Barack Obama the Father of Our Country?

Obama WashingtonClose your eyes and allow yourself to drift back in time to April 30, 1789. A long and brutal Revolutionary War has ended, George Washington has been elected our new nation’s first president, and the great man is stepping up to the podium to deliver the first inaugural address of a President of the United States. What happens next?

It might surprise you to know that what would happen next was as much related to the character and integrity of George Washington as it was to the words and tenets of the U.S. Constitution. Washington was the president, but possibly more important was the fact that he was the ‘precedent’ for all those who would follow him in that office. For day to day matters, Washington had no rule book to read, no interpretations of the new Constitution, no historical reference on which to draw or to dictate how he should govern this new republic. From his relationship with Congress, to his official relevance to the citizenry, to such mundane things as how he, as president, should be addressed, Washington had to ‘write the book,’ so to speak. Virtually every move he made in office would set the standard for each of his successors.

With that thought firmly in mind, consider this: Washington was a Federalist in his personal beliefs. That means he was in favor of a very strong central government, was opposed to a broad measure of individual and states’ rights, and, during the framing of the Constitution, was not in favor of the inclusion of the Bill of Rights. There were strong arguments for such beliefs, and those who debated during the Constitutional Convention were sharply divided into Federalist and Anti-federalist camps. Federalists understood that the average citizen of the day had no understanding of a constitutional republic. All they had ever known was monarchy and a societal structure in which they were on the bottom rung, and the very idea of electing leaders from among their numbers was a foreign and frightening concept. Many still felt allegiance to England. Many were afraid of self-rule. Many believed an elected president and congress would be even worse than a monarch who was thousands of miles away. The general public was simply not ready for responsibility of self rule…or so the Federalists thought.

Against this historic backdrop, and after a couple of intervening centuries, Barack Obama was elevated to the office of President of the United States. There is no doubt that Obama’s personal beliefs, just like those of George Washington, favor the Federalist view of government. Just like Washington, our current president believes in a powerful central government. Obama proves his beliefs daily in supporting legislation that can mandate things like health care practices and insurance coverages, states’ rights to protect citizens from foreign invasion, and individuals’ rights to practice their religion in the manner they choose. Like Washington, Obama is not a big fan of the Bill of Rights, as is evidenced by the way he and the Democrat faithful, keep chipping away at our Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. Obama is certainly opposed, as was Washington, to a broad measure of states’ and personal rights, and without doubt believes that the general public is still not ready for the responsibility of self rule.

So if Barack Obama had been the first American President, would things have shaken out to be basically the same as they are now? He seems to think like Washington, and, as the introductory photo proves, could even look like Washington with the right wig. Would he have governed like the Father of Our Country? Personally, I doubt it. I have dwelt on the similarities between Obama and Washington, but I have left out some notable differences…until now.

When, at one point during the long war, the Continental Army had not been paid in several weeks because there was no money in the treasury, soldiers implored Washington to overthrow the Continental Congress and declare himself King of America. General Washington declined. President Obama has yet to refer to himself as King, but the fact that he has nearly forty Czars among his appointed hierarchy indicates he sees himself at some as yet unnamed higher office. He is also on record as saying if Congress won’t vote his way, he will just do it without them. Sounds a little like a king to me.

Washington realized that the people of America had exercised their individuality, self reliance, and ingenuity to bring the American continent to a point of self-government, and he believed the new Constitution would enable them to take the experiment to an even greater end. The new president was selfless enough to step back from his own personal beliefs and allow the document and the citizens to ‘work out the kinks,’ so to speak, and build what he envisioned as a great nation. To that end, he surrounded himself with advisors from both sides of the Federalist issue, and listened intently to arguments from all as they endeavored to interpret the law of the land. When John Adams suggested that the president be referred to as “Your Majesty” when being addressed by others, Washington scoffed, and said, “Mr. President will do.” Washington was from the elite rung of society, but struggled throughout his presidency to find ways to show he was a ‘man of the people’ while at the same time maintaining the dignity and uniqueness of the office of President of the United States.

Barack Obama, to the contrary, does not appear to recognize individual accomplishment or responsibility among the populace. In fact, he seems to vilify personal success and eschew any pretext of individual responsibility from what he views as a helpless American public. His only pre-presidential job of which I am aware was that of a ‘community organizer,’ which seems to be loosely defined as one who finds ways for government to support and get things for people who refuse to take care of themselves. He personally believes government should have ultimate control of the people, states, and businesses, and he has not backed away from those beliefs as president. Obama has surrounded himself with advisors from the far left, and seems to take advise and direction from no one else. Rather that present himself as a ‘man of the people,’ he lavishly flaunts the privileges of his office by regularly taking his family on excessively expensive vacations while average Americans are struggling to pay their light bill.

All of those things point out irreconcilable differences between the two presidents, and highlight the fact that President George Washington was a man of high character and personal integrity who loved and respected the Constitution of the United States even when it chafed against his personal beliefs. Regarding those attributes as they relate to President Barack Obama, my dear old grandma always told me, “If you can’t think of something good to say about someone, don’t say anything.”

That’s all I’m saying.

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