Obama, the Victim’s President

Ben Shapiro is a Senior Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. He is the author of the new book "The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration" (Threshold Editions).


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Last Thursday night in Charlotte, the death of the American dream was on full display. While adoring throngs cheered President Barack Obama’s hackneyed bloviating, Barack Obama gained points in the polls. Whether those points last or not – whether Obama wins or not – the fact is this: America is now a nation balanced on the razor’s edge between the self-reliant and the self-declared victims.

The 2012 presidential campaign was supposed to be a referendum on two major questions about Obama. First, has he done a good job? Second, what will he do if given four more years? And Thursday night provided Obama with his first opportunity to answer both those questions.

Instead, he answered neither. Obama knows something the rest of us don’t: this election isn’t about what Obama has done or what he will do. This election is about whether the American people consider themselves victims requiring a savior, or entrepreneurial individuals who value freedom over the comfort of faceless community. This election is about the crowd inside the Time Warner Arena, not about the politician on the stage before them.

And that crowd considers itself a group of victims. Walking around the Arena, two connected phenomena rose above all the chatter: worship for President Obama, and the perception that both Obama and his fans had been somehow slighted. Any opposition to Obama was considered treasonous bullying. That perspective infected the campaign itself; Obama for America wouldn’t even allow major Democrats to speak to the conservative media arrayed at the Arena. Conservatives were victimizers; liberals were the victimized. The philosophy of unearned victimology dominated the lectern.

Obama played on this perspective throughout his address. According to Obama, America is no longer a place where “everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.” Some people cheat. And those people are winning. Said Obama, “I ran for President because I saw that basic bargain slipping away … when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings.” Those “innocent Americans” were apparently helpless to get back on their feet; someone had rigged the system. Republicans, said Obama, wanted to “stick it to the middle class.” Insurance companies, said Obama, wanted to put Americans at their “mercy.” Companies wanted to “release toxic pollution into the air your children breathe.”

In this world of victimhood – in this world where individual Americans simply can’t get ahead thanks to the obstacles imposed on them by others (the wealthy, the businessmen, Wall Street, Republicans) – what is required is an army. Led by Barack Obama.

Obama’s military language pervaded his speech. This was a war speech, given by a would-be war leader. It was a speech that celebrated “The values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton’s Army; the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone.” Obama utilized territorial analogies: “We’re not going back. We are moving forward, America.” Obama likened himself to America’s last great non-Cold War military leader, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, calling for “common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued.”

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  • pierce

    Last Thursday night Barack wasn't the only speaker who bloviated, every speaker bloviated. The question is, who else is going to believe that crap? I for one am not. My question is how many other voters will? If others buy that garbage, well come that fateful day in November called Election Day, we will have 4 more years of the worst President in US history, and we will never be able to recover, and you can take that to the bank.

  • Schlomotion

    Just because Barack Obama is not going to fix America, that is no reason to pretend that oligarchs are not sabotaging the electoral process, the markets, the banking system, national sovereignty, and the freedom of movement of Americans within their own country. Mr. Shapiro tosses aside as rhetorical trope the actual malaise of national sabotage in America to gain one chit for Mitt.

    • tagalog

      Who are the oligarchs? Can you name one or two?

      How are they sabotaging the electoral process? What are they doing, exactly?

      What are they doing to the markets? What markets? All of them?

      How about the banking system? What are those oligarchs doing to that?

      National sovereignty is being sabotaged by oligarchs? How?

      What about them interfering with freedom of movement? Does that have anything to do with the rise of the costs of public transportation and gasoline?

      National sabotage, wow! I'm certainly against THAT!

      • Schlomotion

        Such incisive questions. You should research those.

        • tagalog

          You made the assertions. Why don't YOU back them up with some facts? Then I could research them.

          Rhetoric is always great, but if you want to persuade people, you need some substance.

          But persuasion isn't your goal, is it?

          • Schlomotion

            That is a good question that I will answer. I made the assertions. Why don't I back them up with facts? I don't need to back them up with facts, because they are of the nature of "Look out buddy, the truck is about to hit you" or "Duck!" It's just fair warning. Dawdle in the street all you want. Why don't I back them up with facts? Well that's simple. I am busy building a gravel separator this morning, and have some other errands to run.

          • tagalog

            Building that gravel separator hasn't kept you from making the baseless claims, has it?

            Well, have a good day.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            I think we can make some assumptions like that Schlo has a very strange agenda. And now thanks to his last comment we can argue with him and never back up our's with any facts.

          • Mo Schlotion

            Will it separate the muck from the mire?

          • Western Canadian

            You don’t really expect a worthwhile answer from this ignorant ass, now do you??

    • Ghostwriter

      What's your solution,Schlomotion? At least give us that!

      • Schlomotion

        Drink more tea. Perform more of your own physical labor. Study the everyday objects that you take for granted. Look up words in the dictionary that you think you know already, no matter how small. Make your body strong and dexterous. Build confidence in your own ideas. Try to avoid using money.

        • JakeTobias

          Weird answer. Stream of consciousness drug addled Zippy the Pin Head non-answer.

      • Western Canadian

        Again, a reply that only an ignorant ass would offer. You are predictable. Stupid, and incapable of offering anything of value.

  • tagalog

    Mr. Shapiro says: "This election is about whether the American people consider themselves victims requiring a savior, or entrepreneurial individuals who value freedom over the comfort of faceless community. "

    It is, of course, frightening, indeed terrifying, that this kind of a choice is the one that Americans perceive to be at stake in the upcoming election. It is jaw-dropping that people might vote in favor of Obama in the belief that HE is going to be the savior. If he is to be the savior of the dependent American society, who would be the contemnor?

