The Mendacity of Trope, Part II

Beyond my previously expressed peeves with Obama’s Inaugural Address is a more philosophical disagreement. Here are some quotes:

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.

But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

We remain a young nation. But in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.

I know that many people find these words inspiring, but I find them terrifying.

I read him as trying to denigrate the traditional American values of limited government, and economic liberty. There have been many others who have urged their people to forget about childish, petty, narrow, stale, worn-out dogmas of individual liberty that were strangling their politics and constraining the abilities of the rulers to lead them to collective greatness. This has never turned out very well.

For someone who wants to “Restore science to its rightful place,” he strikes me as a social creationist. He seems to find it implausible that free people can organize themselves more effectively with their distributed knowledge and individual goals than a top-down society built by Intelligent Design.

There’s a world of difference between his collectivist appeals to central power and purpose, and individual liberty.

I’m sure he believes that his road is a good one, and I believe he’s well intentioned.

But, we all know where such roads can lead.


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