“What endures is not the fact of democratic liberalism but the myth of it.” Chris Hedges.
Amidst the adulation for Obama and his re-election, its seems evident that his fan base must consist of either complacent centrists, or political tourists. (People who fancy themselves liberal, but are perfectly content to gobble up his leftist slogans despite them being entirely void of any real reform and policy.) The tangible hazard can be found in the unsettling abandonment of civil liberty and anti-war movements by people who, it seems, feel their battle was won when a black democrat was sworn into office four years ago. For the slightly more informed and rational liberal, the tired logic goes as follows: support the lesser of two evils. The argument would have some merit if it were not for three essential factors; Obama’s re-election negatively reinforces the long-standing democratic party’s belief that they can rely on liberal support regardless of their actual policies, it lulls liberals into a state of complacency and inaction, and, in this case, the lesser of evils is so by such a small margin it does not make sense that we grant him our support.
The case against Obama is made easier by his recent inaugural speech, which serves as a helpful backdrop to contrast his impassioned words against his actual policies.
A cornerstone of Obama’s campaign has been his commitment to the issue of immigration. He garnered 71% of the Latino vote by campaigning on promises to reform immigration law. At the inaugural speech, he reiterated his commitment to immigrants saying, “Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.” It was enough to send to the audience into a hysteric cheer. What Obama failed to mention, however, was that his administration oversaw the largest deportation of immigrants ever, during the 2012 fiscal year, (409,849.)
Obama brought up the Orwellian concept of ‘Perpetual War’ in his address, saying his presidency would be opposed to the idea that constant war was needed to attain peace. On the same day of his address, drones killed 3 people in Yemen. The Obama administration has vastly expanded the practice of covert killing in places where the U.S. is not at war. The drone strikes allegedly only target known militant terrorists. However, the claim becomes harder to believe when one learns of tactics such as the ‘signature strike’, in which any militant aged males who happens to be within certain geographic bounds can be considered a legitimate target. The common response to these assassinations by pseudo-liberals, is to point to the myth that Obama ended the war in Iraq. He did not. The withdrawal was a result of a Bush-era deal made with the Iraqi government, the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement, one that Obama fought against.
The debate for and against Obamacare is probably the best indicator of the huge shift to the right both parties have made in the past few decades. The individual Mandate is a central part of Obamacare and yet very few people have discuss its origins. In 1989, a right-wing think-tank called the Heritage Foundation proposed the Individual Mandate, which forces individuals to buy private health care, as an alternative to the Employer Mandate. The idea was championed by the right and in the early nineties endorsed by nearly half congress republicans, including Newt Gingrich. Despite the concept’s history of being conceived and supported by the right, political discourse now finds the mild left defending it as a sensible answer to the country’s healthcare woes. It is worth noting that the AHIP, an insurance lobbyist group, advocates the individual mandate, for obvious reasons.
– Talal Alyan