Monday, August 30, 2010

Is Obama the new Wevoka?

Shortly before dawn on New Year's day 1889, Wevoka, a Paiute Indian, delirious with fever, had a vision in which God spoke to him. God told him the earth would be reborn. It would be covered with a new layer of soil five times the height of a man, the buffalo would return, there would be an abundance of grasses and running water, ponies would roam wild, and the Indians would live peacefully and happily in idyllic primitive simplicity. To hasten this day, the Indians must lead moral lives, never lie or steal, and perform the “ghost dance.”

Here was a new religion. Wevoka was acclaimed the Second Messiah. It is remarkable how rapidly his message and the ghost dance spread at a time when modern communications did not exist and with Wevoka never leaving Nevada. No “community organizer” could have done better. Tribes throughout several states were soon conducting ghost dances, first with hundreds of dancers, then thousands. Indians, deprived of their lands, many of them starving, the rest existing under conditions of utmost privation, responded to Wevoka's promise of change. Even though there was no basis for believing what they were promised was true, the people wanted to believe they could miraculously have a better life. “Yes, we can!”

In South Dakota, the great chief Sitting Bull heard about the ghost dance and sent Kicking Bear, a mystic and former intimate of Crazy Horse, to Wevoka's home in western Nevada to learn firsthand about his prophecies and the ghost dance. When Kicking Bear returned (he took the train), he was enthusiastic about what he had learned. Sitting Bull remained skeptical but agreed to allow the ghost dance to be taught to those of his Lakota tribe who wanted to learn it.

As events played out, with the killing of Sitting Bull and hundreds of others at the Wounded Knee Massacre, it became apparent that the ghost dancing was not bringing about the promised changes. Indian numbers were steadily being reduced, and most of those who remained lost faith in the fantasy in which they had been led to believe, especially as the conditions of their own existence became increasingly dire. The discredited movement disappeared almost as quickly as it had bloomed.

Like Wevoka , Barrack Obama was claimed by some to be the new Messiah. Some called him the Anointed One. Both men had a vision of a new future for their societies. Both achieved prominence by offering hope and promises of change. To achieve the change Obama promised, the people had to perform a ritual, but it was not a ghost dance. The ritual now was voting. This was how the United States was to be reborn, how change could be achieved in ways that freedom and the Constitution—and economic reality—would not allow. This was how a fantasy reality was to be achieved. A new political and economic environment was promised, just as Wevoka had promised a new physical environment. The earth would be covered not with new soil and buffalo but with new laws and bullshit. It didn't matter that Obama knew nothing about economics, nor that most of the people who voted for him didn't grasp the implausibility of what he promised. Wevoka and his followers knew nothing about the physical implausibility of what he promised either. All that mattered was that people believed.

But now Barrack Obama began bumping up against the Constitution and economic reality. Despite his oath to uphold the Constitution, he quickly acted in ways for which there was no Constitutional authority. These included firing the CEO of a private corporation, dictating the makeup of boards of directors, forcing private corporations and stockholders to surrender shares to the government and other shares to the union, compelling the merger of private companies, and using money appropriated by Congress for the banking industry to instead bail out the automakers. He overturned a century of bankruptcy law. With public castigation, he intimidated some private employees having valid contracts for $1 plus a bonus to give back their bonuses, so that their total compensation for an entire year of labor was one dollar. Where is the legal or Constitutional authority for all these actions? And where was the Constitutional authority for him to require people to buy health insurance or pay a fine?—and to use that money to pay for other people's health care? There is nothing in the Constitution which makes the redistribution of wealth a function of the federal government. But it was in accordance with Obama's vision of a Marxist future for the United States.

Wevoka believed people should not lie or steal. The same cannot be said about Obama. Whole websites have sprung up listing his lies. (You can find them by googling “Obama's Lies.”) Here are just a few flagrant examples pertaining to Obamacare. He stated publicly on at least seven occasions—recorded on videotape—that he would negotiate health care openly with all parties, including insurers and doctors, sitting around a big table and televised on CNN. Instead the health care bill was negotiated behind closed doors; not even Republican members of Congress were allowed to be present, much less participate. Seven lies. And he repeatedly promised that he would not cut Medicare, but the bill he signed cut $463 billion from Medicare.

As for stealing, that is the basis of all Obama's programs for redistributing wealth. “Redistributing wealth” is what thieves do! Ditto Obama. For example, his programs giving people up to $4,500 for buying a new car under the “Cash for Clunkers” program or $8,000 for buying a new house simply take money from some people—whose property rights are violated—and “redistribute” it to other people favored by the government. Wevoka's admonition not to steal was a recognition that people have property rights and these were not to be violated. So who is the primitive, Wevoka or Obama?

Obama has managed to ignore the Constitution and property rights, but economic reality has proven a bigger obstacle to his promises to “fundamentally restructure” the United States. His $862 billion stimulus program has been a failure. It was a fundamentally flawed program based on John Maynard Keynes' idea that spending—any kind of spending—was stimulating to the economy. That idea was adopted by Franklin Roosevelt in hopes of ending the Great Depression and lowering unemployment. Instead, it failed miserably, even extended the depression, as various research studies have convincingly demonstrated. Obama's stimulus program, using that same discredited approach, was sold on the promise that redistributing wealth in this manner would hold unemployment under 8 percent; instead unemployment rose and is now 9.5 percent. Various other economic indicators have been disappointing, too.

When ghost dancing failed to bring the promised results, the people discontinued the ritual. As economic realities—which Obama doesn't understand and run counter to his Marxist "vision"—are causing his economic programs to fail, people are already beginning to indicate they will no longer go through the ritual of voting for him and his party's policies.