Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Obama and Hillary Are All Too Happy to Coerce Acceptance of Their Agendas

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Photo via NRO

Photo via NRO

What happens when the public does not wish to live out the utopian dreams of its elite leaders? Usually, the answer for those leaders is to seek more coercion and less liberty to force people to think progressively.

Here at home, President Barack Obama came into power in 2009 with a Democratic Congress, a sympathetic press, and allies in Hollywood, academia, unions, and philanthropic and activist foundations.

Yet all that support was not sufficient to ensure “correct” public attitudes about Obama’s agenda on health care, entitlements, taxes, guns, abortion, and cultural issues.

In the 2010 midterm elections, the Democrats forfeited their majority in the House. In the 2014 midterms, they lost their Senate majority and also lost ground in state legislatures and with governorships across the country. Since early 2013, President Obama’s approval rating has been consistently below 50 percent.

How, then, do politically correct planners force the people to think and act properly when they push back?

Extra-legal executive orders can help a president bypass supposed troglodytes in Congress and among the public.

“We’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues.”
— President Obama

Obama granted blanket amnesties, proposed rules that would lead to the closure of many coal plants, and arbitrarily chose which health or labor statutes should be enforced and at what times. A filmmaker was even jailed on a trumped-up probation charge after making a video about Islam that was deemed unhelpful to the official administration Benghazi narrative. The IRS hounded nonprofit groups considered insufficiently progressive.

In a recent rant about conservative Fox News — which has a fraction of the combined audience of the liberal mainstream networks ABC, CBS, and NBC — Obama warned that the media are going to have change the very way they report news. Presumably, Obama believes that Fox tricks the unknowing masses into thinking wrong thoughts, especially about the relationship between the poor and government assistance.

As Obama put it: “We’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues, and how people’s impressions of what it’s like to struggle in this economy looks like.”

Given the First Amendment, how can the president “change” the media? Should the Federal Communications Commission pick and choose acceptable news outlets in the same manner that Lois Lerner ran her exempt-organizations division at the IRS?

Who would judge whether the media had changed to meet Obama’s notion of correctness?

 

Hillary Clinton is worried that too many people have incorrect thoughts about feminist issues. For those who oppose abortion, Clinton believes that these supposedly wrong thoughts must be policed. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases,” she warned, “have to be changed.”

How, in a free society, does Clinton plan to alter the way religion and culture work? What sort of power would she need to rid us of these “deep-seated” but unhelpful “codes and beliefs”?

How, in a free society, does Clinton plan to alter the way religion and culture work?

Recently, Clinton declared that if elected president, she would pick Supreme Court nominees by the litmus test of demanding that they oppose the Citizens United ruling. Clinton is apparently still furious at the high court’s 2010 decision, which dismantled federal-election rules restricting independent political expenditures by nonprofit organizations.

Citizens United, remember, was a conservative nonprofit group that produced an unflattering movie about Hillary Clinton. The Federal Election Commission went to court to prevent the film from airing on TV before the 2008 Democratic primaries.

In other words, Clinton wishes to judge the qualifications of future Supreme Court nominees on the basis of whether they agree that a nonprofit organization had no right to be critical of her in a documentary at election time.

If Clinton is really worried about the role of big money in politics, she would have done better to have insisted that the Clinton Foundation did not solicit donations from foreign governments while she was the secretary of state. She might have ensured that her family’s foundation distributed 90 percent of its expenditures — instead of a reported 10 percent — directly to the charities it claimed to help, especially given that it has raised close to $2 billion.

Clinton might also have blasted former presidents seeking hefty lecture fees and family foundation donations from wealthy entrepreneurs who hope to buy access and influence from either a sitting secretary of state, a former president of the United States — or a future president.

Or, Clinton herself might have cut back on lucrative speaking fees, often paid by wealthy corporations seeking influence. Bill and Hillary Clinton have pulled in $30 million in lecture cash in just the last 16 months. Mysteriously, the closer Hillary Clinton got to announcing her bid for the presidency, the more frequent and the more lucrative the Clinton duo’s lecturing became.

When news organizations, judges, or Americans in general do not think or speak in the correct fashion, then elite progressives believe they must do whatever is necessary to silence them — while making themselves exempt from their own agendas.

 © 2015 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

15 Thoughts on “Obama and Hillary Are All Too Happy to Coerce Acceptance of Their Agendas

  1. Rocco Pirro on May 22, 2015 at 6:35 am said:

    Interesting…I was banned from Twitter once for telling Michelle Obama that after reading her thesis, it was obvious that the writing standards at Butte Junior College were more stringent than the writing standards at Princeton.

    I guess I wasn’t thinking “correctly”…

    • zygote314 on May 27, 2015 at 3:23 am said:

      Sorry to hear that, Rocco. But look on the brightside: Twitter is for the shallow-minded and is too trivial for a real discussion.

  2. Frank G Morley on May 22, 2015 at 7:00 am said:

    With the group of RINOs in the federal gov’t and the leftists of the Democrat Party the agendas of both Obama and Hillary will rapidly come to pass. Obama and Hillary are just the titular heads of the regressive movement. There are thousands, if not millions of judges and bureaucrats in federal, state, and local gov’t that will rule/decide and enforce the regressive ideology. Need I mention the EPA, FCC, DOJ etc. to make a point? The rule of law is not being followed nor will it stop them from achieving the aims of overthrowing capitalism and subjugation of the populace.

    The elections of 2010 and 2014 have accomplished nothing to further our liberty or advance the Conservative cause at the federal level, mainly because we were lied to. And who in their right minds will think that is going to change? Will another election cycle cause John Boehner, Lindsay Graham. Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John McCain, etc. to use the power of the purse, or suddenly have a change of heart about Illegal immigration?

    I say no they won’t and things are going to get a lot worse. Unless the people take to arms and begin eliminating the regressives and islamists. We are going to have civil war and it will include the regressive and the pro islamic fundamentalists that are threatening our freedom of speech and assembly.

  3. Rick Bonsteel on May 22, 2015 at 7:27 am said:

    One small quibble: The American Demosthenes, the Greatest Orator since Churchill, would have said, “We’re gonna hafta change…..”

    Here’s a great quotation from C S Lewis. (I don’t know the source; I got it from and Andrew Bolt posting):

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would 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

  4. sonoffar on May 22, 2015 at 7:27 am said:

    The operative phrase throughout seems to be. “in a free society”. All the situations described indicate clearly that we don’t have one, no matter how loudly we claim to be in one.

  5. Rick Bonsteel on May 22, 2015 at 7:29 am said:

    D’oh! Google. The quotation is from God in the Dock, 1948,

  6. All they want, professor Hanson, is all power. Might’n it be prejudiced of us to ask, “What could go wrong?”

    How dare us, really, to suffer pain they will cause whom question! What are we thinking, to think on them?

    When, oh when, will we learn our place in this big Jarettian universe? Gosh, and why can’t we get along with their controlling us? Sure it’s a big universe they must control out there… imagine their burdensome task!

    But what difference, at this point, does thinking about freedom make?

  7. Hillary wishes to take over the top religious position of the most right, most perfect government.
    I don’t think they care, that by their actions they are merely ISIS writ large. Without, at least for the present, messy beheadings or burnings to ensure conformity.

  8. David Park on May 22, 2015 at 9:08 am said:

    In the coming election rodeo, it seems the Republicans are going to show up with a herd while the Democrats feature just one ass. Rest assured that the manure will be the same depth on both sides of the rodeo.

  9. It’s useful at this point to reflect on the relationship Progressives have to rules. From the 60’s onward the Left encouraged itself to not respect rules (laws, social conventions) which was felt to be used to silence or inhibit them. Sometimes laws were/are intentionally broken as “civil disobedience”. University-progressives provide philosophical underpinning for this view, rendering law and tradition as arbitrary things, to be abused by those at the top and ignored as needed by those at the bottom.

    So the rules therefore aren’t for them. They’re for us.

    RE: “A filmmaker was even jailed on a trumped-up probation charge after making a video about Islam that was deemed unhelpful to the official administration Benghazi narrative.”

    I disagree. The filmmaker was in fact deemed highly *helpful* to the Obama Administration narrative since it was his film that was being falsely blamed for the Bengazi attack. He was jailed to *support* the official narrative for Bengazi and because government doesn’t need a reason to pick someone up who’s on probation. They can just do it.

  10. zygote314 on May 22, 2015 at 10:09 am said:

    We’ve all known for years what self-serving sleaze bags the Clintons are, but it’s only now that their true characters are coming into sharp focus. After four years as S of S we can now judge what sort of leader Hillary would be if elected president, and it’s not pretty. Despite the facts that she’s incompetent and was only given the job as a consolation prize, what should really concern Americans is the way she has repeatedly covered up her failings in order to protect her political hide. From looking the family members of the fallen Navy SEAL’s at Benghazi in the eye and assuring them that the nasty little video maker would be brought to justice, to trying to appear sympathetic in front of the House committee by throwing up her arms and blithe-fully demanding “what difference does it make” that four people are now dead as a direct result of her incompetence, to keeping a private email server in her home from which she sorted and deleted official State Dept. emails that may have shed light on the relationship between her husband’s very lucrative speaking fees and possible quid pro quo arrangements with foreign leaders.

    The authoritarian nature of progressivism – i.e. the need to coerce the masses and rub out, politically speaking of course, anyone or anything that stands in your way to power – is a perfect fit for someone like Hillary. While the Obamas are ideologically driven to repress the people and subvert our constitutional republic when they find it expedient to do so, the Clintons are just cheap opportunists looking to enrich themselves with money, power and prestige. Whereas Obama has been marinated in the Marxist ideology of Black Liberation Theology after spending 20 years sitting in Rev. Wright’s pews, the Clintons just turn whichever way the political winds blow. Where Barak Obama would never sign welfare reform into law, Bill Clinton would sign it and then announce “the era of big government is over.”

    This woman is rotten to the core. The more we find out about their “foundation” the more we recoil in disgust. The American public must wake up and examine this woman closely. If she is elected, it could mean the final Progressive nail on our Republic’s coffin.

  11. Proudly Unaffiliated on May 23, 2015 at 7:09 am said:

    #hrodfraudmatters

  12. When it comes right down to it, it’s just about money and power. Hillary has worked all her life to attain both, like the supposedly greedy corporations and Republicans she routinely demonizes, while simultaneously claiming, laughably, to be one of the people who are so down-trodden by the previously-identified evils.

    She’s a multi-millionaire who wants for nothing, yet seeks more power and prestige in public office. What a damaged human being, one who is a perfect reminder that sometimes you get exactly what you want, and you’re much worse off for having gotten it. The sad ending to it is that she seems completely lacking in this self-awareness, and her bitterness drips off her like sweat off an athlete. There’s a reason why her presidential campaign looks nothing at all like a presidential campaign, where she’s held away from the public and from questions. Because she will destroy herself if who she truly is comes out in a spontaneous response to a question or an unrehearsed interaction with the proletariat.

  13. 357x6 on May 24, 2015 at 10:45 am said:

    Should we finally concede that we are dealing with Marxist/communist agents on the highest order?
    Is the pudding proof enough?

  14. Empress Trudy on May 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm said:

    Hillary may claim her litmus test is opposition to Citizens United but I’m sure that nearly 100% of Americans understand that Hillary has a genetic aversion to the truth or even consistency. She obviously has less than zero interest in actually ridding her own base of unlimited funds provided by Citizens United.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: