Obama: Wrong, Not Evil -- That's Why He's So Dangerous

Unlike Ellsworth Toohey, most collectivists are naive, not malicious. However, it should be noted that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. 

Is President Obama evil or "just" wrong? A Rasputin or a Chamberlain?
Here's a letter I recently received:
"Tuesday morning I happened upon your show. You were so good and I had never heard you before. But alas, you began to extol Obama's recognition that there are certain things he knows he should have done differently. It was a nice hour or so while it lasted.
"Obama deserves no credit for anything. The man is a liar, a manipulator, a narcissist, a psychopath, a control freak, a Marxist, has no depth of knowledge about anything, etc., etc. But there you were, giving him the benefit of the doubt. 'Aw, shucks, he's not so bad after all.' He spewed this garbage right before the election and yet you believed him?! Obama has to have a change of heart, not a change of mind."
Point of clarification: I said and wrote that he would be the most radical, left-wing president in the history of this country — and that the guilt-ridden post-racialists who put him there would rue the day. Unfortunately, Obama has lived down to my expectations.
But calling the President a Hitler without the mustache is an unserious position and one that does nothing to dissuade Obama supporters, many of whom now suffer nearly terminal buyer's remorse. It's as obtuse as saying "Bush Lied, People Died," or that George W. Bush ran for president so he could fabricate the intel to unjustifiably take the country to war to avenge his father and enrich his military contractor friends.

And Obama doesn't act alone. Every Democratic senator voted for the "stimulus" and for ObamaCare. Obama's leftism is mainstream to his party. If Obama is evil, what does this make those who support his agenda?
It's more than enough to say that Obama is an inexperienced, naive, wrongheaded ideologue who, even now, doesn't recognize the harm he is doing to the country.
But with crucial elections looming, Obama has already retreated on his promise to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" and now says it's Congress' responsibility to change the law. Meanwhile, his Justice Department defends DADT in court.
He hasn't even raised the issue of another bank bailout or a government-forced cessation of foreclosures — despite the banks' recent admissions of negligence in processing home foreclosures. The Obama of two years ago would have used this as a pretext to intrude, if not take over the banks. What happened to his outgoing chief of staff's admonition to "never allow a crisis to go to waste"?
Obama no longer uses the word "stimulus."
He has exempted a number of businesses and organizations from some ObamaCare regulations.
He no longer talks about cap and trade or union card check.
When was the last time we heard about shutting down Gitmo?
When was the last time we heard about a New York trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?
Outreach failed. Islamofascists are still determined to kill us. The Arab and Muslim world has an even lower opinion of America than during the Bush administration. Obama's foolish attack on Israel for building "settlements" in east Jerusalem has made the Palestinians even more intransigent about the "peace process."
To paraphrase Joe Biden, no more "big f---ing deals." It's now small ball. But left-wing small ball is still left-wing.
But come November, things will change.
The next two — or, after he is dragged reluctantly to the center, even six — years of the Obama presidency will be spent trying to keep ObamaCare from unraveling, as opposed to the march toward a Canadian-style single-payer socialized health care system that he truly wants.
The President is an arrogant man with a racial chip on his shoulder. He is a wealth redistributionist who thinks of America as an imperialist power that needs to apologize to the world for its past sins.
But Obama is not evil. He's simply wrong, which in many ways makes him harder to deal with — and even more dangerous. Obama has already made America a weaker nation — both domestically and as a foreign power. That he's not out to intentionally destroy America makes him a larger menace.

Good intentions make it difficult to persuade people to fight against his policies, and to focus not on intentions but rather on consequences and results.
Here's what C.S. Lewis said about people like Obama:
"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
Over the next two years, Obama's inevitable retreat toward the middle will be a tactical one, not reflective of a change of heart. It doesn't matter. He will either check himself or be checked.
America, however, will bear the scars for decades.

Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling author. His latest book, "What's Race Got to Do with It?" is available now. To find out more about Larry Elder, visit his Web page at www.WeveGotACountryToSave.com.

14 comments from readers  

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"But Obama is not evil. He's simply wrong"

You could say that about Hitler, Stalin, or Mao. They were just wrong. But it's their actions that made them evil, not their intentions.
The scars may never go away. For example, Social Security should be privatized, but I doubt if I will live to see it. It is a failed Ponzi scheme that our government has shackled us to, just like the new Obamacare Health reforms. Some things just never seem to go away.
I don't know, you could apply this argument to just about anyone. "Stalin was wrong, but he really did want the best for his comrades." "Suharto was wrong, but he just wanted to bring Indonesia out of poverty." I don't give a damn about intentions. I'm not interested in Nietzschean slave morality. What counts is what you produce. If you are ill-informed and end up producing a lot of evil, that makes you evil. Claims of intent have nothing to do with it.
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I agree and applaud you.

