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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bastille Woman Michelle Obama: Sack the Rich

A sitting President can be charged with the publicly offered words and actions of his spouse, particularly when the First Lady Michelle Obama addresses the nation as she did last night at the Democratic National Convention.  Her words send many chilling messages to that part of American society that is not supported by or dependent on the government.  If you work in or, heavens forbid, you own a business in the private sector -- watch out!

WHAT SHE SAID: “For Barack, success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

WHAT HER MESSAGE IS:  This is rationalizing being poor, the better with which to make the poor "settle" for and accept their status. Far from a liberating message, this is a message of control and condescension. She may just as well have said, "You can do without. You don't need that."  

I will do something very rare, and ask you to trust me on this point.  I know from personal experience that people who say these things fully intend to take what you have.  Getting you to believe you need less -- or nothing at all -- makes it easier for you to surrender what you have, what you've earned. Make no mistake about it; this is about taking things from you after duping you into dropping your guard.

WHAT SHE SAID:  “And he [Barack Obama] believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”

WHAT HER MESSAGE IS: Unmistakable demonization of the "successful." The statements accuse the successful of having forgotten others, of having welshed on their obligations.  The message to the successful: You owe us.  Michelle Obama further implies that anyone you perceive to be "better off than you" has done something to you to deny you a chance or opportunity. The statements imply that everyone who is successful is a greedy predator whose success has come at your expense. These statements are a mild form of the type of rhetoric that, in undeveloped foreign countries, is used to incite "the street" to riot, plunder assets and, indeed, to kill.

WHAT SHE SAID: "[Our families] believed in that fundamental American promise that, even if you don't start out with much, if you work hard and do what you're supposed to do, then you should be able to build a decent life for yourself."

WHAT HER MESSAGE IS: A decent life? The message is that this is all you need, all you should aspire to, that your expectations and aspirations should be modest. This is of the same sentiment as "you don't need much."  It gets worse. See the next passage.

WHAT SHE SAID: "We learned about dignity and decency -- that how hard you work matters more than how much you make -- that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself."

WHAT HER MESSAGE IS:  Michelle Obama destroys the connection between one's effort and one's expectation of reward.  According to her, hard work does not need to be rewarded, and in fact is its own reward. This is not just troubling; it is insulting -- and no group is more exploited and insulted by this sentiment than the hardworking poor. Michelle Obama told the nation that no matter how hard you worked and how much you sacrificed, there should be -- no, there is no connection between that work and your reward.  In essence, she is sending the message that you do not -- you cannot -- earn what you make, no matter how hard you work.

Few expressions can dampen or destroy the work ethic more effectively. This is a Marxist, collectivist view, and I have resisted using this terminology. Until now.

Michelle Obama also repeated the implication that the successful are greedy, selfish and inconsiderate.  These are all code words and phrases designed and intended to stoke the fires of class envy, jealousy and rage.

WHAT SHE SAID: “If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote, if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love, then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.”

WHAT HER MESSAGE IS: Not everyone has a fair chance to succeed. The prior passage provides the context. The overall message is that you were not given a fair shake, and it's the fault of the "successful."  Now, go grab those pitchforks!

But the very worst...

WHAT SHE SAID: "We learned about honesty and integrity, that the truth matters, that you don't take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules, and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square."

WHAT HER MESSAGE IS: The most dangerous section of Michelle Obama's speech. The implications are: (1) the successful are dishonest, or criminal; (2) society is rigged so that the "game" is unfair and those who are successful are either breaking the rules or taking advantage of an unfair system; and (3) putting aside the first two implications, those who are successful just aren't earning it, so the fruits of their success aren't theirs and are there for us to take.

Think back to the Middle Ages and images of European castles, with high, virtually impenetrable walls and surrounded by moats. Those devices were physical barriers meant to protect their residents from invasion and total plundering (not to mention physical crimes).  

Michelle Obama -- aka, Marie Obamanette -- only needed to cry, "To the Bastille!" 

The scariest implication: Michelle Obama's husband is the Leader of the Free World and runs, among other things, the Department of Justice. President Obama has appointed people with Michelle Obama's worldview to run the Department of Justice and given them the power to allocate and use limitless government resources to investigate and prosecute you, using a wide expanse of intrusive, vague, contradictory and sometimes unconstitutional laws.  When these people have this worldview, the zeal to pursue and effect desired outcomes -- i.e., imprisonment of their targets -- and only the courts to act as a check on their power, the "successful" may become very, very wary.

Eric Dixon is a New York corporate and investigative attorney, business consultant, and political strategist and advisor.

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