Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Obama Versus the Founding Fathers

May 8, 2013

There is perhaps no other American president who stands in such stark contrast to the US Founding Fathers than Barack Hussein Obama. By almost every measure, his reign of error is completely at odds with what the Fathers envisaged.

Whole books could be written about Obama’s demolition job on the American vision, his desecration of the US Constitution, and his utter disregard for the basic principles upon which the nation was founded. In fact, they already have been written.

So let me here just focus on his latest act of blatant anti-Americanism. On Sunday he delivered a commencement address at Ohio State University. In it he said this: “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works; they’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

Now isn’t it odd that a president who seems to be doing his best to turn America into a PC dictatorship should tell these graduates to not listen to those who warn about these very things? This is of course the exact opposite of what the Founding Fathers said.

America of course was established as an act of resistance to tyranny. And this right to be wary, to be on guard, to be vigilant, and if need be, to resist tyrannical rule, was at the very heart of the thought and practice which went into America’s founding. Consider just a few – of many – representative quotes:

-“Rebellion to tyrants is Obedience to God.” Benjamin Franklin
-“A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master.” George Washington
-“It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune. This necessity however exists; and the problem to be solved is, not what form of Government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect.” James Madison
-“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” Thomas Jefferson
-“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson
-“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson
-“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.” Thomas Jefferson
-“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Patrick Henry
-“If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.” William Penn
-“…no civil rulers are to be obeyed when they enjoin things that are inconsistent with the commands of God…. All commands running counter to the declared will of the Supreme Legislator of heaven and earth are null and void, and therefore disobedience to them is a duty, not a crime.” Jonathan Mayhew

These sentiments could not be further afield from those expressed by BHO. He seeks a submissive, compliant populace which asks no questions, dares not rock the boat, and slavishly does whatever their political masters tell them to do. The Founding Fathers would be rolling in their graves to hear such idiocy.

Ben Shapiro has just commented on this. He says, “Government, in Obama’s view, is the great guarantor of rights. Never mind that government – yes, government in America – has routinely stripped its citizens of rights. Never mind that state governments stripped black people of their basic personhood for decades, enshrining slavery with the help of the federal government. Never mind that for a century after slavery, state governments, with the silent assent of the federal government, enshrined Jim Crow. Never mind that the federal government stripped thousands of Japanese citizens of their rights during World War II and the unborn of their rights in 1973.

“None of that matters to Obama. He said, ‘This country cannot accomplish great things if we pursue nothing greater than our own individual ambition.’ The Founders believed, to the contrary, that government’s job was to protect our most basic rights so that we could pursue the individual dreams and ambitions that truly make America great – the dreams and ambitions that created Edison and Ford, Jobs and Gates.”

He concludes: “Obama’s rhetoric here is more than perverse — it is supremely dangerous. American rights cannot be removed by a limited government. They can be, and have been, removed by a government actively seeking to remove rights. The Founders knew that. That’s why the system they set up was designed to check interest against interest, to prevent consolidation of power in any one branch or any one person. The Founders were skeptical of government and feared government tyranny. That’s why they rebelled against the British crown. And that is why the system of checks and balances they created – a system that has gradually been overthrown and replaced by leftists from Woodrow Wilson to Obama – was designed to stop such tyranny through complexity and balance.

“A people that does not fear government oppression is not a free people. It is a subject people. A people that believes that the government somehow invariably guards rights is not an American people – it is a Rousseauian rabble prepared to accept the yoke of tyranny. God gave us rights. The Founders gave us a messy system of government to allow the government to protect those rights while preventing the government from usurping them. Worshipping government achieves neither of those purposes.”

And Gary DeMar asks these questions: “Would Barack Obama have spoken out against Stalin or Hitler before their governments degenerated into full-orbed tyrannies? Would the President have supported the Polish Solidarity movement over against the Communist tyranny?

“Would he have joined the 52 signers of the Declaration of Independence? Here’s the opening paragraph: ‘When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.’

“In fact, the signers of the Declaration described the king of England as a tyrant: ‘The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world’….

“The Second Amendment prohibits the Federal Government from forbidding people in the various states from ‘keeping and bearing arms’ for ‘the security of a free state.’ It is the duty of the states to protect its citizens against the usurpation of their constitutional rights. Ours is a slow moving tyranny. An iron fist in a velvet glove.”

We have nothing to fear from a citizenry zealous to defend freedom and guard against tyranny. But we do have very much to fear from a president who criticises such people, and claims their concerns are simply unfounded.

[1295 words]

12 Responses to Obama Versus the Founding Fathers

  • Its not just Obama but Harry Reid thinks that its because ‘government is inherently good’ that the US has a constitution!

