Conservative

Smith: Obama’s first term, second inaugural address defined by hypocrisy

Last week, I watched as President Barack Obama gave his inaugural address.

I watched as he called it “our generation’s task” to make the “values of life and liberty” real for every American, proclaiming “that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on earth.”

I watched as he said our prosperity relies on a “rising middle class,” and that “enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

I watched as he said his inauguration allowed us to “bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.”

I watched, in awe of the president’s audacity. And as I watched I was sickened, because every major point he made was steeped in the gross hypocrisy that adequately defines his entire presidency.

Of course, many looked past this hypocrisy and hailed the speech as a manifesto for progress. They were sufficiently distracted in their elation that the president mentioned gay rights, gender equality, immigration reform and gun control.

Both in his speech and throughout his entire first term, the president successfully distracted his liberal base with the notion of more rights for a few, so they remained silent as he stripped the rights of all.

He stripped the right to privacy for all Americans when he re-signed the Patriot Act and authorized warrantless spying on all citizens.

He stripped the right to trial for all Americans when he signed the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, allowing their indefinite detention. In the same bill, he authorized the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to remain open – remember that campaign promise?

He even made it clear that he could kill American citizens with no warning and at his own discretion with the use of drones abroad (yes, that actually happened).

He trampled our right to free speech. If you ask him a question he doesn’t like, he can legally have you arrested and charged with a felony, thanks to a bill he signed into law that established “No Free Speech Zones.”

He trampled our religious liberties with the contraception mandate of ObamaCare, which forces religious institutions to violate their own faith.

And may we not forget his ongoing crusade to strip us of our God-given right to defend our families and ourselves in trampling our Second Amendment.

So much for all that talk about the “values of life and liberty” and “individual freedom.” So much for the “strength of our Constitution.”

As for maintaining a “rising middle class,” Obama is destroying it. Not only has the middle class been on a downward spiral since he took office, but he has recently gone against his promise and raised its taxes. He has increased welfare dependency by issuing an executive order to bypass Congress and get rid of welfare work requirements. His financial policies continue to rob the middle class and retirees of their savings and pensions.

While the president said, “enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war,” his actions have shown different. The very next day, he sent four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood regime, which, less than two weeks prior, preached that “hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them” should be fostered in their children and grandchildren.

This was only the latest instance in which the Obama administration has supported extremists, which, along with its extensive drone operation, helps to perpetuate conflict and American involvement in the region.

While he claimed a “decade of war is now over,” he continues to increase his war powers both abroad and at home, dismantling the Constitution and our freedoms for what he suggests is our own safety.

I must admit, Obama’s take on the truth sounds a lot better. Maybe we all should continue to discount reality and believe what he tells us. Ignorance is bliss.

Nick Smith is a junior broadcast and digital journalism major. His column appears weekly. He can been reached at nxsmith@syr.edu and followed on Twitter at @Nick_X_Smith.

  • Bostonway

    Obama’s biggest lie? That he’s committed to reduce the debt (“I will half it!”) and he will get gov’t spending under control. We are moving towards $17T in debt, with no end in sight. He’s done virtually nothing to address the huge entitlement costs.

  • Peebs

    when referring to the “No Free Speech Zones,” in what situation would that actually apply? I could understand if the President was about to make a speech and was walking through the crowd and somebody was chanting that they were going to kill/assassinate him. But still, I don’t think somebody should be punished for what they are thinking… Only actions should be punished.

  • B_

    well done

  • amartini@syr.edu
  • http://www.facebook.com/maxx.antonucci Max Antonucci

    I agree with several points here, but there are others that have already been debunked and aren’t accurate:

    – Ne Free Speech Zones aren’t real, someone already put a link to that

    – Religious institutions don’t need to give contraception, there was a compromise so the insurance companies would instead do this

    – “Trampling the Second Amendment” is up for debate, most of his executive orders referred to expanding research and trying to get the ATF to do the jobs it’s already been assigned to but been unable to do. And most gun control measures he proposed are unlikely to go through Congress when they arrive. He’s done less than New York on gun control, so “trampling” sounds extreme.

    – Taxes were raised primarily on the top 2%, with both the fiscal cliff compromise and ObamaCare. Some middle class taxes do rise, but not so much it would destroy it. Plus he cut middle class taxes 18 times in his first term.

    – He did not waive welfare work requirements – http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/aug/28/rick-santorum/Santorum-Romney-claim-Obama-ending-welfare-work/

    All the other points, like on the NDAA, Guantanamo Bay, and Egypt, I agree with. No president is perfect, Obama is no exception, we should be just as cautious as optimistic if not more so this semester. But calling him a COMPLETE hypocrite and failure is too much.

  • Don’t Tread On Me

    Max, the president actually did weaken welfare work requirements to the point where they are almost non-existent. He made things such as exercising, journaling, smoking cessation, and going to parent teacher meetings count as a “work” requirement. It also rolls back most of the legislation passed by President Clinton to stop welfare dependency. And yes, it was done without congresses approval through an executive order. The “fact check” you posted used the statements made by the Obama administration suggesting otherwise as the basis of its falsehood. If that’s enough to convince you, then I can’t help you.

    And yes, he did approve the raising of taxes on the middle class this year. Look it up.

    Also, I would count his actions towards the second amendment as trampling them, but like you said it is up for debate.

