Contrasting Reagan and Obama
I wrote the following syndicated column at the inauguration of Obama, January 20, 2009. It is entitled “Contrasting Reagan and Obama.” I share it here again now, because Obama will deliver his State Of The Union message in a scant couple days. Specific to that point, Obama has taken to comparing himself to President Reagan. I didn’t know President Reagan personally, but I can assure you Obama is not a President Reagan nor will he ever be able to hold a candle to President Reagan or his vision for America. This piece was true at the time I penned it, and Obama’s first term has only served to reenforce my words from three years ago…
CONTRASTING REAGAN AND OBAMA:
Inauguration Day is as much a day of new beginnings as it is a continuation of the old via an orderly transfer of power from one administration to another. That said, it is not the continuation of constitutional erosion and an anticipated ephemeral supplication that lauds the values that Scripture tells us God abhors.
Jan. 20, 1981, in his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan said, “We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow.” That commitment notwithstanding, he understood that more government intervention would not be the answer. He continued, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem.” This is a truism that President Barack Obama and his fellow liberals would do well to grasp.
Obama views government as the only solution to America’s current problems. However, he overlooks the fact that Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., are complicit in the housing and mortgage market failures because of their refusal and that of their respective congressional committee members to act when they were warned of misdeeds taking place in said markets.
President Reagan understood that, “From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people.”
Obama and company view America as being too complex to allow for our constitutional imperative to self-governance. They observe and are totally committed to a belief in their superiority pursuant to knowing what is best for us.
But Ronald Reagan knew: “If no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?” I submit as evidence of this Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., William Jefferson, D-La., Larry Craig, R-Idaho, Mark Foley, R-Fla., Dodd, Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Clinton – as a short and by no means complete list. We are asked to believe that Obama’s stalwart crop of failures and political lesions, who are unable to control their own lusts, know what’s best for us.
Obama fails to comprehend this important reality, even as lurid and corrupt dealings continue to surface about his various appointees. Still, we are told that these selections are the elite crusts of genius who know what is best for you and me – and that our job is to passively go along with all they say.
Obama, like every politician on Capitol Hill, owes his success to special-interest groups – albeit he and his liberal counterparts tend to be indebted to the most reprobate of same. Reagan understood, “Our concern must be for a special-interest group that has too long been neglected … in short, ‘we the people,’ this breed called Americans.”
A safe assumption is that Obama’s address will be filled with phony platitudes in an attempt to pacify us, as he explains that only his administration, vis-à-vis massive government intervention, will be able to set America on the right course.
Ronald Reagan, in his first inaugural address said, the “proper role of government [is] to do the will of the people” – not the will of Congress, the will of the courts, or the will of Erebusic special-interest groups. He said, “It is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work – work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his second inaugural address, professed with clairvoyant supremacy, “Instinctively, we recognized a deeper need – the need to find through government the instrument of our united purpose to solve for the individual the ever-rising problems of a complex civilization.”
The media breathlessly describes Obama as the ascendant shadow of Roosevelt. We would do well to remember Roosevelt’s ceaseless attacks against entrepreneurs, big business and the industry titans of his day. And to that point it would do well for Obama to promise to do the same.
Roosevelt took credit for creating “moral controls over the services of science,” making it a “useful servant.” Are there not other pre-World War and post-World War examples of this? The controls of same are not for the betterment of man as such; rather, they are to set government and an elite few in place as the arbiters of what is in our best interest.
Now, more than at any time in our history, “we the people” would do well to remember the wisdom of Ronald Reagan as he delivered his second address: “For the first time in history, government, the people said, was not our master – it is our servant – its only power that which we the people allow it to have.”
Reagan knew that “the system has never failed us, we failed the system. We asked things of government that government was not equipped to give.” We have asked government to coddle us, think for us, and be our nanny. As we continue to witness the resulting consequences, let us remember that such is an offer which evil and corrupt men cannot refuse.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here