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OBENSHAIN: Obama will divide America even further in his second term
Polarizing politics are key to his success
Anyone who thinks Barack Obama is finished as "Divider in Chief" ought to think again. It's his modus operendi, and he credits the "divide and conquer" approach with any and all of his successes through the years.
The strategy is simple: Rather than trying to rally the nation around a cause, a policy proposal or a philosophy, stir them up in hostility to the "enemy." Foment and encourage anger, resentment and bitterness, and then ram through whatever radical agenda you want. Mr. Obama knows this strategy keeps him from having to defend his own ideas, and he has perfected his technique (he was already known as the "master of agitation" as a Chicago community organizer). If people become angry enough, if they can be convinced to fear any alternative approach, Mr. Obama knows truth is irrelevant. He can march, unobstructed by dissent, on his way to "fundamentally transform the United States of America."
HIs second term won't see him turning into the Great Compromiser. Instead, fasten your seatbelt for more division and vilifying of Republicans -- or any individual or group who disagrees with the Obama way -- in every arena. We are about to see an unprecedented level of division in our nation.
Intensified class warfare: Mr. Obama will say Republicans are so enmeshed with the mega-wealthy that they are willing to ignore the will of the people to protect them. Never mind the fact that in exit polls voters specifically said they did not want increased taxes to pay down the deficit. If Republicans try to hold firm on this key philosophical point--that it would be disastrous during a fiscal crisis to raise taxes on the job creators--Mr. Obama will come after them with both barrels. He will not argue the philosophical point that it makes economic sense to raise taxes now, because not even he believes it. Nor will he tell the truth: he wants to raise taxes punitively on the successful in order to redistribute wealth in the nation (from each according to his ability, to each according to his need). Instead, he will say that Republicans want to reward what must have been economic malfeasance (lying, cheating and stealing) among those who have achieved success, and destroy the hopes of the less fortunate from ever entering the "middle class."
Renewal of the "war on women": Lest anyone think there's been a reprieve in Republicans' so-called "war on women," Mr. Obama will assure us it's alive and well. While the real attacks on women are intensifying as Islamists take power in Egypt, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Mr. Obama will find new issues with which to attack Republicans. Prepare for the emergence of new battles on more employer mandates to promote "gender pay equity"; more health care freebies to make up the difference in what women of child bearing age pay in health care expenses; and since there are a record number of women in poverty, expect a flood of new entitlement programs from the Obama administration to ensure that they stay there--dependent on the government.
Continued insistence that Republicans are the enemy of immigrants: Emboldened by those on the right clamoring for some form of amnesty as a compromise, and invoking Ronald Reagan for credibility, Mr. Obama will say that Republicans want to "undermine the basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans." If Republicans argue for securing our borders as a condition for immigration reform, Mr. Obama will mock those concerns, as he already did, joking, "Maybe they'll need a moat. Maybe they'll want alligators in the moat." Mr. Obama will not bend to Republican concerns--that is for certain. He will go around them. His executive order allowing illegal immigrants under age 30 who came to the U.S. as children to stay in the country paid huge political dividends, and he'll be happy to issue similar orders in the future.
All-out war on Christianity and Judaism: Look for Mr. Obama to become more outspoken in his condemnation and vilification of Israel. His opportunity may not be far off as Israel faces increased hostility from Syria and Iran, and will eventually be compelled to act in its own defense. Mr. Obama will seek opportunities to "clear up misconceptions" about Islam, and he will exaggerate hostility to peaceful Muslims among Christians and Jews in America, continuing to ignore the assaults against Christians, Jews, women and gays in the Middle East. He will use any means he can devise to eradicate any vestiges of Christianity from the public arena here at home, suggesting that it perpetuates hostilities among different faiths, when really, that is Obama's bailiwick.
Intensified mobilization of young people: Mr. Obama knows his "fair share/fair shot" mantra is resonating with young people who are particularly susceptible to his redistributive philosophy. The president who was on campuses once every 11 days over the past four years will not let up. He is an ideologue first and foremost, and he needs young people in order for his transformative agenda to stick for the long run. He will continue preaching to young people that their drive to succeed in business reveals "a poverty of ambition" and that American exceptionalism is nothing special. He will look to expand the federal government's almost complete takeover of the student loan industry, despite the fact that it is driving up tuition expenses. He will look for more and more goodies, such as Obamacare's provision that "children" may stay on their parents' health care until they are 26. The more dependent young people are on the government, the more likely they are to continue voting for liberals. Anyone who objects to the steady drumbeat of liberalism on our campuses and schools by Mr. Obama and his minions will simply be labeled racist for disagreeing with the president. It has worked this far with young people; why mess with it?
Emerging from the splendor of his electoral victory, expect to see the Divider-in-Chief, alive and well, resurface with a vengeance.
Kate Obenshain is a member of the board of directors of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and author of "Divider-in-Chief" (Regnery, 2012).
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