The Obama of 1995 (FrontPageMagazine.com) By Ben Shapiro 03/26/12)
Front Page Magazine.com
Front Page Magazine.com Articles-Index-Top
President Obama was 34 years old in 1995. He was no longer a child,
or a teen, or even a particularly young adult. He was a fully mature
fellow, ready to run for the State Senate of Illinois. And here’s
what he thought about the nature of race in America, particularly in
times of economic turmoil:
In an environment of scarcity, where the cost of living is rising,
folks begin to get angry and bitter and look for scapegoats.
Historically, instead of looking at the top 5% of this country that
controls all the wealth, we turn towards each other, and the
Republicans have added to the fire.
Does this sound familiar? It should. That first sentence is almost a
direct quote of President Obama’s infamous 2008 comments in San
Francisco, when he ripped anyone who was not a toe-the-line
liberal: “it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling
to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or
anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain
their frustrations.” Obama was on this subject a solid 15 years ago.
And it’s never left him.
Unfortunately, it’s supremely typical leftist-speak. Leftists believe
that there is something pathologically wrong with those who disagree
with them. Worse, it’s based in the notion that America is
irredeemably racist, incapable of moving beyond skin color and making
judgments based on logic. The idea that Americans immediately turn to
blaming minorities demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the
progress achieved in civil rights over the last fifty years. More
than that, it dramatically underestimates the American people, who
are manifestly not racist, and cannot be made so by bad economic
The second sentence, too, speaks to the modern Obama. It sounds like
the most radical rhetoric of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Apparently, Americans aren’t wrong to scapegoat people for bad
economic times – they’re just not scapegoating the right people. They
should be scapegoating “the top 5% of this country that controls all
Why is it that the top 5% are innately responsible for the
impoverished in America? Obama explains by citing his international
It’s about power. My travels made me sensitive to the plight of those
without power and the issues of class and inequalities as it relates
to wealth and power. Anytime you have been overseas in these so-
called third world countries, one thing you see is the vast disparity
of wealth of those who are part of power structure and those outside
This is a common Marxist misconception – the idea that wealth and
power are innately intertwined. In America, everyone’s vote counts
the same. Yes, we have to be wary of crony capitalism – or
technically, corporatism – because there are those who can be easily
bought and paid for by political friends, including in President
Obama case the public sector unions. But the laws are generally
written neutrally here, and it is not the government’s job to pick
winners and losers. All the countries Obama spent time in as a child
had large, overbearing governments. Instead of learning that
inequality and corruption are connected to big government, Obama
instead figured that corruption is linked to inequality. Alleviate
inequality, alleviate corruption.
Does this matter? Of course. The same logic Barack Obama used back in
1995 is the logic President Obama utilizes today in stumping for
greater “fairness.” He is incredibly consistent in his ideology.
Which shows that he’s an ideologue rather than a pragmatist.
This is why it’s important to continue to vet President Obama’s past
given the fact that he has spent an inordinate amount of time
campaigning as a pragmatist. It’s clear from his past that he is an
ideologue, with deeply-held beliefs about income redistribution and
race, and the meanness of typical Americans. That’s worth knowing,
because it will certainly manifest in the policy he implements.
(Copyright © 2012 FrontPageMagazine.com 03/26/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY