Obama’s Last Chance: Promoting Marriage Can Restore His Presidency
It’s over for Barack Obama. But it doesn’t have to be.
It’s true the economy languishes. Obamacare remains hugely unpopular. People hate the tone of Washington politics, which Obama said he would change, and which he has changed – for the worse. Obama’s foreign policy embarrasses the professionals and scares the amateurs. Only a quarter of Americans think the country is on the right track. And public confidence in the presidency is at a six-year low. This guy can’t hit.
It’s true also that he got his most important bills passed, but only through deception, subterfuge, obfuscation, and dubious parliamentary maneuvers, which — serves him right — increases the chances that his signature piece of legislation will be repealed. He can’t field either.
People who can’t hit or field shouldn’t play baseball.
The president should try a different game. Fortunately, there’s one waiting for him. If he played it well — or even if he just showed up in uniform — he could go down as one of the country’s great presidents. Sadly, it’s more likely he’ll just go down, with Jimmy Carter.
At this stage in Barack Obama’s presidency it is no longer scandalous to say he is an affirmative-action president. We know that, not just because he received, twice, a huge majority of the votes of black Americans (95 percent in 2008, 93 percent in 2012), but also because almost every member of the VRC (vast right-wing conspiracy) has a friend who voted for Obama, because he was black.
Barack Obama needs to face the plain truth, no matter how unpleasant it may be to his post-racial self-conception: he is black. But by being black he has special resonance with black Americans and with “the black community.” The terms may not be coterminous, but they’re close enough for government work, which is what Obama does.
One of America’s least tractable problems is the growth of the underclass (read Charles Murray for details). The collapse of marriage and the rampant growth of illegitimacy condemn millions of Americans, first as children, then as adults, to lives of poverty and despair.
According to the Heritage Foundation, “Over a third of single-parent families … are poor, compared to only 7 percent of married families. Overall, children in married families are 82 percent less likely to be poor than are children of single parents.”
The only hope for young children is parents. Not a village, pace Mrs. Clinton. Parents. Two of them.
The illegitimacy rate among blacks is 72 percent, higher than among any other group. It’s true, of course, that there are more illegitimate whites than illegitimate blacks (blacks are only 13 percent of the population), and true also that we can’t blame all of society’s ills on the black underclass.
Nevertheless, illegitimacy is a disaster for the people in the underclass who are black, and someone who has standing and credibility should try to do something about it.
Who might that someone be? Why not our president?
The president should spend every Saturday from now until he leaves office going to a black wedding, a wedding — need it be said? — of a man and a woman. The president needs to make getting married the coolest act in town.
And he might even enjoy it. Just the other day he said, “I love just being with the American people… . You know how passionate I am about trying to help them.” How better to help them than by spending the remaining hundred Saturdays of his presidency going to weddings? (And people can get married on other days of the week too.)
You can already hear the objections, one of which will relate to security. There are two solutions to the security problem. The first is to have less of it; the presidency is already far too imperial. Who would be surprised if it were only the professionals who think it’s all necessary?
The other solution is to have the weddings at the White House, or perhaps just the receptions. Are there better uses for the building? Name three.
The president doesn’t have time, you say? He’s too busy keeping America safe and prosperous? Golf balls! Look here, and laugh, at a list of Obama’s 203 presidential golf outings.
Marriage is the linchpin of Western Civilization, which, unfortunately, the crowd Obama runs with dismisses as a cultural affliction imposed by, primarily, dead white males. They’re wrong. Western Civ gave us, preeminently, equality, respect for women, and freedom from state oppression.
President Obama should be bounteous with his attendance. No couple getting married is without merit. Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief: marriage can redeem them all. The president could become known as the Marriage President — perhaps in time even, in history books, the Dearly Beloved President. Seriously.
More likely, alas, the president won’t change. Few people over forty do. He’ll continue to be aloof, spiteful, polarizing, shunned, even by his own party.
In which case: it’s over for Barack Obama.
Daniel Oliver is a Chairman of the Board of Education and Research Institute and Senior Director of White House Writers Group in Washington, DC. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Ronald Reagan, he was Executive Editor and subsequently Chairman of the Board of National Review. Email Daniel Oliver at Daniel.Oliver@TheCandidAmerican.com