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Obama's Anti-Americanism

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Publius
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I seem to have become lost somewhere in this thread. The question, as far as I can tell: does Obama explicitly advocate redistribution of wealth? One particular interview has been nit-picked to the point of scabbing. Why are we only using this particular interview?

Does nobody remember the "Joe the Plumber" controversy? Am I imagining the whole scene in which Obama hands down, undeniably advocated redistribution of the wealth?

Why are we relying on one very ambiguous interview to ascertain the man's motives? Why not hear it straight from the horse's mouth, according to a more concrete interview, caught on camera, with Barack Obama fully in view saying clearly something to the effect of "what's wrong with redistribution of the wealth?"

Perhaps I'm off-topic; if I am, I apologize.

-WC

You're not off. To clarify though, the main value of that interview, to me, is that it makes moral culpability undeniable. With Joe the plumber, some might write Obama off as a typical leftist quasi-intellectual who just "wants to help people." The statement he makes in opposition to negative liberties, however, shows that he fully understands the concept of rights and is opposed to them on principle. Because of that statement I do not view him as simply mistaken, or misguided, or "pragmatic," but actually evil. He opposes my right to live my life in the way that I wish, unapologetically and with full philosophic understanding of what that means. As such he has placed himself in direct opposition to values generally and my values in particular.

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But now Publius on an objectivist board is trying to demonstrate that the founding fathers did not believe in individual rights and liberty but instead on welfare ideals which had not yet even been practiced experimentally.

Man you're not even paying attention. We needed to set the record straight about the interview and Sophia was misinterpreting the point he was making. But that is a sideshow. The real point of the discussion, and this is very important, is what it means to be an American, what are the founding ideals. This post split off from Capitalism_Forever's original essay on how Obama goes beyond un-American into full bore Anti-American. And I am challenging his assumptions on what exactly constitute the ideals of the founding fathers. My point is, and to correct your erroneous summary, is that the founding fathers did believe in individual rights, but also in the general welfare of the country as a whole. You might think of it like the Chinese concept of yin yang, which is used to describe how seemingly disjunct or opposing forces are interconnected and interdependent, giving rise to each other in turn. (from wiki)

Now I've moved in academic mode and I am being very particular about what the founding fathers said so that there is no confusion.

Edited by Publius
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My point is ... that the founding fathers did believe in individual rights, but also in the general welfare of the country as a whole.

The evidence for the meaning of the term general welfare has been provided to you. Alexander Hamilton believed in a looser interpretation but that was not true of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." - Thomas Jefferson, 1798

"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions." - James Madison, 1792

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined . . . to be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce." - James Madison, Federalist 45

"No legislative act … contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid." - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 78

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"[i must question] the constitutionality and propriety of the Federal Government assuming to enter into a novel and vast field of legislation, namely, that of providing for the care and support of all those … who by any form of calamity become fit objects of public philanthropy ... I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the great almoner of public charity throughout the United States. To do so would, in my judgment, be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive of the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded." - President Franklin Pierce, 1854
Edited by ~Sophia~
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Federalist No. 41, James Madison:

"For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural or more common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify by an enumeration of the particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity .."

Here he was replying to anti-Federalist writers who were worried that the “general welfare” clause opened the way to abuse. Madison in response accused those writers of "stooping to such a misconstruction" of the obvious sense of the passage, as defined and limited by those powers explicitly listed immediately after it.

In Federalist No. 84, Alexander Hamilton implicitly confirmed Madison’s point. He argued that a bill of rights would be not only unnecessary, but dangerous on the grounds that since the federal government was given only a few specific powers, there was no need to add prohibitions: it was implicitly prohibited by the listed powers. If a proposed law wasn’t covered by any of these powers, it was unconstitutional. He said that adding a bill of rights would only confuse matters as it would imply that the federal government was entitled to do anything it wasn’t positively forbidden to do, whereas the principle of the Constitution was that the federal government is forbidden to do anything it isn’t positively authorized to do.

Hamilton:

“For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?” Such a provision “would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretence for claiming that power”
Edited by ~Sophia~
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Interesting you brought up Franklin, because it was his idea to propose the general welfare clause to the constitution.

The phrase, as proposed by BF to the Second Continental Congress in 1775, was originally implemented in the Articles of Confederation as follows:

The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare...

The 1828 Webster’s dictionary lists two definitions for welfare: one to be applied to persons, and one to political bodies. As the Constitution was written to list the government’s restrictions, the definition for political bodies applies:

Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government.

The definition links welfare to protection and security. It is different from current definition of: Aid in the form of money or necessities for those in need; an agency or program through which such aid is distributed.

Madison:

"Money cannot be applied to the general welfare, otherwise than by an application of it to some particular measure conducive to the general welfare. Whenever, therefore, money has been raised by the General
Authority, and is to be applied to a particular measure, a question arises whether the particular measure be within the enumerated authorities vested in Congress. If it be, the money requisite for it may be applied to it; if it be not, no such application can be made. "

Jefferson:

Our tenet ever was, and, indeed, it is almost the only landmark which now divides the federalists from the republicans, that Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was never meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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The definition links welfare to protection and security. It is different from current definition

Absolutely. The concept of the welfare state simply did not exist until about the 1870s, so to suggest that the Founding Fathers were welfare statists is as absurd as to say that King Louis XVI of France fled Paris in an Airbus A380 when the revolution broke out.

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And I am challenging his assumptions on what exactly constitute the ideals of the founding fathers. My point is, and to correct your erroneous summary, is that the founding fathers did believe in individual rights, but also in the general welfare of the country as a whole. You might think of it like the Chinese concept of yin yang, which is used to describe how seemingly disjunct or opposing forces are interconnected and interdependent, giving rise to each other in turn.

I'm not going to be a dick and ask for quotes in which the Founding Fathers bring up that ying-yang cliche. Just provide some proof that they said individual rights and what they called "the general welfare of the country" are in any way, even seemingly, disjunct or opposing forces that need to be interconnected and made interdependent by President Obama's ying yang of vast redistribution of wealth.

You've been allowed to skate on this general welfare for long enough. Time to provide proof that the Founding Fathers, in all those quotes, mean the same things Obama means by general welfare. Until then I'll remain convinced that the Progressive movement borrowed that concept and changed its meaning to suit their purposes, the same way they borrowed terms like liberal, human rights etc etc.

You're just presenting a fancy version of the "every child has the right to Broadband Internet" (that's an exact quote from Obama), and rights are protected by government according to the Constitution, so they shall all receive Broadband Internet asap. By general welfare the founders of this country didn't mean a nanny-state providing everything the population might need to live confortably, that's plenty clear, and ridiculous to imagine that they did, when you look at how little America's leadership did, for the first 150 years, to provide for anything other than freedom and the Law. And yes, a nanny-state is exactly what you are pretending it means in those quotes, because that is the only way your argument holds up. Time to prove it then.

[edit]I see Roland beat me to the point by ten minutes.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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I'm not sure of the point you were trying to make, but in this country we learned in grade school that the colonists were opposed to taxation without representation, not to taxation itself.

And that of course is the problem, isn't it? It is such a shame that the most advanced country so far still felt it necessary to employ the tired old barbaric system of paying for its government by means of coercive action.

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And that of course is the problem, isn't it? It is such a shame that the most advanced country so far still felt it necessary to employ the tired old barbaric system of paying for its government by means of coercive action.

The "taxation without representation" idea is ridiculously narrow. The American Founders were fighting for the principle of individual rights, as enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and defended by John Locke in his Second Treatise on Civil Government.

It's true that that the "taxation without representation" is what has been taught to Americans the last several decades as the reason for the American Revolution, but this is likely because leftists were the academics teaching this stuff and they have this amazing talent for not seeing great ideas.

