The New Freedom
By: Guest Authors
By: Greg Halvorson
Having hit the six month mark of Obamaâ€™s presidency, now that heâ€™s established, as it were, and the failings of his predecessor are for historians to dissect, itâ€™s appropriate to examine his greatest achievement, thus farâ€”a fresh and New Freedom, different from the old, ever-evolving as the young, dynamic and erudite leader ambitiously seeks, through legislative action, to put his foot-print on Life. Freedom, of course, isnâ€™t malleable. But â€œchange,â€ remember, is the presidentâ€™s truncheon, his rhetorical whip, and as Obama-ites everywhere cordially like to blather, â€œListen to the man. Thereâ€™s nothing he canâ€™t do!â€
So what is the New Freedom? First and foremost, itâ€™s the freedom to use soaring rhetoric as a smokescreen, whenever possible, to divert attention from policy. Was it not the new president who, behind a flag-draped podium, declared that the stimulus so desperately needed would â€œcreate or saveâ€ millions of jobs, that â€œshovel-readyâ€ projects from sea-to-shining-sea were poised to put eager-beavers to work? That the economy, since his inauguration, has shed millions of jobs (2.5, last I checked), leaving many sans shovel, is neither here nor there. Be patient. We are free to inherit. To reiterate, time and again, that, â€œa new dayâ€ notwithstanding, the past is a stickler and, truth be told, it isnâ€™t our fault.
In this vein, we are free to revise. Free to dodge taxes in the construct of â€œchange.â€ Free to write checks against future generations. Free, too, from failure. Under the old freedom, when a company shirked obligations and failed to execute, it went belly-up. But the New Freedom rubs bellies, just as long as the pork-laden mound flashes a union card. Between 2000 and 2008, the U.A.W. gave $23.7 million to Democrats, 119 times more than they dished to Republicans (http://tiny.cc/pjJKH), so bankruptcy law, vis-Ã -vis the New Freedom, is antiquated and pointless. Secured bondholders are out. Union bosses are in. Weâ€™re free to fire executives, reward mismanagement, burn taxpayer dollars, and to say, while doing it, with sincere disappointment, that itâ€™s â€œthe very last thing that we wanted to do.â€
Nothing in the New Freedom is given. While Newtonian laws are absolute, the inexact laws of deficit spending, whereby a single deficit is deplorable, but spiking one is egregious, are in New Freedom obscure. Bush, according to Obama, spent, spent, spent, irresponsibly plunging America into crisis, so Mr. Obama â€œacted responsiblyâ€ by quadrupling, without shame, that which he deplored. In the New Freedom, you see, if â€œtheyâ€ do it, itâ€™s terrible; but if you do it, itâ€™s right. This is not a double-standard. Yes, the Environmental Protection Agency suppressed a report begging to differ with slam-dunk theories of indisputable global warming. Yes, the Attorney General dropped an air-tight case of voter intimidation against Black Panther thugs. And, yes, if youâ€™re an inspector general who, in the course of his duties, discovers malfeasance among an Obama-ite, youâ€™ll receive your last check. But New Freedom loves style. Within it, youâ€™re free to say one thing, and as long as you reiterate it often and well, the New Freedom frees you from the consequence of your acts.
Truth? The New Freedom loves truth. In the old freedom, it set you free, but in New Freedom a greater role is defined. Moral equivalencies between six-million Jews having fried in Hitlerâ€™s ovens and stone-throwing Palestinians dodging Israeli tanks; between the struggle for equality among American women and the plight of the â€œburkaed,â€ obfuscates reality. The New Freedom apologizes for illusory transgressions, badmouths the Republic, and rightfully ignores our blood, aide and sacrifice, because, after all, whoâ€™s keeping score? No one in the New Freedom has moral cachet. To fire rockets, develop nukes, rig electionsâ€¦. Essential to fairness is skewbald â€œequality.â€ America is free to espouse free-for-alls.
Secret ballots? No. Secrecy betrays organized union labor. War on terror? No. â€œDiplomacyâ€ compels innovatively cute dialogue. â€œAct of terrorâ€? Please. Is it not more sensitive, indeed more kind, to white-wash extremism with â€œman-caused disasterâ€? In the New Freedom words count. Global warming, missing of a sudden, is now â€œclimate change,â€ and war, my Godâ€”why label the jihadist push to annihilate the West and assert Islamic law as something old and mean? Enemy combatants have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney (even beneath their shoulder-mounted rocket) and, in the gestalt of New Freedom, are less deserving of â€œterrorâ€ than are Tea Party-goers and home-bound G.I.s.
Is there even more promise? No one has access to the presidentâ€™s Crystal Ball. Cow-manure run trains may appear in New Freedom. Year-long waits for surgery canâ€™t be shelved. And, who knowsâ€¦. in an aureate era, with a popinjay in the presidency, even the Old Freedom may somehow survive.