What Rough Beast?
By John D. Turner
19 Jul 2014

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” – William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

Way back in June, a month or so ago, I asked the question “what kind of country do we want to live in?” Perhaps, a month down the road, it might be instructive to take a look at what kind of country we are living in. Is this the America we grew up in?

When he won the election back in 2008, President-elect Obama promised, to cheering crowds, to “fundamentally transform” America. He never said exactly what he meant by this, nor was he asked by the media for a definition of what he meant by fundamental transformation, but he said it often, and to all appearances, believed that he had a mandate from the American people to do just that.

Throughout my lifetime, I have seen politicians tear at each other, call each other names, denigrate each other, and basically play every kind of dirty political trick their minds and advisors can come up with in order to win and keep elective office. But the President, as leader of all Americans, has to a large extent been above that. Oh sure, during an election, they might say or do most anything but once they took office and even after they left, Presidents seldom stooped to such.

Not so this president, who seems to make it his daily duty to denigrate those who disagree with his politics; and not just those in congress - ordinary Americans as well. Those of us out here in the great unwashed who are still “clinging to our guns and our Bibles,” those who disagree with him on global warming – we are simply “deniers;” those who disagree on immigration issues – racists; afraid of people who “look different from us;” those who disagree on changing the definition of marriage – “homophobes,” the list goes on and on.

As a group, we who disagree are “intolerant.” As a group, we are told, by the president himself, that we only disagree because he is black and we are not. It is time for “fundamental change” and we are Luddites. Those of us who are “intolerant” are not to be tolerated! We must be silenced, shunned, and ridiculed! Note the intolerance of those preaching toleration!

They have a vision for our country; a very different vision from those of us who disagree, and such disagreement is not allowed. Thus it is with revolutions and revolutionaries throughout history, for that is what we really have here. Progressives are big on changing the language, and claiming that what others say are really “code words” for something else. Well I will give you a code word. When Barack Obama says “fundamental transformation,” what he really means is “Revolution.”

Not necessarily a bloody revolution; they will accept a bloodless coup if they can pull it off. But like any good revolutionary, blood will run in the streets if necessary. Witness the growth of the Department of Homeland Security, a totally unneeded federal agency started under George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9-11, and the millions of rounds of ammunition it is in the process of stockpiling. Witness the growth of “private armies” in every agency of the federal government. Even the Department of Education and the Department of the Interior have SWAT teams! Anyone who is anyone in the Federal Government these days has a SWAT team!

Witness the militarization of our police forces – MRAPs and other surplus military gear are being supplied to local police around the country. Why is it that the police now feel it necessary to serve warrants to ordinary citizens in armored vehicles? Why are the police starting to look like military forces in black? Why are some among the police, sworn to uphold and defend the constitution and to “protect and defend” the civilian populace now looking at those same people they are sworn to protect and defend as the enemy?

Why is it that, after 13 years of fighting against Radical Islam (or whatever you like to call it) our returning military forces are being looked at by our government as “potential domestic terrorists” while those we have been fighting against for these past 13 years are now “forces for democratic change?”

Please note also that at the same time we are plussing up our civilian defense force (remember that civilian defense force that President Obama said he wanted when he took office; the one that was as big as our military?) we are significantly reducing the size of our military. This has not gone unnoticed by our adversaries worldwide. As a result we now have Putin making advances in Ukraine. We have China telling us “hands off” in the South China Sea. We have Hamas launching missiles into Israel once more. We have total chaos in North Africa and the Middle East. We have an extremely militant radical Islamic group seizing a large part of Iraq and claiming the establishment of a new Islamic Caliphate. The list goes on.

Why are we allowing everything we have worked for overseas, for decades in some cases, to all unravel while here at home we fling open our borders, ignore our laws, and allow chaos and anarchy to consume not only our southern borders, but cities throughout the country? Why do we bend over backwards for those who are here illegally and arriving by the thousands each day while at the same time denigrating those of us who were born here and have lived here our whole lives?

Why is there no attempt made to screen out criminals, gang members, or potential terrorists? Why no screening for disease? Are all these things now “racist” as well? Are we to suffer outbreaks of scabies, swine flu, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases considered to be largely eradicated in America all in the name of “compassion?” How compassionate will you feel when it is you or your children who become sick and perhaps die as a result?

Did anyone ask us if we wanted to throw open our doors and take all comers? Is this still government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” or does our leadership just make unilateral decisions for us now without our input? There are billions of people all over the globe who are in need. Are we now saying they can all come here if they like? How exactly do we do that? And yet our progressive Democratic congresscritters are saying just that. “Welcome to America! Our doors are open!” while at the same time assuring us that our borders have “never been more secure.” Do they think we are idiots?

What is happening with our economy? How can the stock market continue to set record highs while the job participation rate continues to plunge to the lowest levels in 36 years? (That would be since Jimmy Carter’s administration for the mathematically challenged) How is it that the government tells me inflation is low when I am struggling to make ends meet between skyrocketing food, fuel, and electricity costs? And helping out adult children who themselves are having trouble making ends meet in the current economy. What do you mean “those don’t count?” Who made up that rule?

And how can inflation possibly be low when our federal debt is a record $17 trillion and climbing? $17 trillion! When I was a kid, the only time I ever saw numbers that big was in astronomy books! I remember when a billion dollars was a lot of money. Now the president is asking for $3.7 billion simply to take care of the children coming across the border!

How can it be that the “affordable healthcare act” is causing my healthcare and the healthcare of millions of Americans across the country, to become unaffordable? How can this be blamed on the Republicans when the bill was designed by and voted for exclusively by the Democrats?

Why did no one think to ask Barack Obama what he meant by “fundamental transformation?” Meanwhile, waiving his middle finger at the US public, the President feels that now is a good time to retreat to Martha’s Vineyard for a well needed 16 day vacation and brush up on his golf game. After all, he has been so busy lately, fundamentally transforming America. Perhaps we should send several busloads of illegal immigrant children with him to keep him company.

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.

Fundamental transformation. Overload the system. When enough things break down the people will clamor for someone to step in and save them from all the unpleasantness. Thus it has been throughout history. No democracy or republic has lasted forever. And what replaces them has always been a despotism or dictatorship of some sort. A charismatic (or not so charismatic) leader steps forward to fix the problems.

Mussolini made the trains run on time. Sometimes the things people want are so simple.

It has been said that you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. That saying was attributed to Joseph Stalin, and before him, Maximilian Robespierre, who went on to head the Reign of Terror in France after the French Revolution. The saying is so apt that I am sure it goes back even farther than that. What it means is that you can’t achieve something important without causing any unpleasant effects. We are living the unpleasant effects. The “something important” is the fundamental transformation of America from a representative democracy based on the rule of law into something else. Who will be the charismatic leader that steps in to “save” us?

I do not believe it will be Barack Obama; he is merely the catalyst. And so, what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Washington to be born?