The things that Obama espouses have been espoused by preachers, teachers and Tooheys since time immemorial. Only a radical "philosophectomy" can save us now!

If we don't get on the Objectivist track real soon, the altruist train is going to take us straight to serfdom.
Nope, I'm not buying it. Suppose, for a second, that we consider the dubious claim that Obama is just naive. Obama actively *sought* power over we unwashed masses. He has a *duty* to be as informed as he can be and to test his fantasies against reality and results.

Striving to enslave others is almost always evil. Not having a clue how to "care" for your victims is especially so.

Not one of Obama's actions or claims has been good for the country (as established both by ample historical precedent and by logical-moral analysis) or in accord with individual liberty. Evil is as evil does -- not some imagined "intentions". You cannot be on the side of the Devil as often as Obama is and still be good.

If Obama has temporarily toned down his rhetoric in the last few weeks, it is for the same reason that the main-stream-media is not reporting anything of note but is harping about those "wacky" republican candidates. It's election season; time for an extra does of lies from the left.

Watch for a extra dose of outrages and repressed bad news, starting November 3rd. Obama is going to double-down on his evil, he will never "triangulate" or "moderate".
I agree, but how do you define Evil? Is not the wrong he does Evil? To err is human, can we justifiably give him that? He must know that he is destructive to the principles of the Constitution and the vision of the Founding Fathers. He wants to change them because they prevent him from doing the wrong he wants to do to a country he despises. If not Evil, what then?
Great column per usual, Mr. Elder.

Would it be reasonable to posit that 'solutions' that cause evil results are going to be more attractive to those who, for whatever combination of DNA and experiential reasons, tend to harbor anger, envy, fear, the need to suppress others' joy and to control them?

Must we be trapped in either/or---either ignorance or intent? I feel like I've expended way too much energy evaluating an imaginary and unnecessary choice.
Taken in context I have no argument with those who say oneâ??s intentions donâ??t relieve the one who does evil from being evil himself. Good points have been made here along those lines. However, there is a difference between those who want to destroy that which they see as good and those who canâ??t tell the difference, even though I must acknowledge that the line even here tends to get fuzzy.

But if we use â??Evil Is As Evil Doesâ? as the sole standard to judge whether a person is evil then all religious people who convince themselves that faith is a tool of cognition are evil. Look what religion and the belief beyond evidence which props it up are doing to the world today. But is the Pope really evil? What about Billy Graham? In the context that Barack Obama is evil I would certainly say they are too. And so is George Bush for that matter.

But I canâ??t say that I would ever suspect any of these people of intentionally doing me harm. And Larryâ??s article was simply distinguishing between these contexts of â??Evilâ?. He was speaking to those who think or want to think that Obama secretly hates The United States and wants to destroy it. Even though itâ??s difficult to know what Obama or any politician really thinks there are those who really do believe in those things he espouses. Those who fail to realize this tend to be the ones who have little or no real argument for their own point of view either.

Interestingly enough, I think Larry Elder, who I am defending and agreeing with here, is religious. I think he does a lot more good than harm though, and I really donâ??t think he is evil. On the other hand, if any of the world's religions are true then I am evil because I totally reject all of them and more specifically their cornerstone, the belief beyond evidence known to them as faith.

The rest of my comments here are a copy of my comments on the same article as it appeared at Creators.com. That is also a good site for those interested in various points of view.

This is an excellent article. Whereas I donâ??t necessarily agree with all of Larryâ??s criticism of Obama stated here and in other articles, Barackâ??s socialistic ideas are extremely dangerous to a nation founded upon individualistic precepts. But what is even more dangerous than Barack Obama and those of his ilk who have no appreciation for our constitution or for the idea of a limited government are the right wingers who, failing to really grasp the real problem with collectivism, either believe or want to believe that Obama is some sort of closet Muslim terrorist whose intentions are to destroy The United States. There is plenty to criticize about Obama for those who really understand what is wrong with Obama. Those who donâ??t really understand the problem find it easier to demonize their adversary rather than to think. And they are even more scary than those such as Barack who advocate socialism.
did you ever get around to actually saying anything? and, by the way, both parties voted for the bank bail out at first, and, not that anyone cares, but why is that a left position? I want to go and meet a leftist that thinks "oh, lets save the banks...".
I don't believe the goal can be considered without the method used to achieve it. They go together, i.e., if one has moral means, the end will be moral, or if one uses the correct means, the end takes care of itself. Obummer uses lies, threats of violence, and violence to achieve his goals. I could care less what those goals are in light of his means. He believes that proof is not required for beliefs, only faith. I would submit that this belief is fundamentally flawed and results in a short circuit of the reasoning process and a self justification of inhuman behavior. If evil exists this is its essence.
Barack Obama is a good man trying to do good as he is given the light to see the good.

