Barack Obama’s second term is now officially underway. His speech on Monday, in addition to his first term, makes it all too clear that his promise to “fundamentally transform” America is one promise that he’s determined to keep.
Sadly, and incredibly, far too many moderate and conservative-minded folks — including commentators! — still fail to grasp exactly what Obama meant when he made this now-infamous pledge. Not Rush Limbaugh, though. Rush most certainly did grasp Obama’s meaning. Moreover, he was one of a relatively small handful of prominent figures on the right who had the backbone to translate its meaning out loud.
Obama, Rush told his listeners, wants to ruin the country. This is why he hoped that Obama would fail.
Rush knew what those first Western philosophers from before the time of Socrates knew: Fundamental transformation involves the extinction of one being and its replacement by another.
That which has been fundamentally transformed essentially ceases to be.
Rush, along with others, has repeatedly insisted that Obama wishes to destroy the country as we have always known it. Not quite. Obama, rather, wishes to destroy the country as he has always known it. There is a huge difference between these two perceptions of America.
Being the committed leftist that he is, Obama sees the America of old as a place mired in iniquity. It is a place that is and has always been too white, too Christian, too racist, too sexist, too homophobic, too xenophobic, and so forth. The America of old, the pre-Obama America of the president’s leftist imagination, consists of “Second Amendment absolutists,” — John Wayne-type gun nuts and knuckle dragging Bible thumpers. This is the America that was founded in the genocide of America’s indigenous peoples and the enslavement of Africa’s.
And this is the America that must be, as Obama euphemistically puts it, “fundamentally transformed.”
This is the America that must be destroyed.
In its place, Obama seeks to replace it with another idea of America, the sort of utopian land for which leftists the world over have been longing for as long as leftist ideology has been with us.
In this new America, the gross inequalities in income and wealth that arose courtesy of “the individualism,” “states’ rights,” and “capitalism” — i.e. constitutional government — of the pre-Obama America will be forever remedied. The so-called “browning” of America that began in earnest nearly fifty years ago with the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 will be perfected as the new America becomes the first genuinely “multicultural” country on the planet, the country of which, as Time magazine put it in explaining why it chose to make him its Man of the Year, Obama is both “symbol and author.”
But for all of this to occur, the old America must be fundamentally transformed.
The country’s “fundamentals” — the Constitution and the federalized structure of government that it delineates — must be destroyed.
Note, change, even dramatic change, is not the same thing as a fundamental transformation. As even the great apostle of conservatism, Edmund Burke, observed over two centuries ago, not only is change inevitable; insofar as it is indispensable to the conservation of society, it is desirable. Fundamental transformation, though, is something else entirely.
For instance, the Jack Kerwick of 2013 is dramatically different, in all sorts of respects, from the Jack Kerwick who was born almost forty-one years ago in 1972. But I am still, ultimately, the same person today as I was then. Thus, I am justified in describing these changes as changes that occurred to me, changes that I experienced over the course of my lifetime. These changes have been gradual and continuous, not abrupt and radical.
The example of marriage should suffice to show the chasm between change and fundamental transformation. Anyone who has ever been married knows that unless spouses make changes in themselves, their marriage will be doomed. Similarly, anyone who has been married knows equally well that unless spouses refrain from even suggesting that their partners undergo a fundamental transformation, the marriage will be doomed.
The desire on the part of one spouse that the other undergo a fundamental transformation is nothing less than the desire for a new spouse.
Likewise, the desire for one’s country to undergo a fundamental transformation is nothing less than the desire for a new country.