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It's true that that the "taxation without representation" is what has been taught to Americans the last several decades as the reason for the American Revolution, but this is likely because leftists were the academics teaching this stuff and they have this amazing talent for not seeing great ideas.

Of course it's also taught because it leads to the convenient conclusion (from the left's perspective) that if you have political representation, we can tax the living hell out of you.

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Now you're getting to the interesting part. One of the main concerns of the founding fathers was the presence of factions in society and their detrimental impact. Here is John Adams in a letter to Jefferson in 1787: "You are afraid of the one-I of the few. We agree perfectly that the many should have a full fair and perfect representation. You are apprehensive about monarchy, I of aristocracy. "

Even at that early time, Adams and others considered the wealthy to be a faction that could wield undue influence contrary to the common people. In A Defence of the constitutions of government of the United States, he writes: "If a majority are capable of preferring their own private interest or that of their families, counties and party to that of the nation collectively, some provision must be made in the constitution in favor of justice to compel all to respect the common right, the public good, the universal law, in preference to all private and partial considerations."

Is John Adams anti-American? Hamilton?

Yes, factions were of concern, but their opinions about it evolved beyond this quote you reference. A good illustration would be to look at letters that ADams and Jeffersons wrote around the beginning of the French Revolution. The letters they exchanged between each other at this time were few and reserved - because they were starting to realize their differences. For Jefferson's real opinion, look at his letters to Madison. For Adams real opinion, look at his journal or his letters to Elbridge Gerry. Jefferson and ADams don't start to really be honest with each other (and Adams always more revelaing than Jefferson), until their retirement years. Jefferson was also equally apprehensive of aristocracy; something that he never really communicated to Adams effectively, thus Adams often underestimated his skepticism. The FOunders' letters to each other can be confusing; you have to realize who their true confidants were before you can start citing their opinions. In 1787, ADams and Jefferson were beginning to realize their differences. Adams liked to try and get explanations out of others - to try and get their insight -- but Jefferson was always very reserved... esp with people whose political intentions and philosophy he was beginning to question. In 1787, he was still friends with ADams by all appearances, but at the same time you also find him conceeding to others that he agreed with Franklin's assessment of Adams as being " absolutely out of his senses."

As for whether or not Adams was anti-American the answer is simply no. With Hamilton, however, if we are defining "anti-American" as someone who stood against the principles this country was founded upon then yes - I would assert that Hamilton was anti-American. He is, as a matter of fact, the Founder who is guilty of creating the myth of "implied power" -- he is the one who pretended like the 10th Amendment did not exist, and the first politician to begin creating meaning out of things that simply were not "in" the Constitution. The Constition was, as aequalsa mentioned, intended to limit the federal government's power by bestowing to it only those powers it enumerated. Hamilton was unsatisfied with this and thus he is the one who lead the charge on finding loopholes. Of all the despicable things he wrote in his lifetime, the most un-American quote that comes to mind is from his Report on Manufactures, in which he wrote: " The power to raise money is plenary and indefinite [in the Constitution]... The terms general welfare were doubtless intended to signify more than was expressed." Well, no, maybe worse was a comment from his piece on the COnstitutionality of the Bank of the United States, where he wrote "Implied powers are to be considered as delegated equally [to the FEderal government] with express ones." Implied powers? This had come up in the debates of the COnstitutional COnvention and it was precisely because the Founders were aware that they might be leaving power up to interpretation that they put the 10th Amendment in place; it states that the Fed is limited to the powers as stated in the COnstitution and all others not expressly listed were reserved to the states (ie, they could decide for themselves). Hamilton is the original weasel who clung to the phrase "general welfare" as some kind of loophole that authorized the Federal government to do whatever it felt like doing. That is unequivocably an anti-American idea - it defies the whole purpose of the Revolution. It was also Hamilton who advocated for a PERMANENT executive who held the power to VETO all state legislation. How does that fit into the model of a Republic? He may have been a great soldier for Washington in battle, but he remains, in my mind one of the most corrupt souls to ever walk upon this continent: he was nothing BUT an advocate for highly centralized (and largely unlimited) power, mercantilist trade practices and government intervention in economics. He championed the the ideas of public debt, high taxation, protectionism and government controlled banks. Exactly which one of those ideas is American to you? Obama might say, and take actions that prove he believes, these ideas are American but I reject them entirely.