He is not a socialist. He is not a communist. He is a loose amalgam of good intentions; many of which are completely separated from reality.

He is a product of his times and his upbringing. In short, he is not evil. He is just wrong. Simple as that.

He doesn't even know who he is or why he believes as he does. He starts with the assumption that those who have must help those who don't have; and never questions that basic assumption. To do so would undermine his whole personality and cripple his ability to function. He will never challenge his basic premises. It would destroy him.

We must fight his mistaken ideas not his person. To attack him personally is to lose the argument. Anyone with half a brain can see he his a good person trying to do good as he has been raised to define the good.

Nice article. Keep fighting the ideas that cripple us all. Even the best of us.
Attempting to use a person's own morality in judging them, if consistent, completely precludes pronouncing someone evil. Virtually all the evil leaders in history have offered a rationalization for their atrocities. After all, Hitler's actions were for "the glory and success of the fatherland and the master race". Lenin and Stalin killed their millions "for the proletariat [the poor laborers]". And Obama has his "downtrodden", "disadvantaged", ... This does NOT make him (or Reid, Pelosi, and others) any less evil.

Much of the beauty and power of Objectivism is that it offers the first *OBJECTIVE* morality. Those that intentionally violate individual rights (properly defined) are *EVIL* regardless of whether their "reason" is altruism, Allah, or improperly defined "selfishness". Or, in the words of John Galt, "Whoever, to whatever purpose or extent, initiates the use of force, is a killer acting on the premise of death in a manner wider than murder: the premise of destroying man's capacity to live."
The point is that government gets its way because it holds a gun and shoots if necessary. It doesn't make any difference for me if Obama is a nice guy while holding that gun. The fact that he gets his way by using a gun all the while not insuring us that he only uses the gun in very specific circumstances may convert him to a monster, at least in a sense. I guess you could say, he's not a monster in the same sense that a child who gets hold of a gun with no malicious intent accidentally shoots someone, but then who wants a child as President?

Are you sure he doesn't have malicious intent? How can a man not have ideas the he believes in that don't convert into emotion? Ideas that pop into your head come from values. I get that he gets some kind of pleasure out of threatening capitalists with pitchforks, i.e.,jerking capitalists around by the nose.

I think the thing that makes him dangerous is that he has moral certainty plus an affable manner. Maybe the real lesson here is for America to get the difference between the innocence of childhood and an innocence appropriate for an adult. In other words, before we start this discussion, we have to declare our standard for judgment.

We know that his certainty is based on a falsehood. And because it is, we feel like we're sitting on a powder keg. We're on the harrowing ride of Thelma and Louise. Because he's not grounded in reality, (which I do believe is kept in place by a sense of injustice regarding something) at any point in time he or his minions may transform from nice guy to monster or another crisis will necessitate even more property be stolen.

And I have to say, the fact he married the warrior Michelle doesn't make me feel any better. She's the Obama whisperer. If you want to know what a man values, best look at his wife - and friends. I see lots of hatred and resentment, thinly papered over, in Michelle.
The more I think about this, I don't think there is any doubt that Obama is evil, not just ignorant. He holds the top political office of the country and has at his behest whatever he wants to find out.

Clearly redistribution of wealth, which he is effecting as quickly as he can, is a failed policy. I've heard the argument that the gap between poor and rich had gotten too great and he needs to even things out. We will get from this, I assert, an even bigger gap between rich and poor. He's gutting the means for the poor to have more.

The Soviet Union sought to redistribute wealth. Greece, a welfare state, has sought to redistribute wealth. These cases are well known as failures and so there is no way that Obama does not know this. He doesn't care about the damage these systems cause people and societies. He's quite willing to gloss over this in the name of "fairness." Thus I think he is irredeemably evil. He knows better, even though his method of presentation belies this.

Somewhere in that mind, he feels so justified that the pain he causes is of no import to him. In reading of the projects he worked on before he became president, he was doing damage to his constituents then. He obtained money for a crook, Rezko, in the name of improving poverty housing. That was a failure. Rezko lived high on the hog and helped O buy his residence while the housing projects went into further disrepair to the point most were closed. He got the cops to stop, in the name of ending profiling, asking black kids what they were doing walking the streets late at night. The effect? Crime went up in those neighborhoods. He cares nothing about these results. His past is littered with this kind of thing.

He's a master at exploiting guilty or angry racists and guilt-ridden do-gooders. He plays their guilt, anger and hatred like a fiddle.

Yes, Barack Obama is evil. Definitely not innocently ignorant.
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