    What ignorance of America’s founding principles!

    See here:

    Damien Spillane

  • Hi Bill,

    Your post is an excellent indictment of Barack Obama’s destructive misrule and his overturning of America’s political foundations.

    In 1850, Frédéric Bastiat, a wise and witty French economist and journalist, saw the perils in granting politicians power to shape the nation according to their whims, and questioned the credentials of socialists in particular.

    “Since the natural inclinations of mankind are so evil that its liberty must be taken away, how is it that the inclinations of the socialists are good?” he asked.

    “Are not the legislators and their agents part of the human race? Do they believe themselves moulded from another clay than the rest of mankind? They say that society, left to itself, heads inevitably for destruction because its instincts are perverse. They demand the power to stop mankind from sliding down this fatal declivity and to impose a better direction on it.

    “If, then, they have received from heaven intelligence and virtues that place them beyond and above mankind, let them show their credentials. They want to be shepherds, and they want us to be their sheep.” [Frédéric Bastiat, “The Law” (1850), in Frédéric Bastiat, Selected Essays on Political Economy [1850], English trans. (Princeton, New Jersey: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1964), p.88].

    John Ballantyne, Melbourne.

  • Thanks for that Damien and John

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I don’t think it’s just Obama either. It’s the whole democrat party. At least that’s what Ive seen in my life time.

    Artie Curtis

  • Artie, it’s more than a single political party. Both in the USA and here in Australia the “natural party of conservatism” includes a large slice of socialist thinking.

    As Bastiat pointed out, politicians, being part of the human race, love to get their hands on the levers of government and control things. Pogo: “We have seen the enemy, and he is us” or Douglas Adams “anyone wanting to be President of the Galaxy is automatically disqualified”

    John Angelico

  • It is because of the state of sinfulness of man that government became needful and it is this same state of sinfulness of man that allows, due to the lack of vigilance of its individuals and communities to become the tyrant it is now becoming. It is important to remember, I believe that a tyrannic government does not appear from a vacuum. It is directly connected with the level of self control its citizens exhibit, the existence of which, governments agents have done their best to destroy of course.
    It took many years to get to this stage, it will take many years to get back, maybe longer, because usually it takes less time to destroy something good than it takes to rebuild it. Unless we have a revolution of course. Ben Carson makes a good argument for Boston tea party II.
    John, that man was still able to think, we must read all those good old thinkers before we have not only lost the ability to think critically, but to read as well. 🙁
    God’s richest blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Very well said Mr. Muehlenberg.
    I agree with each of your sentiments. Which brings me to the question, What do we do now?
    I ask this question in all sincerity. I too look around and see my beloved country, America- Land of the free, home of the brave, decimated. Immorality, perversion, debauchery, all upheld and celebrated by a platform as ideals to follow hard after. I watch (as a veteran) as freedoms, so hard won are stripped away, no, given away. Given away by a generation that has lost its moral compass. I believe the founding fathers would do now what they did then. But is that our path to follow? Or is this divine judgment upon a nation that has abandoned God? I honestly do not know the answer. I do feel that any hope of “the people” using the system to set things aright are quickly falling to the wayside. So, what do we do now?

    David Brown, US

  • Thanks David

    I try to answer your questions here:

    We must keep on fighting all this because it is the right thing to do.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • David, I thoroughly sympathise with your predicament as you sit and helplessly watch your once proud nation, which has given so much to the world, go down the gurgler.

    What can you do, you ask? I believe that secession of the conservative states must be a live option on the table. As I have read (and taught!) American history in recent years I am firmly of the opinion that that the Southern states in 1860-1 had the prefect right to secede. The ratification conventions in the various states in the months after the Constitutional Convention of 1787 made this quite clear: they would only accede to the Union if their right to secede at some later date, given sufficient provocation, was upheld. That right, as far as I am aware, still exists. In such a secession you could negotiate for a union with the Western Provinces of Canada for a larger union to link up with Alaska, but this is probably pipe-dreaming.

    Murray R Adamthwaite

  • Francis Schaeffer in his A CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO said that Christians have three options:
    Appeal to another official or
    fight-either in the courts or ….. as the Revolutionaries did in America.
    Wonder if it will come to that.

    Wayne Pelling

  • Thank you all for your timely and helpful responses.
    Brother Schaeffer has left us with much wisdom indeed.

    David Brown

  • Has anyone seen the DVD, “Monumental”?

    Kirk Cameron features in it and he explains quite clearly why the American founders founder USA the way they did.

    Very helpful DVD.

    Jeremy Hopwood

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