Hamilton was, therefore anti-American UNLESS we are to define American as one who puts the powers of the government above the rights of the people - as Obama seems inclined to do (though he is crafty at veiling his intentions: more crafty than Hamilton), then Hamilton would be the greatest American ever. But I hate that definition. And I despise the fact that Obama is yet another advocate of Hamilton's f'ed up principles. Obama did not create these problems; one could argue Hamilton did. But Obama is yet another cog in these faulty notion of Americanism that has developed over the last two hundred years. Our country's government was meant to exist primarily for the protection of the populations' rights - now our government seems more inclined to overstep its powers to appease enough people in order to simply protect itself. It doesn't seem to care what rights are tampled upon as long as the masses are appeased enough not to overthrow the government. The whole pattern is just sad.

There's a reason why ADams and Jefferson both died so distraught about where they saw the country heading: the country was moving away from what they had fought against, and toward what Hamilton advocated for: big government.

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First I do not much care about his intensions. The consequences of his wrong doing are going to be the same regardless.

Intentions do matter. I will be judged differently depending on whether I accidentally shoot you dead while cleaning my gun, or shoot you dead because I hate your cooking.

Second, he understands and even fully acknowledged that it is the free market which is the source of wealth. He also due to this altruistic ethics believes in economic equality.

He does not believe in economic equality. That would be communism. He and just about everyone in this country believes in a progressive tax system to limit to some extent the wealth disparities the market tends to produce in society.

His attachment to that idea is stronger than his attachement to the notion of individual rights your country is based on... The founding ideals were not at odds. It is people who deviate from the founding ideals. And there is no compromise with the violation of individual rights.

I have explained above how the notion that the United States was based on individual rights alone is a fallacy. If you want to take issue with the comments that support this from Adams, Hamilton, Washington, and Marshall, go right ahead. Now would be the time.

In your opinion, what are the 'founding ideals' of this nation? Which ones were at odds? And in what ways were they compromised?

You're asking me to teach a course on this board in 18th century American political thought? Because that's what it would take to answer that properly. We don't have the time or inclination for that. What we have before us is the proposition that the country's ideals included not just the protection and celebration of individual rights, but also that the country was a cohesive union of patriots who had cause to seek the betterment of society has a whole. The quotes ai have provided have demonstrated that.

Regardless the fact remains that Obama is in favor of wealth distribution. Wealth redistribution is anti-American.

Americans en mass believe in the progressive taxation system, and have for 100 years and more. And the progressive tax system is far less punitive to the rich than it ever has been. Furthermore, the Constitution gave the Congress authority to tax the citizenry, and so any use of those tax receipts can be seen as wealth redistribution; e.g: A bridge gets built to improve transportation. The contractor who builds the bridge benefits, the businesses that need the bridge to distribute their wares benefit, but the people with no reason to use the bridge do not benefit. Wealth redistribution is inevitable when you agree to tax the people.

America is the nation where people made their ways on their own ability, not hand outs.

Unless those handouts were from your rich dad. Since life expectancy wasn't anywhere near what it is today in the 18th century, no one foresaw the need for social security or medicare. No one foresaw how modern urban living and industrialization, combined with economic upturns and downturns, would give rise to the levels of unemployment that would occur, and the subsequent benefits of unemployment insurance. No one saw the benefits of making sure children could get proper medical attention, or food, despite the economic status of their parents, so that they could become productive citizens as adults. It is perfectly rational to assume that, given the state of minds of many of the founding fathers as evidenced by quotes here, they would have acquiesced to these public programs to provide/promote the general welfare.

