Obama’s State of the Soviet Union
By Daniel Greenfield
Thursday, January 27, 2011
When the applause had died down and the softly glowing screen of the teleprompter faded to black, the echoes of the Leninist cadences of Obama’s State of the Union address, “We must out-educate, out-compete, and out-innovate the rest of the world”, “We have broken the back of the recession” and “We can’t win the future with a government of the past” suggest that we are now living in a land without history.
How else could Obama get up and deliver an address whose rhetoric represents a 180 degree turn, while the substance continues down the same track. The meat of the address was stolen from Clinton’s 1992 campaign stump speeches on the economy. There is the same invocation of personal stories of unemployment combined with promises of replacing the old bad manufacturing jobs with free educations for everyone.
As usual, the slogan du jour comes from the dictionary of the left. “Winning the future” was a common slogan on the left. While it was belatedly used by Newt Gingrich, it was most commonly employed in the 20th century by Communists and the far left. Two time Lenin prize winner, Danilo Dolci used it as the theme of one of his addresses. Jesse Jackson made use of it during his presidential campaign. Max Lerner gave a number of talks on “Winning the Future”. Mandella threw it in there. Most notably it was used by Lenin, “Our hopes must be placed on the young. We must win the youth if we are to win the future.”
The thrust of Obama’s agenda follows Lenin’s. The old jobs are gone. We must prepare for the future by educating our youth. The sturm und drang of the “We Musts” quickly becomes an argument for pandering to the teacher’s unions. Only by empowering the teacher’s union will we be able to compete with China. But China isn’t strong because of its teachers, but because it has no independent unions, no minimum wage, no pollution laws and nothing to get in the way of the terrible machine of its industry. The People’s Republic of China is not beating us in science or math, but in manufacturing cheap products with an undervalued national currency.
If you’re following Obama’s curve ball so far, the plan is to fund education for entirely new industries. The same clean energy industries he wants to subsidize. All in the name of innovation. But this isn’t innovation, it’s central planning. The Obama administration has decided which industries to promote. It will use taxpayer money to subsidize those industries. It’s a great plan aside from one small hitch, what if those industries don’t succeed? That’s the fallacy of central planning. It all looks good on paper. But paper isn’t life.
Obama acted as if he were delivering Lenin’s 10th congress speech on the New Economic Plan, but he has nothing revolutionary to say. He wants to cut spending, and all he does is talk about more spending.