President Obama is the worst President ever. I don't say this because I think he's the most liberal...

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President Obama is the worst President ever.

I don't say this because I think he's the most liberal President ever (even if he is, that doesn't make him a bad President), or because I watch Fox News (which is what Obama himself probably thinks), or because he is a Muslim (as Madonna thinks), etc.

Obama is the worst President ever because, from the beginning, he has never understood that it is both perfectly valid and necessarily true that different people will have different opinions, even about things that he himself is passionate about.  He demonizes people simply for disagreeing with him, and has done it literally his entire presidency, since his first inaugural address, when he proclaimed that those of us who want a smaller federal government are "cynics [who] fail to understand ... that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply."

Literally, in his first act as President, he told us that I, James Madison, and about half the country is simply wrong, and that we should all just change our minds to agree with his.

That's the opposite of being a leader.  A leader takes people as they are, serves their needs, and does whatever is in his power and job description to help them succeed.  Instead, Obama tries to do whatever he wants -- even when it goes beyond his power and job description -- to push us to do, say, and think things against our will, whether it's forcing us to buy health insurance, chastising an entire media organization for disagreeing with his policies, and now literally saying that he wants to change how elected representatives think, to be more in line with his thinking.

... if we're going to change how John Boehner and Mitch McConnell think, we're going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we're going to have to change how the media reports on these issues ...

Perhaps Obama's should re-read Federalist 10 -- which he surely read when he was becoming an expert in constitutional law -- wherein the aforementioned Madison tells us how to ensure that everyone thinks the same way.  Clearly, Madison and Obama are concerned about the same problem, which Madison describes as the negative "effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations.""

He continues:

By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

This is what Obama thinks that us on the right represent.  Well, what to do about it?  Madison notes:

There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects. There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.

And that's where Obama apparently stopped reading, because this is what he is now trying to do: give everyone the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.  But Madison explains the problems with this:

As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

In summary, Madison is making these basic points:

* Right or wrong, men will have different opinions.
* Their passions will inform their opinions.
* They will become passionate about their opinions.
* The differences between men -- which result in differing economic interests -- will further inform their opinions.
* Government's main job is to protect these differences.

Of course, we know that Obama doesn't want to protect the "different and unequal faculties of acquiring property," as his main domestic goal these days is to eliminate them.  So maybe I don't give Obama enough credit: maybe eliminating wealth inequality is one step on his way toward giving us all the same opinions, passions, and interests, which will ultimately result in furthering his desired policy goals.

This isn't a new idea, of course: it's built in to the modern Social Security system.  Supporters of the system made sure everyone got benefits from the system, to ensure lasting support for the system.  They gave everyone the same economic interests, which results in having the same opinions.

Madison said that this is impracticable, but Madison greatest fault was always that he underestimated what others would do to subvert the system he was designing. G+

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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