    I have recently read that it is the very uncertainty of a free system that guarantees the virtues and blessings of freedom. That rings true to me (thank you, Jonah Goldberg). Hopefully, Americans will see that and make the self-reliant step in this election.

    Both parties have some explaining to do on the war front and its relationship to the call for unity, but I think the Republicans can explain their side of things better than the Democrats. Has anyone else noticed the continuing call for wars, wars on poverty, on drugs, on this thing, that thing, the other thing, and unity to conduct that war? I thought we lived in America, where the system was set up for the benefit of those who didn't choose to be part of some unified herd. Wasn't it Woodrow Wilson who first came up with the idea that when we are engaged in a war it's easier to get the mass of people to accept laws that encroach on their freedoms and allow the expansion of government? "The moral equivalent of war;" didn't that come from some lefty like John Dewey, back in the 1920s? Maybe it was Abraham Lincoln who called for unity in wartime. But Lincoln's quoted words suggest that he, at least, knew the restrictions on liberty were going to be temporary.

  • jacob

    OBAMA had FOUR (4)YEARS to implement his saviour promises on something he carries significant responsability, because he ardently opposed McCAIN's legislation to curb the abuses of FREDDIE MAC
    and FANNIE MAE which were the root of the economic debacle…
    After raising our debet ceiling as no other administration did befofe him, what are his accomplishments ??
    Where are the JOBS this market place "socialist" demagogue promised ???
    And polls still show 55% acceptance for his performance ????
    Are we plain stupid or rather masochists ??????

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeffery.rightmire Jeffery Rightmire

      Unfortunately there are those who think he is great. I am with you,100% — he is absolutely the worst thing to have happened. Elect the AMERICAN businessman, and we might have a chance. Obama's goal is to make us putty on the world scene. If he is reelected we are doomed.

  • Spider

    I already have a savior, he lived 2000 years ago. and was the most peace loving and wisest man to ever walk the earth. – I don't need any false saviors in Washington.

  • Living the Dream~LOL

    Gary Johnson 2012 to keep our Constitution! Ron Paul Supporters are voting Gary Johnson to preserve our freedoms! GARY JOHNSON 2012!!!

    • JoJoJams

      So, in other words, you're voting for Obama……

      • gray man

        it's funny how the libtarts have obummer as their messiah, and the paultards have RP as theirs.

    • G Nichols

      A vote for anyone other than Romney…INSURES obama for a 2nd term. I like Paul and Johnson also…but they can't possible win this time. All you are doing is voting for Obama and agaist everything we want!! Don't be so stuborn just to prove your point, it will backfire this time!!! Get ready for there shot in 2016, unless Obama wins and then he might just executive order himsel king and there will be no more election. Don't laugh..He want total control and he Can do it. Please don't waste your vote!!!!!!

    • fiddler

      2 words:

      ROSS
      PEROT

      'nuff said

  • clarespark

    Here is my effort to explain populism as a tactic that is effective no matter who wields it. See http://clarespark.com/2009/12/16/perceptions-of-t…. "Perceptions of the enemy: the left looks at the right and vice versa."

  • C.R.

    Obama and the Marxist democrat party–are the ones who create victims–and destroy lives!

  • BLJ

    I hate Obama. I really do. He is the worst thing to ever happen to America. Anyone who cannot see that is blind.
    Anyone who refuses to see that is stupid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeffery.rightmire Jeffery Rightmire

      You have that right. The absolute worst thing.

    • fiddler

      Then we have a lot of stupid people to educate before Nov 6th.

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,the President's policies have been a miserable failure,but there is the perception that he's still likable. Mitt Rommey's going have to do a lot more to change that perception if he ever want to get elected.

    • Serafino

      He is not my President. He is the biggest hate-mongering, evil-minded fraud in the history of our great country. I can only imagine how he and his wife suck on some $400/bottle champagne while making fun of all things American, sugh as God, guns and land of opportunity. They will need more that Stanley Steemer to scrub the White House of the lingering smell once he is booted out. Clorox comes to mind as the most effective cleaner.

    • mlcblog

      The press is really emphasizing Romney's aloofness, whereas I have perceived on my own that there is warmth there.

  • tagalog

    We've spent the nearly 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on insuring that people get a fair shake, or at least that's what our political leaders have been steadily saying, and now we're told that the "game" is "rigged?' Let's see: in the past 50 years we've had 5 Democrat presidents and 5 Republican presidents. How many of those 50 years have seen Congress dominated by Democrats? A majority of them, I'd guess. So who's responsible for "rigging the game?" The oligarchy? Who are they? How did the Democrats allow them to get so powerful?

    Is this why the Democrat Party, the alleged party of the dispossessed, somehow has so much money? Why are we continually looking to the politicians, who are obviously totally ineffectual on the issue, for answers to this question? Why should we keep on electing them for that purpose as opposed to electing them to build and maintain the post roads, regulate commerce between the states, advise on and consent to the federal judges, and raise and maintain armed forces?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffery.rightmire Jeffery Rightmire

    His only plan is to bankrupt us all and make us a communist nation at the mercy of the world. If the people only knew–no one would vote for him.

  • PermReader

    Americans appeared to be liabled to the mob psychology and its intllectuals including the academia and "intelligentsia" too.The totalitarian regimes` experience confirms the same.The skillful use of the racial factor helps Obama`s shamefull election demagogy.

  • Anamah

    Please tell me the guy and his gang are only a joke. A nightmare and is the time to wake up…