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Political Visions and the Destiny of Man

This previous blog examined some of Obama’s clever political rhetoric directed against Republicans. When in office, he used every opportunity to jab at his Republican opponents. He was in a constant prize fight with them, so to speak, and he always degraded their character and motives. To him, the only moral high ground was himself and his leanings and positions. No opponent could possibly do anything statesmanlike or anything that was not entirely motivated by self-interest and bad motives at that. Obama’s voice, pretending to spout high ethical and moral posiitions, was highly divisive, and it still is.

Obama’s latest clever jab at Trump is pretty nearly to come right out and say that he’s a dictatorial man who is willing to use power like a dictator; and of course what Obama means is that this is an un-American thing to be, since in our system, we have the higher moral value of democracy. We don’t have a dictator or a king. I’m not paraphrasing here, I’m saying what Obama’s attack entails more fully. His cleverness is in implying all of this and more, from statements he’s always making and has made in the past, but not to come right out and say them baldly. Everyone knows what Obama means when he says “I think that there has been this sense over the last several years that literally anything goes and is justified in order to get power…”

Now, frankly, there is no such sense. Obama has no evidence to back up this slur. If he’s going to compare Trump to a dictator with a dictator’s powers, he’s going to have tough-sledding to back it up with evidence. My sense is that Trump has shown the weakness of a president, any president. He has been repeatedly boxed in and tied up by the Deep State. It would take a much more politically savvy man to accomplish in one term what Trump aimed and still aims to get done.

As usual, Obama’s jab applies to himself and his own buddies in the Democratic Party. They adopted the “anything goes” path in order to dislodge Trump and acquire what power he does have.

There is no gold standard for political rhetoric other than the commandment not to bear false witness, which is indeed a powerful standard. Actual political rhetoric, and there are no exceptions, has no built-in or socially-evolved institutions that monitor its validity and that result in holding the speaker responsible. There is no consistently and continuously negative feedback that sanctions a Trump lie or an Obama lie. The Fourth Estate is proposed to play such a role, but it has failed to do so. The social media giants think that they can do this, but their censorship turns into political rhetoric of their own. There is, of course, the vote, but its efficacy is limited and unsure. Its operation is spasmodic, and it has a hard time hitting a target. Voting is not what brings in or can bring in the Kingdom of God.

The axe I constantly grind is that government cannot do much of anything right, and that it should be severely limited in its powers and in the faith placed in it to solve or ameliorate various problems. Political rhetoric is largely a tissue of lies and innuendoes, and it obscures government’s inherent limitations and continual downsides. It presumes that if you give me, the speaker, the power, all will be well. In these words, Obama counsels that Biden can overcome: “And one of the signals I think that Joe Biden needs to send to the world is that no, those values that we preached, and we believed in, and subscribed in, we still believe.”

In other words, Obama is saying that we need only return to a mythical condition of high values (like “democracy” and “international law”, which are two of his favorite moral values, and we need only dash the idea that a president is a king or a dictator, and all will be well. Government will become pure and good once again, and we can continue the transformation taking us to Socialist Nirvana.

This is how Obama is to be understood. He’s simply a big government man who makes out like government is the God-given means of bringing in the Kingdom of God. Well, it is not and it never has been. The Kingdom of God is furthered one heart, one mind, one person, and one soul at a time. That’s a transformation, perhaps the only transformation, that makes sense as the destiny of man. God and God’s grace are sovereign and they decide the course of our destiny, joint with each of us. There is co-participation of God and us as free individuals. Our destiny cannot possibly be what Obama envisions as a socialist paradise or what the UN head wants or what progressives want or what Trump wants for America. Our destiny is not the perfection of man to be achieved under the rulership of a one-world government composed of politicians, technocrats, prelates, prophets, scientists or holy men and women. Political sermons from Obama that are replete with low blows and with implicit godless socialist visions don’t cut it. But neither do the competing political visions of those of other persuasions. Political visions that derogate and nullify both God’s role and our role as free persons, jointly acting, are defective visions, and they will fail both God and us. The destinies they raise will fail to further the Kingdom of God. Political visions without theism are bound to fail. “…man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

There are no exceptions. A godless or an agnostic libertarianism will likewise fail as a vision of man’s destiny.

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10:04 am on November 16, 2020