- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The political firestorms of the past week — the 2005 tape of Donald Trump uttering crass statements about women, WikiLeaks’ disclosure of thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails revealing her two-faced hypocrisy, the appearance at the second presidential debate of several women who have accused Bill Clinton of rape and sexual assault, Mr. Trump’s comeback debate performance — have obscured one critically important truth.

Hillary Clinton is seeking the Democrats’ third term in the presidency. It’s not, however, her husband’s third term. It’s President Obama’s.

She routinely praises Mr. Obama and his economic stewardship while embracing his radical, far-left approach that drives the party she now seeks to lead.

Mr. Trump offered a refresher on Mr. Obama’s ideology, the policies it wrought and the devastating results they produced. Mrs. Clinton, he said, would make an already ruinous economy worse.

Mr. Obama once likened his brief time in the private sector to being “a spy behind enemy lines.” In December 2011, he gave a major economic speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, that revealed just how much he still believes economic freedom is the “enemy.”

In his address, Mr. Obama reiterated his fierce commitment to the radical wealth redistribution of European-style democratic socialism. The wrecking ball he let swing is smashing through every part of the economy, exactly as planned.

“Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, ‘let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune,’ ” he intoned. ” ‘The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us.

“Now, it’s a simple theory,” he continued. “And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked.”

Mr. Obama was really saying that economic freedom doesn’t work. Economic decisions cannot be left to individuals, who are too selfish, greedy and reckless to make them. They must be consolidated in the hands of the state, which can more evenly “spread the wealth around” to insure equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity.

This is a core of the Democrats’ beliefs. Like Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton is constantly positioning herself as a great defender of the middle class, but much of what they both have done has been geared toward destroying it: record government spending, exploding deficits, inflating the currency and devaluing the dollar, raising taxes, burdening businesses with ever-increasing costs and regulations.

While they hit the highest earners, their real target is the middle class, which is less able to manage the leftist economic assault. Their ultimate goal is to so weaken the middle class that it becomes utterly dependent on government as well.

“I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules,” Mr. Obama said in Osawatomie. He hasn’t changed his thinking or his policies one iota. And Mrs. Clinton has adopted the same language and philosophy, meaning her policies will continue — and worsen — what Mr. Obama began:

• A high rate of chronic long-term unemployment.

• The worst jobs record of any president in the modern age.

• The lowest labor participation rate since the 1970s.

• An unprecedented number of underemployed people.

• Plummeting real median income.

• Black unemployment at its highest level in nearly 30 years.

• The steepest drop in the American standard of living in over 50 years.

• As percentages of GDP, federal spending, the budget deficit and the national debt at their highest levels since World War II.

• U.S. credit downgraded for the first time in history.

• More than 20,000 new regulations, rules and guidelines issued.

• A record increase of Americans living in poverty, including record numbers of children.

• The highest level of government dependency on one or more federal benefit programs in American history.

To Mr. Obama, this isn’t a record of failure. It’s a record of success. It was all designed and executed to near perfection by the left, which had to uproot the existing economic system in order to replace it with its redistributive one. Mr. Obama and his comrades knew it would be painful and jarring. They didn’t care, as long as it was in service of their bigger goal.

Mrs. Clinton seeks to lock in everything he did and complete what he called the “fundamental transformation of the nation.” If she is allowed to finish the left’s mission, there will be no reversing it.

He will pass the wrecking ball to her and she will keep it swinging. The only thing that can stop its destruction is us, via the imperfect but spot-on Republican nominee.

Monica Crowley is editor of online opinion at The Washington Times.

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