  • Americans for Truth

    This article is packed full of false accusations and basic conservative myths about his policy. Once the welfare work requirement myth was introduced in this article, it becomes nearly impossible to take your opinions seriously. Maybe including a single statistic would be beneficial. There are clearly no signs of basic research, exposed by the lack of a SINGLE source (which are usually significant in an opinion piece criticizing policy). This type of baseless, anti-intellectual rhetoric is not helpful and the sad fact is that exposing fellow credulous people to pseudo-journalism is disheartening. If you want to criticize, please source your arguments

  • Don’t Tread On Me

    Everything he mentioned is in the public domain and doesn’t have to be cited. If you knew anything about journalism you would know that. He named things that were done through legislation and are public documents, you can go and check them yourself. The only things that are even open for debate are those vague pieces of legislation, such as the ones regarding welfare work requirements (which I’m sorry, they were absolutely weakened) and the “free speech zones.”

    I’ll source his argument for him…it’s all in the records of the U.S. government.

  • Americans for Truth

    Obviously it’s in the public domain, which means that you shouldn’t be
    misinterpreting and twisting history to fit a predetermined anti-Obama
    mindset. Stating that it is public gives the author even less of an
    excuse to blatantly ignore the truth. Please find me a journalism source
    that specifically states that including sources in your articles in
    unnecessary and not the proper way to debate important, fact-based
    topics. The author mentions “Ignorance is bliss” while continually
    mentioning the hypocrisy of Obama, but this is in-itself extremely
    hypocritical when you write an article without referring to a single
    news publication or credible source. I frequently check these
    publications myself, which is the reason I am able to cut through these
    fantastical conservative myths about destroying the Constitution.

    Regarding the welfare for work: This is delusional…
    http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2012/aug/13/bob-mcdonnell/bob-mcdonnell-says-obama-unwinding-welfare-work-re/

    Regarding the “No Free Speech Zones”: Once again…
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/mar/30/andrew-napolitano/andrew-napolitano-chain-email-say-barack-obama-si/

    Regarding the trampling of religious freedom with “Obamacare”: Try again.
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jan/31/newt-gingrich/newt-gingrich-says-obama-administration-would-impo/

    Regarding the Second Amendment:
    Obama
    passed no legislation about guns in his first term to ruin the precious
    Second Amendment. While he is currently working to get already-in-place
    legislation enforced, his only plan seems to be stopping people from
    buying magazines big enough to massacre a small village and get some
    background checks in place. Just as free speech (1st amendment) can be
    curtailed in certain situations (i.e. screaming fire in a movie
    theater), the right to bare arms can be slightly amended to make sure we
    can’t slaughter each other in mass amounts at will.

    These are
    only four of the many theories the author expounded on, and the
    conclusion seems pretty clear: When you don’t research anywhere other
    than Fox News, and include zero sources, you don’t register on the scale
    of credibility.

  • Don’t Tread On Me

    Not even worth arguing with you. Clearly you are one of those who will blindly defend Obama and believe every word out of his mouth…keep drinking the kool-aid my friend.

  • Americans for Truth

    Wrong again! He said that he would cut the DEFICIT in half, not the DEBT. These are two very different terms. While the DEBT is increasing, due to the most recent recession/mini-depression which happened to be the worse since the Great Depression along with the former president’s and Reagan’s ability to raise the debt-to-GDP ratio by some of the highest rates in US history, Obama is unable to do much about this. Additionally, Bush’s tax cuts, wars, and the economic downturn are responsible for a massive portion of the US publicly help debt. (Link 1 below) “Virtually nothing” is a clear inability to look at the facts. What exactly has the Obama administration done about the DEFICIT (the thing he actually said he would reduce)? He has reduced it at the fastest rate since WWII! (Link 2 below)

    1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/28/republican-national-convention-the-one-graph-you-need-to-see-before-watching/

    2. http://news.investors.com/blogs-capital-hill/112012-634082-federal-deficit-falling-fastest-since-world-war-ii.htm

  • Americans for Truth

    The beautiful “I won’t even respond because it’s not worth it” tactic. It may be worth debating if you had any shred of factual claims to defend your position or object to mine. Once again, the truth prevails. Thank you for your admittance of defeat.

  • Don’t Tread On Me

    You yourself did not present one shred of factual claims other than some links to “fact checks”, however:

    One refutes the fact that Obama weakened welfare requirements, solely on the fact that it the Obama administration said it “hoped to do otherwise.”

    One only refutes the fact that HR 347 was signed in secret, when the author made no such claim. As the ACLU states in the same article, this addition to previous legislation by Obama does signify an infringement on first amendment rights.

    The last link you posted said that New Ginrich’s claim that there was an “Obamacare standard” is false. But it did give truth to his claim that it would make some religious institutions such as certain hospitals, charities, and universities go against their faith and provide what they view as contraception coverage.

    These are the facts. Any disagreement you have outside of this is simply opinion, so stop trying so hard to discredit the work of this young journalist by questioning the validity of his argument.

    You have nothing to say about the most important points the author makes, such as the NDAA, Patriot Act, “kill lists”, Egypt and other extremists, or the fact that the middle class is shrinking rapidly, and that pensions and retirement funds are disappearing from artificially low interest rates.

    This is the last time I will respond to you, so feel free to say you “defeated me”. But really it’s just not worth my time to deal with such a typical smug die-hard liberal that uses as many words as possible to say nothing at all.

  • Bostonway

    Ahhh, okay my mistake… the deficit. There’s no hope he will address the debt (except adding to it!) Now, how’s he done on deficit? Bottom line: his spending is out of control!

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