Good Riddance, Mr. Obama, by Robert Gore

One figure looms large over all his successors as the worst US president ever.

Barack Obama was not the worst president in US history. That honor goes to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was dead before most of us were born. Any education in history threatens to shed light on present conditions, so it’s been eliminated from curricula, replaced with pandering propaganda. Proper instruction would teach that FDR effected the sea change that transformed the US from a melting pot of mostly self-confident, self-reliant, marvelously competent individuals into a bankrupt welfare and warfare state, the majority of whose citizens are jumpy at their own shadows, afraid of their fellow citizens, and terrified of their politicians. Mr. Obama has merely been mop-up relief for the welfare-warfare team’s starter, FDR.

Roosevelt had his forerunners—Lincoln and Wilson—but he presided over the largest agglomeration of power by the US government ever. His tactic was breathtakingly simple: use the government’s failures to expand the government. To address what should have been a garden-variety stock market correction and recession, exacerbated by Hoover’s ineffective nostrums, Roosevelt took economic power away from millions of diffuse individuals and businesses, acting in their own interests, and consolidated it in Washington. It didn’t work. The economic statistics were worse in 1938 than they were when FDR took office in 1933, but failed programs were expanded and new ones added to “solve” the problems created by the earlier programs.

FICTION THAT TELLS THE TRUTH

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Power, not effectiveness, was FDR’s lodestone. By 1938 the US government was the most powerful institution on the planet, feeding off of its continuing failure to remedy the Great Depression. Subsistence itself became the government’s responsibility. The coercive extraction of money from some for the benefit of others—formerly known as theft—became the prevailing ideology of Roosevelt’s Democrats. By the time Obama trotted in from the bullpen, both parties and most of the American public unquestioningly believed that a good chunk of GDP should detour to Washington every year, some lining political and bureaucratic pockets, the rest distributed to favored beneficiaries.

An ever-increasing mountain of laws and regulations, reaching into every nook and cranny of American life, has also become an occasionally deplored but never reversed feature of government since the New Deal. When Franklin and Barack’s team wins, everyone not favored by the government loses. The New Deal was really the same Old Deal stretching back centuries: a government expanding its powers to the detriment of the people it rules.

While the New Deal alone would earn Roosevelt a place of honor in the statist hall of fame, the US’s involvement in history’s bloodiest war garners him his very own wing. He had promised during the 1940 campaign to keep the country out of a war he was working assiduously behind the scenes to enter. It’s fair to ask why the US didn’t just stand aside after Germany invaded the USSR and let the two odious dictatorships knock each other out. It’s also fair to ask, as an increasing number of historians have, if Roosevelt maneuvered Japan into the Pearl Harbor attack, knew it was coming, and let it happen to rouse the American public into a war it wanted to avoid. There is plenty of evidence that he did, although Roosevelt partisans still argue that it’s not conclusive.

Randolph Bourne noted that war is the health of the state, and although Roosevelt did not outlive it, World War II left the US government feeling chipper indeed. It had consolidated its control over the economy and business, eroded civil liberties, developed a doomsday bomb, ran up the national debt, and emerged as the leader of a global confederation, a de facto empire. Unfortunately power corrupts and empires crumble; when you’re on top of the world the only direction is down. Seventy-two years later, Roosevelt’s warfare-welfare state is bankrupt, the once vaunted US military has lost a string of wars against ostensibly outmatched opponents, and Russia and China are leading a consortium of nations exiting the US orbit.

Obama, like most of his predecessors since Roosevelt, has made his contribution to the list of soon-to-be insolvent “entitlements. However, Obamacare is only the cherry on the redistributionist sundae concocted by FDR. Also like most of his predecessors, Obama has found trouble spots around the globe into which the government has stuck its nose, but Libya, Syria, Ukraine, other regime change missions, and random drone strikes don’t qualify as skirmishes compared to World War II. The only arena in which Obama, in conjunction with George W. Bush, outshines Roosevelt is restricting civil liberties. Undoubtedly Roosevelt would have availed himself of the surveillance state’s bag of technological tricks had they been available at the time.

All of Roosevelt’s successors have been merely disciples, spreading his gospel of an ever more taxing, indebted, intrusive, arrogant, and powerful government. Those who claim Obama is the worst US president reveal their ignorance of history. Those who rank Roosevelt as the greatest, or one of the greatest, US presidents reveal they’re nothing more than power-worshipping, government-loving nonentities. The greatness of America has never rested with its government, but with its people and what they have done with their freedom. That freedom has dwindled still more during Obama’s reign.

