Attaching Reality to Obama's "Sputnik Moment"
by CHRISTOPHER ADAMO
February 18, 2011
Perhaps the best manner in which to properly assess the true nature of liberalism is to revisit the issues and commentaries of a few weeks past, and compare them to the events of the current day. As any given situation unfolds, the left can be expected to pounce on the moral “high ground,” and laud its own virtues at the expense of the conservative opposition. However, since liberal pontificating is rarely based in fact, the game changes regularly, in order to continue the facade irrespective of the annoyances of reality.
Only a few weeks back, those on the left were sanctimoniously condemning Heartland America for its “incivility,” enthusiastically repeating allegations that everyone who supported the Constitution and the traditions of America was ultimately culpable for the mass murder and mayhem in Tucson. However, the flagrant double standards of liberal commentators, and more significantly the shamelessness and transparency of their attempts to exploit a tragedy in service to their “politically correct” agenda, simply could not withstand the test of time.
So after a few more derisive denunciations of the harsh rhetoric coming from everyone on the right, they completely dropped the subject and returned to their standard excoriations of anyone who might differ in the slightest degree with the ultimate wisdom of everything liberal. Accusations of vile motives among conservatives and their callous indifference to “the needy,” along with derisive and fabricated personal attacks against such notables as Sarah Palin, are once again standard liberal operating procedure, now that the sting of the Tucson episode is fading and no more political hay can be extracted from it.
Eventually, the truth (or more accurately, the total lack thereof) in liberal calls for “civility” can be properly weighed against the malignant personal attacks they regularly launch against those on the right. Thus their real intentions become apparent. Apart from the transparent efforts to thwart meaningful discussion of the issues of the day (such activity poses a mortal threat to the liberal agenda), they are no more interested in “civility” than they are in any freedom of speech or thought that might conflict with their goals.
More recently, much of the specific methods and motives of the current leftist offensive can be gleaned by revisiting Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, given on January 25. Were he sincerely endeavoring to fulfill the constitutional requirement to “give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient,” the particular items mentionedcould later be referenced for determining the proper direction of the country during the ensuing months and years. But as is ever more painfully apparent, that simply is not the case.
After the severe refutation that his party and its political philosophy received at the polls last November, Barack Obama realized that it is not too soon to begin the Herculean task of restoring his pretense as an inspiring visionary upon which he built his 2008 campaign. But since that time, he has proven on innumerable occasions that nothing of worthwhile substance is to be found behind that veneer. Far from being the stirring leader and healing agent of a fractured country, he has proven to be among the most petty and divisive high office holders in the nation’s history.
Thus, it was deemed necessary to use the opportunity of the State of the Union to elevate the country to soaring heights through an allusion to a pivotal milestone from its past. And this is where Barack Obama’s attempt to once again demagogue the plight of the people, and recast it in a light that would convince them of the resounding beneficence of his encroaching statism, fell completely flat.
His reference to a new “Sputnik Moment” came across as empty and condescending in January, the moment he spoke it. Now, barely a month later, it redounds almost comically, except that it starkly reflects the manner in which this Administration believes it can still dupe, manipulate, and control the people.
In the first place, the real “Sputnik Moment” represented the starting bells of the space race, in which capitalistic America went head-to-head against the obsessive militarism and tyranny of the collectivist Soviet Union. It bears mentioning that during the dozen years between the 1957 launch of Sputnik, a primitive 183 pound metal ball, and Neil Armstrong’s monumental “Giant leap for mankind” on the lunar soil of the Sea of Tranquility, the left, Obama’s political camp, remained fixedly invested in America’s failure.
Of equal significance is the fact that when President John F. Kennedy made his legendary 1961 speech committing America to the quest of manned lunar travel before the end of the decade, he established a timetable for his goal which he expected to fall within the term of his presidency. At the time of the speech, he well anticipated remaining in the White House until January of 1969. And while historical upheavals in Dallas in 1963 and at Cape Canaveral in the Apollo fire of 1967 changed all that, Kennedy had clearly intended to see the program through to a quantifiable success.
Not so with Obama’s new “Sputnik Moment.” In pathetic contrast, he claims to envision an infrastructure of government-mandated milestones, ostensibly enacted in service to the environment. Yet these reach out to 2035, at which time he assures us that the country will generate eighty percent of its energy from “clean energy sources,” while we enjoy our travels on high speed rail. Meanwhile, he continues his needless and ultimately dangerous moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Needless to say, he will be long gone from the White House by then, leaving America with more massive and needless debt, its resources mindlessly squandered on a quest to address a bogus climate-change “crisis” that is daily proving to be completely without merit. Of course none of his oratory is meant to be considered from the standpoint of America’s circumstances. Its purpose was solely to rouse the crowds on speech night. And with that event in the past, he should be pardoned from any promises that transpired there.
Ultimately, the entire discourse bore no more connection to reality than his former (and future) promises to lower the sea level, reduce debt, end the rancor, and build the economy. In a time of deep crisis for this nation’s finances and international standing, and with future prospects on those fronts in grave doubt, something of far greater substance and consequence is needed. But for the next two years at least, we can expect more of the same.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer who has been active in Wyoming politics for many years. Contact information, along with his archives, can be found at www.chrisadamo.com.