Pernicious, Patronizing Pablum

(Guest Blogger Dave Carter is a Contributor for, a retired military veteran and cross-country truck driver.)

It starts with a heavy beat and, “synthetic ’90s urban music” in the background, along with a female chorus singing, “we’ve got your back.”  The narrator says, “Four years ago we made history.”  “We’ve got your back,” the young ladies repeat as the narrator continues, “Now it’s time to move forward and finish what we started together.  We have to show the President we have his back.”  

The Washington Post announces, “Obama campaign going up with first radio ad targeting African Americans,”  and in that radio ad we hear President Obama calibrating his dialect to his target audience, sounding half preacher and all politician, warning fervently that “We can’t afford to spend the next four years going backwards!” 


Well, to paraphrase another Democratic President, it depends on what the meaning of “backwards” is.  Because, “what we started” with, when Barack Obama was running for President, was an unemployment rate among African Americans of 9.1 percent.  Having moved “forward” four years, it now stands at 13.6 percent, with the unemployment rate for African American teenagers at nearly 40 percent, suggesting that the black community was better off before their back became an object of Barack Obama’s attention.

Ah, but he has a solution!  Attaining just the right level of bombast, Obama preaches on, saying, “I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by kicking children off of Head Start programs; asking students to pay more for college; or eliminating health insurance for millions of poor and elderly and disabled Americans on Medicaid.”   Notice the subtle premise there?  “I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut…”  meaning that whatever portion of a person’s earnings that is withheld from the tax man is actually a gift from the government, as if the President sat down and actually wrote out checks to millionaires.  And if your earnings are a gift from the government, then they were never really yours to begin with.

It is the language of the charlatan, the conniving snake oil salesman.  Your earnings don’t belong to you, don’t you see?  They belong to a government functionary who will “give” you what he thinks you deserve, and funnel the rest to the appropriate cause, after skimming some off the the top for administrative costs of course.  All the hip rhythm and smooth intonations in the world cannot mask the language of servitude.  Under Barack Obama’s vision, your labor, your time, and your property are not your own, as you move “forward,” to the collectivist failures of the last century.  But, don’t worry.  He’s got your back.

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