Protecting Americans from themselves.
Several weeks ago, the Obama State Department essentially declared the war on terror over. “People who once might have gone into al Qaeda see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism,” an unnamed State Department official said. Meanwhile, President Obama was preparing to fly to Afghanistan to declare that we had beaten back the Taliban – and, simultaneously, to declare that we were in negotiations with the supposedly defanged Taliban.
This stunt was followed by the Obama administration’s attempted legitimization of one of the top Egyptian presidential candidates, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, as a moderate. The Los Angeles Times went so far as to label Fotouh a “dynamic pragmatist.” Dynamic may not have been the right word – it’s too similar to dynamite, which is apparently Fotouh’s political method of choice. In 2004, he said, “I would personally hope to have a chance to bear arms to confront the US occupation in Iraq.” But happy days are here again on the Nile!
This, in the opinion of the Obama administration, is all charming multiculturalism. When the Egyptian parliament discusses bills allowing men to have sex with their dead wives, that’s just a lifestyle choice. When Chinese smugglers traffic pills filled with powdered human baby flesh, and when the Chinese government beats the wife of a dissident to force him to abandon the US embassy, that’s simply a disagreement about the meaning of freedom. And we can all agree to disagree, can’t we?
It’s time to stop worrying about the rest of the world, says the Obama administration. It’s time to start worrying about the real threat: us. This week, President Obama promised that the time had come to refocus from external enemies to the real battles that need fighting here at home. “After more than a decade of war,” he said in his weekly address, “it is time to focus on nation building here at home.”
This was one of Obama’s favorite themes during the 2008 campaign – the notion that Americans required fundamental change. It’s why Michelle assured Americans that “before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.”
We are, in short, a dangerous bunch. And we require government to fix our brokenness.
And our obesity! Hence the new Massachusetts law banning bake sales. As of August 1, the state will ban junk food, and by extension, bake sales, holiday party treats, and yummy goodies designed to reward behavior. Our true morality now lies not in promoting liberty around the world, but in fighting fat here at home.
It’s not really designed to save children from themselves. It’s designed to make all standards communal. It used to be that if we chose to get fat, it was our responsibility to pay for those choices. The left seeks to relieve us of the consequences of choice, and in the end, is forced to relieve us of choice as well.
On an ideological level, this is a deeper problem than Americans have ever faced before. “We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one,” Reagan said in 1964. “So they're going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning.”
Today’s problem isn’t just redistributing the fat. It’s relieving the inequity of being fat. Our issue is no longer that our natural inequalities should be rectified. It’s that natural inequalities should be drilled out of us. We have moved beyond socialism. We are now approaching the realm of fascism. This is the great leveling – the point at which government legislates how all of us live our lives, not merely how we pay our taxes.
And this is the grand and glorious future Obama has planned for us, now that we’ve accepted the rest of the world as a kind and gentle place. With our foreign enemies appeased, we can focus on the real New Agey mission: moving beyond our individual selves, and becoming utterly community-oriented. All of our choices, in this view, have externalities; therefore, we ought to circumscribe choice.
We used to fight for freedom abroad. Now we are forced to fight for it at home. It starts with bakes sales. But it will not end there.
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