So Barack Obama is again using one of the most contemptible phrases in American politics — “economic patriotism.”
There are many credible reasons to despise this rhetorical construct. Patriotism, after all, is the attachment to one’s homeland, a nationalistic devotion to one’s country and the values that make it great. If a person not only resists things that are “patriotic” but opposes them, then logic dictates that the person is being unpatriotic. So the president is really asking one question: Why do you hate America?
Liberals just aren’t very liberal these days. The word “liberal” comes from the Latin word meaning freedom, and in the 19th century liberals in this country and abroad stood for free speech, free exercise of religion, free markets, free trade — for minimal state interference in people’s lives.
In the 20th century New Dealers revised this definition, by arguing that people had a right not only to free speech and freedom of religion, but also, as Franklin Roosevelt said in his 1941 Four Freedoms speech, freedom from fear and from want.
Freedom from want meant, for Roosevelt, government provision of jobs, housing, health care and food. And so government would have to be much larger, more expensive and more intrusive than ever before.
Obama’s economic legacy is rarely appreciated. He has institutionalized the idea that unemployment between 6 and 7 percent is normal, that annual deficits over $500 billion reflect frugality, that soaring power, food, and fuel costs are not proof of inflation, that zero interest rates are the reward for thrift, that higher taxes are always a beginning, never an end, and that there is no contradiction when elite progressives — the Obamas, the Clintons, the Warrens — trash the 1-percenters, while doing everything in their power to live just like them. . .
In a stunning display of callousness, the Defense Department has announced that thousands of soldiers — many serving as commanding officers in Afghanistan — will be notified in the coming weeks that their service to the country is no longer needed.
Last week, more than 1,100 Army captains — the men and women who know best how to fight this enemy because they have experienced multiple deployments — were told they’ll be retired from the Army.
More in this category
- Invasion by Invitation
- Why the White House Wants Amnesty
- What Hobby Lobby Shows About Obama’s Fundamental Abuse of Executive Power
- IRS Chief Lois Lerner: A Progressive Hero?
- Obamacare’s Tired Triumphalists (and some new problems for them to ignore)
- The ‘Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy,’ 2016 Edition: ‘Journalists’ Paid to Target Conservatives