25 – The Farewell

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On January 10, 2017, Barak Obama gave his farewell address to the nation. Of course, it wasn’t really a “farewell” in the sense of “I’m leaving now. Goodbye.” Every day since then he’s managed to appear in front of a camera on some pretense—press conference, interview, something. Obama is attracted to cameras and microphones the way a moth is attracted to the flame of a candle.

It also wasn’t the sort of farewell address that previous presidents have given. He didn’t speak of America’s place in the world as a “shining city on a hill,” a bastion of democracy. He didn’t speak of how he hoped America would continue to carry the torch of liberty for decades and generations to come.

Instead, he gave the same speech he’s given a dozen or more times in the past. The speech that talks about how Bush and the Republicans left him with the worst international mess since World War Two, and the worst economy since the Great Depression. The one that claims he fixed all those problems and is handing off an America that is stronger and more prosperous than ever before.

In other words, he didn’t talk about how great America is. He talked about how great he is. He referred to himself a total of 75 times in the speech.


The next morning, as I read some of the commentaries by various conservative and liberal pundits, I couldn’t shake the feeling that everyone was missing the point. The pundits were judging him by the standards of previous modern presidents—JFK, Reagan, Clinton, and others. By those standards he was a miserable failure.

The problem is, he didn’t spend eight years governing by those standards. He governed by the political philosophies of Saul Alinsky, and by that standard he was remarkably successful. Consider:

  • After eight years of Obama’s rule, the nation has virtually no protection on our borders. Foreign nationals, some of whom are criminals, others of whom may be terrorists, are allowed to come and go at will. Drugs, explosives, and other illicit materials are allowed to enter the U.S. at any time, in any quantity.
  • The nation is divided against itself—race against race, rich against poor, religious against secular.
  • The nation has lost respect for the rule of law. Black mobs have tacit government approval to riot, burn, and loot whenever they claim to be offended by some event. Policemen (and now in a few events, firemen) are being executed while performing their duties. White policemen who arrest black suspects risk being charged with a variety of federal crimes ranging from profiling to violation of the suspect’s civil rights.
  • Obama’s policies have done much to destroy the U.S. economy. Businesses—especially small businesses—have been crippled by more than 3,000 new regulations that cost them almost $900 billion annually to follow. Those costs must be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, which makes U.S. businesses less competitive with China and other foreign producers.
  • America has more proven reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal than any nation in the world—but we produce less than 20% of our daily needs. For the other eighty-plus percent we are dependent on the Middle East, North Africa, Canada, and Mexico—and three of those sources aren’t particularly friendly to us.
  • When Obama took office in January of 2009 we were only producing about 23% of our energy needs. Since then the Obama Administration’s Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, and Environmental Protection Agency have colluded to reduce our production by about six percent more—and in the past month Obama put another two million acres off limits to drilling. The effect of those Executive Orders hasn’t been felt yet.
  • One in seven Americans—14% of the population—is now receiving food stamps. That’s approximately a 60% increase in the number since Jan 2009. It’s a 72% increase in the number of blacks receiving food stamps.
  • Approx 45 million Americans—14.5% of the population—are now living below the poverty line.
  • Obama’s presidency is finishing with the lowest labor participation rate since the ‘Seventies (the era of another ultra-liberal Democrat, Jimmy Carter). Some 35 million Americans are now assumed to be out of the workforce, having given up on finding a job. If those people are counted as being unemployed, the “real” unemployment rate isn’t 4.9%. It’s somewhere around 16%.
  • Unemployment in the black community is between 25% and 30%. Unemployment in the 17-and-under demographic is in excess of 60%.
  • The U.S. home ownership rate is the lowest in 52 years.
  • One in every six men between the ages of 18 and 34 are either unemployed or in prison.
  • Obama has more than doubled the national debt, from less than $10 trillion in January of 2009 to almost $20 trillion today. Saddling the society with unsustainable debt is one of Alinsky’s most fundamental precepts.
  • Our military is being rendered ineffectual in a variety of ways–reduction in numbers, reduction in operating budgets, and reduction in equipment quantity and effectiveness. And people are being discouraged from volunteering by a withholding of veterans’ benefits and services—especially health care.
  • Our allies no longer respect or trust us and our enemies no longer fear us–another of Alinsky’s fundamental principles.
  • Finally, we come to Obama’s signature legacy–the “Affordable Care Act,” or Obamacare. Every promise made to the American people—every one, without exception—has proven to be a lie. But…Obamacare is a huge step toward a European/Russian/Chinese-style single-payer system, in which the government will control every aspect of the health-care system and will literally have the power to decide who lives and who dies.

All of these accomplishments are down-the-line, item-by-item in accordance with Saul Alinsky’s principles as set forth in his book, Rules for Radicals. Ol’ Saul would be proud of his disciple.