up "creeping tyranny". This is extremely well written and well thought out. You are very intelligent.