May 07 2013

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President Obama at The Ohio State University

Commencement 2013The President offered a mixed bag of advice to graduates at The Ohio State University, during commencement at the Horseshoe on May 5. Some of his comments could easily have been mistaken for a conservative, “The founders trusted us with this awesome authority. We should trust ourselves with it, too. Because when we don’t, when we turn away and get discouraged and cynical, and abdicate that authority, we grant our silent consent to someone who will gladly claim it,” This quote from the President echoes the urgent pleading of grassroots conservative and libertarian activists around the country. The President followed this statement with a warning against lobbyists seeking special treatment (Few of the graduates sensed the pungent hypocrisy emanating from the stage).  I share the President’s hope that the class of ’13 remain engaged in protecting the authority granted to “We the People” by the Founders through the Constitution.  Let us hope their activism is accompanied by a desire to question the progressive orthodoxy prevalent during their academic years.

The President sprinkled his speech with references to great Americans like Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, but also beckoned the spirit of progressive stalwart Woodrow Wilson – the only other Chief Executive who may rival Obama’s disdain for the restrictions on the U.S. Constitution.

President Obama paid dutiful homage to the looming disaster of man made climate change and he received hearty applause when addressing the horrors of gun violence.  Protecting the second amendment was somehow not a priority.

Most noteworthy were his comments about those who may suggest encroaching tyranny, “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

President Obama’s comments deserve a vigorous dissection. No less an American icon than Ronald Reagan said, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” The founders greatest concern was the uncontrolled growth and influence of government in the lives of citizens. Given limitless power, sinister would be a fair description. Tyranny, is an inevitable destination for any country where the citizens don’t exercise constant vigilance, and in those instances, it may lurk “just around the corner.”  Finally, this administration has been lax, if not hostile to the rule of law.  Self-rule cannot exist without a government that obeys the same rules as the governed and in that instance should not be “blindly” trusted. In short, a series of inaccurate statements.

This President has made five visits to the Ohio State campus in the last year.  Whatever disagreements one may have with his ideology, he knows that the key to enacting his utopian vision requires each generation being more willing than the previous to advance the progressive creed.

We can learn a valuable lesson about leaving a void for others to fill. America’s conservative-leaning citizens will need to play a much larger role in countering the ideology of teachers from preschool through commencement.

About the author

Ed Bell

Permanent link to this article: http://ourtp.org/2013/05/07/president-obama-at-the-ohio-state-university/