This last question might be unclear, so I'll elaborate. The studies that track wealth distribution can tell you how many people per capita earn how much, and how one bracket relates to another; what they don't tell you is who is in each bracket year to year - consequently they have absolutely nothing to say about income mobility throughout each bracket. For a larger explanation of this, see this piece by Thomas Sowell.

In your post you kept conflating the concept of yearly income with wealth. These are two separate animals. Now, one learns this is in economics 101 at the college level, so I'm not sure how to address you on the matter because its unclear to me whether you have undertaken this level of study. Not trying to sound snotty but your familiarity of these concepts will determine how I should respond to you. Nevertheless, the Sowell article is political propaganda which, from my previous readings of him, is probably an intentional ploy to exploit people who don't know the difference between the two. Every economist knows people's income levels go up and down, but the level of wealth, the real determinant of prosperity and power, is more fixed (rock stars, professional athletes, and Madoff Ponzi scheme victims notwithstanding).

The evidence for the meaning of the term general welfare has been provided to you. Alexander Hamilton believed in a looser interpretation but that was not true of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

So then it is Hamilton who is anti-American. And Washington tended to side with him rather than Jefferson, so lump him in there too. And Adams has to be included because of his wariness of the rich and insistence the government promote the common good.

Why don't you try arguing that these founding fathers did not mean what they clearly meant in the quotes I provided. I don't disagree that Jefferson and often Madison were very skeptical of the general welfare clause's liberal interpretation, but theirs were not the only voices on the matter.

In Federalist No. 84, Alexander Hamilton implicitly confirmed Madison’s point. He argued that a bill of rights would be not only unnecessary, but dangerous on the grounds that since the federal government was given only a few specific powers, there was no need to add prohibitions: it was implicitly prohibited by the listed powers. If a proposed law wasn’t covered by any of these powers, it was unconstitutional. He said that adding a bill of rights would only confuse matters as it would imply that the federal government was entitled to do anything it wasn’t positively forbidden to do, whereas the principle of the Constitution was that the federal government is forbidden to do anything it isn’t positively authorized to do.

He worried that if a Bill of Rights was written it would be perceived to be the ONLY rights people had where in actuality they would have much more. This worry was assuaged with the ninth amendment, which means that any right not explained in the Constitution is still a right of the people. He did not specify that only the specific powers enumerated in the constitution were granted. Here is an excerpt from this good summary:

Hamilton believed safeguards against the abuse of power are built into the structure of the national government, such as the separation of powers and checks and balances. In this paper, Hamilton contends that he will examine six provisions designed to protect individual liberties. First, to protect the people against executive and judicial abuse of power, the Constitution provides the power to impeach. Second, the writ of habeas corpus (the right of a person arrested to imprisoned to be informed of the charges against him) shall not be suspended, "unless, when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." Next, Bills of attainder and ex-post-facto laws are prohibited. The great English jurist, Blackstone, believed that prohibiting these types of laws were the two most fundamental individual rights. Fourth, the Constitution states "no title of nobility should be granted by the United States." Hamilton writes that the importance of prohibition titles of nobility is paramount; if such titles were granted, the very foundation of republican government would be undermined. Fifth, the Constitution guarantees the right to trial by jury in all criminal cases and sixth, treason is very carefully defined in the Constitution.

The 1828 Webster’s dictionary lists two definitions for welfare: one to be applied to persons, and one to political bodies. As the Constitution was written to list the government’s restrictions, the definition for political bodies applies:

The definition links welfare to protection and security. It is different from current definition of: Aid in the form of money or necessities for those in need; an agency or program through which such aid is distributed.

You don't need to provide quotes from Jefferson, or Madison or anyone else, because I never objected to their point of view (although I would argue they never would have agreed in a million years to a government based on Objectivist principles). Remember the quotes only are relating to federal government, not the state government, which they were more fond of.

And I amazed that you feel that the idea of what constitutes providing for the general welfare was never going to change in 220 years, that it would remain fixed based on the prevailing attitudes of a sparsely populated, highly religious agrarian society. Ideas change and evolve, and its good that they do. In 1780 you couldn't vote here, or do a great many things without the consent of your husband. Should we accept the 1828 dictionary definition of everything, and reject the progress of the last 180 years?

