“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
- Alexander Tytler
This week, the Obama Campaign released a radio ad that many feel is targeting the black vote. In it, amidst a hip-hop beat, a male announcer begins, “Four years ago we made history. Now it’s time to move forward and finish what we started together. We have to show the President we have his back.”
The ad then begins to play excerpt of Obama’s crazy campaign promises to redistribute the wealth:
“I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by kicking children off of Head Start programs; asking students to pay more for college; or eliminating health insurance for millions of poor and elderly and disabled Americans on Medicaid.”
The male announcer then returns to instruct, “Have the president’s back and register to vote. Go to GottaVote.org to register now. That’s GottaVote.org.”
I have so many objections to this ad, I barely know where to begin. So, I’ll just dive right in.
First, I can accept that American discourse has been dumbed down from the days of Washington and Jefferson. But to have a sitting president pander to the masses by trying to relate to them by asking that we “have his back” like we’re some hoods “kickin’ it” disgusts me to no end. He is a president and an international representative of us. He should start acting as such.
Second, if the intent of this ad was to court the black vote by playing hip-hop music and using urban slang, which I believe it was, I am offended. To try and relate on a superficial level suggests an unwillingness by Obama to gain votes not through discussion of issues, but by ethnic kinship. Whenever a candidate specifically targets an ethnic demographic, a premium has been placed upon their democratic participation that supersedes those that fall outside the target audience. Candidates should promote discussion of issues, not racial solidarity.
Furthermore, I object mostly to the promising of governmental services and goods in exchange for votes. As Alexander Tytler suggests, we cannot abide a system that panders to the lowest common denominator while operating at the expense of the producers of society. Promising to punish those that take investment risks, promote industry and employ people in order to satisfy those that will not or cannot exist without governmental assistance is to jeopardize the very fundamentals of democracy. We cannot afford another four years of a president that wishes to promote social engineering over tried and true practices dedicated to fostering national prosperity.
Overall, this ad shows the desperation of an Obama campaign willing to grasp at anything that might save them from the inevitable defeat in November. It should also do considerably more to promote Romney over Obama as it, in less than 60 seconds, succinctly illustrates the fundamental flaw of his viewpoint on government.