Good bye and good riddance to the most radical and destructive president of all time.
With that said, before we let the first post-American president fade from our memory altogether, let’s reflect upon his commitment, passion, and tenacity in pursuit of his anti-American ideas and try to harness that same zeal and commitment for our ideas.
It’s undeniable that Obama has accomplished for the Left more than any other president has accomplished for his respective party’s ideology. The $9.3 trillion in debt he has accrued to bankrupt this country, destroy free markets and capitalism, create crushing dependency, and permanently grow government will live on long past his tenure. The numbers are staggering:
Most of all, Obama’s signature legislation—the crown jewel of socialism—has destroyed health care and health insurance in a way that no middle-income family can control their own destiny without unsustainable government subsidies. And unless things change, the core of his plan will not be repealed.
The way Obama has violated our sovereignty and encouraged so many illegal aliens to remain in the country will create a permanent grievance for amnesty. His realignment of allies to enemies and enemies to allies has remade the world.
Yet, nowhere was his transformation more evident than as it relates to the founding values of this country. Obama was right to declare yesterday at a press conference that he “could not be prouder of the transformation that’s taken place in our society just in the last decade.” The sexual identity alphabet soup has become a national religion, marriage has been redefined, sexuality has been redefined, our founding religious values have essentially been criminalized, and he has completely crushed any semblance of organized opposition to even its most radical agenda items. Republicans are now further to the left on basic family values and civilization issues than Democrats were prior to Obama.
The biggest lesson of Obama is that he was comfortable in his own skin. He wasn’t just an “anti-Republican,” although he continued to use “blame Bush” as a tactic to promote that agenda. He had his own affirmative agenda for which he was willing to spend all his political capital enacting and marshal every resource in every agency of the executive branch to promote the cross-section of fiscal, social, and foreign policy liberal ideas. He didn’t make excuses. The few places where he failed to enact a liberal agenda item wasn’t because he didn’t try. It was because the electorate categorically rejected it and took away the House from him for six of his eight years in office.
Obama never appointed a single person to any position in any agency of any department that was not a full-throttled three-legged stool progressive. His administration spoke with one voice towards one mission as it relates to the critical policy battles of our time. They never deviated from their message on a single issue.
Some might suggest that Obama was punished for his overreach and is indeed a failure because Democrats have lost an unprecedented amount of power under his stewardship, especially on a state level. In the short term, this is definitely true. Voters have emphatically rejected his radical progressive brand. However, in the long run, he has completely neutered any legitimate opposition to most of his ideas and has thus shifted the entire universe of the political landscape inexorably to the Left.
Just watch any of the confirmation hearings and you will see the nominees and the GOP senators accept every radical premise of the Obama era. They have accepted the fundamental philosophy behind Obamacare and have agreed to keep the Iran deal. They refuse to oppose one morsel of the transgender agenda, and will not lift a finger to tamp down the absurd gender-bending and social engineering in the military. None of them appear comfortable espousing conservatism openly the way Democrats loudly and proudly champion their agenda, even after losing an election. Indeed, Obama has successfully shifted the entire universe of the political landscape so far to the left that even when Republicans create the minimal 2-3 deviations of space between the parties they are still well to the left of where Democrats were in the ‘90s on critical issues.
However, all is not lost. Republicans can still render Obama’s tenure a failure (even politically) if they countermand his agenda the same way Democrats reversed the progress of the Reagan Revolution. If they would trade in their diffidence for an Obama-sized confidence and passion on the beliefs espoused in the GOP platform, they have an unprecedented opportunity to roll back previous Democrat handiwork for the first time in modern history. The two-party system doesn’t have to operate like a ratchet effect, a metaphor Margaret Thatcher often used to explain the one directional progress of liberalism when the Left is in power and the inability to reverse one iota of that momentum when so-called conservatives are in power.
But that will take a commitment to pack the executive agencies only with people who share every view of the GOP platform the same way Obama appointed only those who shared his values. It will take a catharsis for elected Republicans to finally end their identity crisis and move beyond simply being “better than Obama” or “the lesser of two evils.” It will take an affirmative agenda—a positive, consistent, intellectually honest, and forward looking agenda on sovereignty, security, free markets, liberty, property rights, and a strong civil society. An agenda that can stand on its own veracity, not just as an opposing view to whatever the media or the Left is promulgating.
And finally, it means no more excuses. Republicans control all the levers of federal and most state powers and can easily roll back the critical items of the Obama years and forge a completely new path on so many domestic and foreign policy issues that have been locked in the failed intellectual ghetto of elitist political thought. Stop talking about Obama, Hillary, the media, or blaming failure to repeal Obamacare on something as absurd as a parliamentarian. Who are we and what do we stand for affirmatively? The only context in which we should continue to mention Obama is to remind ourselves of his determination and zeal to see his agenda actualized through thick and thin.
The success or failure of Republicans in the next four years will boil down to this simple question: if liberals are willing to sacrifice it all in order to implement their agenda unconstitutionally, how much more so should we harness every constitutional means of advancing the ideas this party supposedly adopted in the much-vaunted platform of 2016?
Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct a typographical error.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.
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