I'm not going to be a dick and ask for quotes in which the Founding Fathers bring up that ying-yang cliche. Just provide some proof that they said individual rights and what they called "the general welfare of the country" are in any way, even seemingly, disjunct or opposing forces that need to be interconnected and made interdependent by President Obama's ying yang of vast redistribution of wealth.

You've been allowed to skate on this general welfare for long enough. Time to provide proof that the Founding Fathers, in all those quotes, mean the same things Obama means by general welfare. Until then I'll remain convinced that the Progressive movement borrowed that concept and changed its meaning to suit their purposes, the same way they borrowed terms like liberal, human rights etc etc.

You're just presenting a fancy version of the "every child has the right to Broadband Internet" (that's an exact quote from Obama), and rights are protected by government according to the Constitution, so they shall all receive Broadband Internet asap. By general welfare the founders of this country didn't mean a nanny-state providing everything the population might need to live confortably, that's plenty clear, and ridiculous to imagine that they did, when you look at how little America's leadership did, for the first 150 years, to provide for anything other than freedom and the Law. And yes, a nanny-state is exactly what you are pretending it means in those quotes, because that is the only way your argument holds up. Time to prove it then.

Couldn't see where Obama said it was a "right." He said all Americans should have access to it, but that's not the same thing as saying it should be enshrined in the Constitution.

What in jumping jehosaphat are you talking about? You feel the government is making every American's life peaches and cream? People on unemployment, welfare, social security, etc. are just in the lap of luxury? Give me a break.

A hell of a lot more was done by the government in the first 150 years to provide for the prosperity of the people besides "freedom and the law." I am not doing tutoring here, so I'm not about to begin an exposition of the history of the American government unless I am compensated fairly for my time (my Paypal info can be provided if this appeals to anyone :D )

I haven't responded to your posts because I feel the answers to your points were in my responses to others. Instead of me spending hours trying to cross reference Obama quotes and those of Hamilton, Adams, etc, why don't you just analyze the quotes I gave and indicate why you feel they were not advocating that government should, at least in some manner, be the steward of the greater good. If you can demonstrate this, then you would have a case that Obama is at least un-American because there would be no early intellectual fountain from which his ideas flow.

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I haven't responded to your posts because I feel the answers to your points were in my responses to others. Instead of me spending hours trying to cross reference Obama quotes and those of Hamilton, Adams, etc, why don't you just analyze the quotes I gave and indicate why you feel they were not advocating that government should, at least in some manner, be the steward of the greater good. If you can demonstrate this, then you would have a case that Obama is at least un-American because there would be no early intellectual fountain from which his ideas flow.

You have not provided any quotes in which the Founding Fathers actually define what they mean by general welfare. The idea that leaving what they meant by that term up in the air proves that they might have been in favor of Obama's policies is ridiculous. You're the one using quotes from Madison to defend Obama, so you're the one who needs to show that Madison uses general welfare in the same sense Obama uses it. Otherwise the quotes you provided mean nothing, and we're moving on from the idea that they somehow support or even resemble Obama's ideology.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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I haven't responded to your posts because I feel the answers to your points were in my responses to others. Instead of me spending hours trying to cross reference Obama quotes and those of Hamilton, Adams, etc, why don't you just analyze the quotes I gave and indicate why you feel they were not advocating that government should, at least in some manner, be the steward of the greater good. If you can demonstrate this, then you would have a case that Obama is at least un-American because there would be no early intellectual fountain from which his ideas flow.

And what is this greater good that you speak of? Is a thief a good person, is a man or woman who defines that they have a need, and therefore steal from those who have the most, does that make them good? Is it not the freedom of choice that this country was founded on? the freedom to choose what you said, the freedom to choose what, if any, religion to follow? Then why is it considered good to steal from those who could have given freely to the cause of others.

