During his press conference with Kenya’s President Kenyatta, Barack Obama mentioned that he didn’t meddle with travel advisories. This was an uncomfortable topic, occasioned by our State Department’s warnings about terrorist activity from Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab in the African nation. Regardless of the lost tourist revenue, in the eyes of the Kenyan people Obama made good, but they only heard his side of the story.
He may not write travel advisories, but when it comes to meddling our president is a champ. Sometimes he acts by himself, sometimes he starts a divisive dialogue and lets others do the dirty work, and sometimes he leads his party to do damaging and dangerous things. Look at it any way you wish. The end result is a list of unpleasant facts about America that didn’t come up during his public discussion with Kenyatta.
Progressivism is more important than democracy or a constitution
Obama congratulated Kenyans on their constitution and democratic government:
First, I want to salute the Kenyan people for their hard-won progress in strengthening their democracy. Millions voted for the new constitution, one of the most progressive in Africa, with its strong protections for freedom of expression, assembly and the press, and its emphasis on equality and against discrimination.1
What good is a constitution if you don’t use it? About as much good as giving lip service to the voice of the people before denying that voice a say.
Millions of Americans didn’t vote for gay marriage. The Supreme Court did. We didn’t vote for deferred action’s amnesty. Obama did. Congress didn’t allow the president to tweak his namesake health care law. He just went ahead and changed it. That’s not how a democracy works. It’s how Obama’s vision for a democracy works. When democracy becomes an impediment to irresponsible progressivism, it is ignored.
Law enforcement is shackled in local communities we can’t control
The president cited his approach to law enforcement as the reason organized terror is not emerging in the U.S.:
… we’ve been very conscious to make sure that law enforcement is reaching out and cooperating and working with them [Muslim and immigrant communities], because they are our partners in this process. 2
Terrorism has many faces. In Kenya it means organized attacks by Muslim extremists and travel warnings for U.S. visitors. In the U.S. it can mean eruptions of violence on city streets by members of organized street gangs (see: Children Die, Guns Blamed, and Prison Sentences Scrapped). If local law enforcement is reaching out, it’s a credit to police officers who have had to tolerate a withering fusillade from the Justice Department, White House, and Capitol Hill over how the law is enforced and who should be subject to its terms.
Undocumented immigrants are in a legal never-never land of Obama’s making. African Americans are becoming off-limits to law enforcement as incidents involving police use of force hit the headlines regardless of the circumstances. Programs designed to make American cities safer are being scrapped (see: Priority Enforcement: Lawbreakers First, Security Later.).
The truth is that local law enforcement is being constrained to suit a political agenda. That makes communities happier and friendlier for criminals, but it doesn’t make these communities safer. As far as terror from Islam is concerned, only time will confirm the truth of the president’s words.
We treat people differently and yes, we discriminate
Talking about gay rights, the president observed:
If you look at the history of countries around the world, when you start treating people differently — not because of any harm they’re doing anybody, but because they’re different — that’s the path whereby freedoms begin to erode and bad things happen.3
Who you hop in bed with each night is not the only thing that makes people different. Sexual preference is something Obama chose as a defining characteristic he approves of. As we have learned, if he approves then the rest of us have to approve, too.
There are other things that make us different that are used to condemn and discriminate, like being involved in the financial sector or earning more money than middle class families. We have all heard the accusations about the 1%, about paying a fair share, about the middle class struggling while the wealthy bask in luxury, and about the evils of Wall Street. Picking an enemy is a lot easier than fessing up to the failure to advance the middle class, but cultivating public anger is a good way to push a progressive agenda.
Bribes and corruption are not the only way government steals
It probably never occurred to the president when he was talking about the cost corruption adds to investing in a nation like Kenya or the damage it does to small businesses that his favorite policies also tack on costs. Just because adding fines, fees, penalties, and taxes to the cost of doing business is legal doesn’t mean that our money-starved government isn’t stealing.
Obamacare penalties and Dodd-Frank regulations like the foolishly time-consuming conflict minerals reporting requirements cost small businesses money and employees. Haranguing the nation about minimum wage rates until cities and states pass laws the Federal Government doesn’t have the courage or the stomach for also costs jobs, hampers free enterprise, and allows government to dictate a minimum standard of living on the backs of business owners. Forcing taxpayers to pay the cost of education, health care, law enforcement, and other services provided to illegal immigrants is another cost that weighs heavily, as do retirements for government workers that are ruining cities like the president’s hometown.
Speaking of Chicago ….
America’s youth are killing each other
President Kenyatta thanked our president for his efforts on behalf of African youth. He might want to take a look at a Chicago newspaper to see how things are working out for the youth in Obama’s hometown or in other cities where bullets and gang signs fly.
While it is true that most American youth are not faced with the kind of horrors young people in the worst urban battlegrounds experience every day, it is also true that the social spending and progressive policies meant to raise up our worst neighborhoods have been an abject failure (see: Racist Symbols? These Five are Much Worse Than a Flag). The solutions have been to reinterpret and lighten up on law enforcement and reduce or eliminate sentences for non-violent crimes that fuel violence. We also blame guns instead of the people who use them. That hasn’t stopped the killing. While Obama was feasting in Kenya bullets were flying in Chicago. Today they are still counting the shootings from another violent Saturday night and by tomorrow morning those numbers will have grown larger.