- - Sunday, January 20, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As we mark the second inauguration of the first black American president, it is important to celebrate our successes in achieving the protection of civil rights for all people. But, sadly, this president has a terrible record on civil rights.

How about that contraception mandate? Millions and millions of Christians no longer have the right to exercise their religion, their First Amendment rights, thanks to this president.

After President Obama got finished attacking the First Amendment, he’s now on to the Second Amendment. Republican candidate Mitt Romney noted in a speech to the National Rifle Association that the president had told Russia’s dictators that he might have more “flexibility” in a second term because he no longer has to worry about re-election. And Mr. Romney applied the same logic domestically, noting that because Mr. Obama was accountable to the people in his first term, he did not go after people’s legal guns. But, Mr. Romney predicted, once Mr. Obama is a lame duck — what a surprise — he would attack our Second Amendment rights.

If he could find a way to strip away the Third Amendment, I’m sure he would. But that would involve supporting our military, which he is too busy cutting.

Not one of the president’s 23 proposals would have prevented the shooting in Newtown, Conn., and just like welfare, just like redistributing wealth, just like every other liberal initiative, they do nothing to fix the problem. Their only purpose is to soothe the liberal conscience, to let liberals think that they actually are contributing something. Let’s take a look at a few of these proposals.

“Launch a national dialogue” about gun violence. What is a national dialogue? And is it something that can be launched?

“Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within [Obamacare] exchanges.” Now he mentions this? Would someone please point out that it is White House politics that has delayed this? Rather than issue the regulations before the election and show the American people what Obamacare really looks like, the administration chose to wait. Liberals like Jon Stewart cried foul when governors across the country — Republican and Democrat alike — protested, but now the president comes out and admits it, and somehow claims credit for fixing the problem of gun violence in this country. There is no logical absurdity to which this man will not cling when necessary.

Most of these executive actions can be boiled down to the president finally doing his job, for example, “nominate an ATF director.” Does he need a mass slaughter to happen before he can figure out that one?

Not only is the president using the deaths of innocent children to take away our freedoms as Americans, but he also is enlisting living children in his demagoguery. There is no tactic so low that he will not use it.

I celebrate the civil rights victory that the president’s election indicates. It is clear, if 69 million Americans have voted for a president who happens to be a black man to preside as commander in chief, that tremendous, laudable progress has been made against racism. But gun rights are civil rights too. The right to arm yourself flows from your right to life and your right to property. If you cannot protect your life or your property, do you have a right to them?

The president has derided American exceptionalism throughout his brief political career.

The relativism of his position notwithstanding, he fails to understand what makes us exceptional. America has been different for decades: Unlike the rest of the developed world, we had freedom, we were a religious people, we were a hardworking people. No government dared to disarm us. But now we are freely casting away those freedoms that made us different — and better — than other merely developed nations. The president’s skepticism about American exceptionalism is self-fulfilling. He plunders our wealth. He wants us disarmed. He takes away our right to practice our religion. This is madness, and it must stop.

And so it is bittersweet for me to watch as Mr. Obama is inaugurated for a second term: What his election indicates is something I love about this country — tolerance — but what he has pledged to do to our country will take away so much that makes us great.

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan at facebook.com/arightside, and follow him at twitter.com/arightside.

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