Those who control the government will suffer the fate that has befallen governments and those who control them throughout history: collapse and ruin. Obama has done nothing to forestall it. He is a small man with a small man’s flaws: mendacity, hypocrisy, vanity, vituperative, petty, unprincipled, an outsize ego, preoccupied with image over substance, and an inability to accept responsibility or admit error. Roosevelt had the same flaws, but you get treated better by the historians when you preside over the birth rather than the death throes of an empire. Death is an inevitable consequence of empire, because of a phenomenon as simple as a Newtonian law. As an empire grows linearly larger and more successful, the energy and effort necessary to sustain it grows exponentially. Political and geographic entropy eventually engulf even the best administered regimes.

Obama will enjoy the same historical prominence as Anthemius, Olybrius, Glycerius, Julius Nepos, and Romulus Augustulus, the last five emperors of the Western Roman Empire. Even Roosevelt’s reign will eventually be seen as just another governmental usurpation of power and abridgment of liberty. Nothing special, just what governments do and have done throughout history. Revolting against their arrogant overseers and rejecting Obama’s so-called legacy, the American electorate bestowed an improbable electoral victory on Donald Trump. It remains to be seen what he will do with it, but January 20 cannot come soon enough. Good riddance, Mr. Obama.

“A melting pot of mostly

self-confident, self-reliant, 

marvelously

competent individuals”

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12 responses to “Good Riddance, Mr. Obama, by Robert Gore

  1. Pingback: Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. “Those who claim Obama is the worst US president reveal their ignorance of history. Those who rank Roosevelt as the greatest, or one of the greatest, US presidents reveal they’re nothing more than power-worshipping, government-loving nonentities.”

    The observation errs because it uses the wrong metric. You are applying the metric of freedom. But if you apply the metric of State expansion the comparison holds. Roosevelt was able to expand the State. Obama’s brief foray into State expansion will be wiped out by countervailing EO’s issued by the incoming administration. If one is a bureaucrat then Obama is the most failed president in history.

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    • When I write an article judging politicians, I use my metric, which is freedom. Explain why that’s the “wrong” metric and the metric of State expansion is the right one. By my lights it’s not.

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      • Truth is in the eye of the beholder and history is written by the victors. Well team Freedom has been losing for quite some time and the bureaucrats (victors) have been writing the history in the K-12 classrooms for some 50+ years.

        Though you or I might view events in the light of freedom, alas we are in the minority these days.

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  3. Robert – I pretty well agree with all of your “Worst Presidents Ever” assertions, but we’ve just got to have that disgusting L.B.J. in there vying for #4. He cannot be left unmentioned.

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    • Yes, he’d be a strong candidate, and he may well have been the most personally corrupt and evil president ever, especially if allegations that he had something to do with JFK’s assassination are true.

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  4. My fear is that in the near future, we will look at this time as the “good old days” of stability and plenty. Ask anybody knocked out of the middle class, or living on the street, and they’ll tell you it’s already as bad as it can get. Wait till they are joined by every one else, and there’s no money for any charity at all, and the misery is equally shared by all. Presidents and such will count for nothing, and hunger is going to be the everyday topic. The worst President, I’ve realized, at last, is any President, at all.

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    • Sean, I felt the same way as you that this country would go down. But, somehow the recent election of an impossible candidate to the presidency has brought back a lot of my faith in the American people. I believe that we need to keep up our vigilance as it (Roosevelt, Obama, Johnson, Nixon, etc.) can and will happen again. I added Nixon because of something I just read about him intentionally extending my war, Vietnam, about the time when we only had about 25,000 of our own dead, for political reason that so he could get the credit for ending it. It puts a whole new light on it for me. Government (control) seems to be the real problem. I’ve always felt that population is the real problem, the more people there are the more some feel the need to control everyone and everything. My proof: If there are no people, there is no one to control or be controlled. In any case it must be God’s plan that many of us will not be around, at least not in body, when it entirely collapses, (whatever collapses means to the people that are still around at the time).

      Robert, Thank you for the article.

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  5. The way I look at it is the banker pigs got their quisling in the WH with Wilson and then had the whole Century to ply their greedy crimes.

    Maybe….just maybe…. JFK was for real (sort of), but every single POTUS in the 20th and 21st Centuries has been horrendous, including to a lesser degree- Reagan.
    I supported Trump and also believe that his election is truly a one off, and that the lefties are in shock even more so then we imagine.

    I’m a firm believer the world economy is going to collapse and that event will collapse societies like nothing seen since the fall of Western Rome. This is inevitable. Nothing can prevent it.

    If all Trump ends up being is a speed bump for the lefties’ agenda, that’s still great. If he can turn some of the country around to a sensible, legal and rational path, then God bless him. However, nothing is going to stop the collapse and the banker pigs might decide to accelerate it to wreck Trump’s plans.

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  6. Pingback: Good Riddance, Mr. Obama, by Robert Gore – The way I see things …

  7. Pingback: Good Riddance, Mr. Obama, by Robert Gore | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC – The Badlands Dispatch

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