This country, no matter what argument you bring up or define illogically, was built on the freedom from the arbitrary will of others. The men who shaped this country died to free us from the arbitrary rule of a country miles away from home. And now, you freely accept the arbitrary will of this government simply because it is not across an ocean? you willingly commit that all men may have they property stolen from them, that their hard earned work of them or of their fathers, a right to property that they have earned because they are men, and that no man can steal from any other for whatever reason he decides is arbitrarily good, that the only definition he has to back it up is that it is accepted as good and therefore must be good?

I am willing to listen to you, to what extent of good allows any man to steal from any other man.

We Are Not Objectivists because someone told us that it was "GOOD", We Are Objectivists because we have seen the proof of its GOOD and have accept it as such because we see it to the best example of GOOD and I Know, that if I find any fault in it, I may choose to change it based on these new and better GOOD

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You have not provided any quotes in which the Founding Fathers actually define what they mean by general welfare.

You have not provided any quotes in which Obama actually defines what he means by "redistributive change"

Or anyone else.

Which is at the heart of the actually topic here, "Obama's Anti-Americanism". sNerd is going to have to split this topic again in not too long if it keeps going in this direction.

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You have not provided any quotes in which Obama actually defines what he means by "redistributive change"

He means taxing wealthy people to a greater extent, in order to provide for those who are in need, or for those he feels are wronged by the mechanisms of the free market. Do you really disagree with that?

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He means taxing wealthy people to a greater extent, in order to provide for those who are in need, or for those he feels are wronged by the mechanisms of the free market. Do you really disagree with that?

Again I asked for, his words. The ones he said, not the ones you put in his mouth. Do you really not see the difference between what someone says and what someone tells you that person said?

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It's safe for me to conclude that nothing you guys say will get through to Mammon. Keep it up if you must, but also keep in mind that actions speak louder than words. Research Obama's history. I suggest checking out ACORN, his role with them, the people that created ACORN and their philosophy and goals.

Have fun with the rest of this thread, I'm out.

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You have not provided any quotes in which Obama actually defines what he means by "redistributive change"

Does he need to define it, or do those words already have a meaning?

Rather than criticize anyone who criticizes Obama, how about if you lay out for us a positive argument for Obama. Clearly you support the guy, why not tell us why?

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Again I asked for, his words. The ones he said, not the ones you put in his mouth. Do you really not see the difference between what someone says and what someone tells you that person said?
Even if we stretch our imagination, the only thing that can be ambiguous in the usage of the term "redistributive change" is whether the speaker means that such redistribution should take place without political force. It is a stretch, but sometimes economists will speak of the anthropomorphise the economy and speak of it "distributing" wealth; even here, the term "redistribution" is not common. Regardless, Obama makes his meaning abundantly clear in that link to the ABC site. He speaks of coalitions of political power achieving that redistribution.

One cannot make an arbitrary claim that a person might mean something other than the widespread and common usage of a term. One must have a reason to make such a claim. For instance, the term may be used in various ways, or the person belongs to some group that uses the term differently, of some such reason. Otherwise, we can struggle over every single word that anyone says and get into a Clintonesque debate about what "is" means.

That single interview shows so clearly that Obama is in favor of redistributive change. As someone also pointed out, there is so much more evidence of that, e.g., his argument against the "Joe the Plumber" argument. Why only that? What do you think his health care proposal is all about?

Further, this is not something Obama is shy about. Why would Obama deny that he wants to redistribute wealth? It is an essential plank of his platform. While it is an essential part of the platforms of both parties, Obama would be happy to tell you that the GOP gives too many tax-cuts to the rich.

Obviously, politicans like to hedge both positions -- as Obama did in his inauguration address -- hoping not to please as many voters as possible. Still, if anyone can look at Obama's campaign, and be shown a few particulars, and still claim that it is unclear is he is not in favor of redistributing wealth, then I see no point discussing things further. All possible explanations for such a stance render further discussion futile.

Edited by softwareNerd
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