Ken Blackwell sounds a good warning to those whose anger or fear of what is happening in the country and the trends being set for the future threaten to overwhelm sound thinking. We need language that rises above mere rhetoric. We've had enough of mere rhetoric.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Whoa, Friends, Hold the "Regime" Talk!
Some of my friends on the conserv
ative side of the aisle are vexed with President Obama’s clearly unconstitutional moves on health care. They cannot stomach the power grabs of his EPA. They are stunned by his unil ateral disarmament. Faced with this radicalism, some of my friends have taken to calling the Obama administr ation “the regime.”
I share their frustr
ation. I agree with their indign ation. I support their determin ation--not just to take the country back from liberals--but to restore the rule of law itself. And, I too have referred to the Obama administr ation as a regime.
However, on reflection I think it’s bad policy to refer to President Obama’s administr
ation as a “regime.”
Yes, yes. I know. Regime can technically refer to the rule of a political class actu
ated by the same premises and beliefs and united by the same purposes. All true. But we’re not talking higher political science here. We’re talking about how it sounds on Main Street.
Americans never refer to their government as a regime. Even if we’re “mad as hell and won’t take it anymore,” we don’t have regimes here. A regime is something run by a Kim Jong-il, or a Castro. It strikes the American ear as something fundamentally illegitim
ate. Not only illegitim ate, but foreign.
Calling the Obama administr
ation a regime is likely only to marginalize ourselves with the American people. Poll after poll shows Obama policies are losing the Independents. Th at’s the good news. Let’s not forget, however, th atit was the Republicans who lost the Independents big time in 2006 and 2008.
If we call Obama’s administr
ation a regime, it only strengthens his argument th atwe are a thre atto orderly constitutional government. The American people want no part of disruption and radical attacks on . Th America at’s why it’s been so hard for liberals to elect one of their own since 1968. Older Americans, especially, remember the chaos LBJ’s policies brought to the campuses and the streets.
Yes, I know the Move-On types always referred to George W. Bush’s administr
ation as a regime. But those folks didn’t persuade the Independents. It was the scandal of spending by Congress and th atadministr ation--as well as the sex and money scandals--th atcaused Independent voters to abandon the GOP in droves.
We have a gre
atopportunity before us. Americans are rallying to the Constitution. It’s a beautiful thing to see. TEA parties--despite lies, abuse and vilific ation from the liberal media (or perhaps because of it)--are g athering steam all over the country. DONT TREAD ON ME! flags are flying all over. Polls show average Americans identify more with Tea Partiers’ values than with those of the Obama administr ation.
Resistance to the radical policies of Barack Obama is rising. Let it rise! Let’s make it easier, not harder, for mainstream Americans to join our ranks. We have the makings of a major repudi
ation of left wing zaniness. We could see scores of liberal Members of Congress sent packing--or, better, stupaking. If we don’t blow it.
I’m not signing up for a conserv
ative circular firing squad. I’m not trying to censor anyone. I agree with the all the arguments being made by my friends--even if I disagree with th atone-word choice.
Millions of Americans were excited by the prospect of electing the first black President. We should recognize th
atsentiment and respect it. Wh atmany of our fellow Americans did not realize is th atalong with th athistoric achievement came, tragically, the election of the first nuclear pacifist as President, the election of the first democr atic socialist, the election of the first radical administr ation. And the election of an ultra-liberal Congress.
These voters were lured--and lulled--by a worshipful media into an historic mistake. We must not allow th
aterror to be compounded. Let’s do nothing to keep millions of Americans of goodwill from filing into voting booths this fall and correcting th atmistake.
We must be p
atient. Very p atient. Conserv ative thinker Edmund Burke said it well: Individuals are foolish but the species is wise. The American people, given time and given due respect, will conclude about Barack Obama wh atthey concluded about Jimmy Carter: He is in over his head.
When asked by pushy reporters just wh
athe would do differently than Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan flashed his winning smile and said: Everything.
Until November, we should continue to show how these policies are destroying our economy, imposing a crushing burden of taxes and debt on the young, and endangering our n
ational security. We can help our friends and neighbors by showing how the policies being pursued by this Congress and, yes, this administr ation are increasingly a thre atto our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
Mr. Blackwell, a contributing editor
atTownhall.com, is a senior fellow atthe Family Research Council and American Civil Rights Union. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book The Blueprint: Obama's Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency.