President Obama invoked President Lincoln in his inaugural address, sort of. “With charity for some and malice for the rest ...” That phrase would've been Lincoln's assessment of Obama's inaugural speech, had he been alive to hear it. Obama's address was full of incongruities but none more glaring than his frequent call for “collective action” working together as one people, while simultaneously taking time to divide and disparage not only the opposing party but also the successful portion of our society — referring to them as the “privileged few” who are just “lucky” — implying that these people are somehow different from other hardworking families.
Barry Switzer once described such individuals as having been “born on third base thinking they hit a triple.” But Switzer's own life story and a host of studies show that the majority of families currently on third base actually worked hard to get there. That the president has a blind spot regarding hard work's contribution to fulfilled dreams seems confusing until one realizes that his own ascendancy was largely a matter of serendipitous timing while being “made” by the Chicago political machine, where he rose from a community organizer to the presidency in just 11 years.
His resultant worldview that all successful action comes only from the government would then explain his baffling call for massive federal growth at multiple times in his address while only mentioning deficit reduction once in passing, as if it were trifle.
The hard truth and irony is that the entitlement reform Obama so vehemently abhors is the only possible way to continue to provide these programs for the people who so desperately need them. Is it too much to ask that Obama exercise some common sense and grace?
Kyle Toal, Oklahoma City
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