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.

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