Scariest Phrase in American Politics: “Make History”

Granted, the last presidential election seems more like thirty years ago than three, but that’s just because it appears that we are doomed to relive 1979-1980. Still, you may recall that Barack Obama ran for president claiming to be “historic.” The events of the past couple of weeks have proven that he was in fact correct, albeit not for the reasons he claimed back in 2008. Our country’s bond rating has been downgraded from AAA to AA for the 1st time in American history, something that didn’t happen during World War II or the Great Depression, and an event that prompted scolding from the communist Chinese. Last week we learned that more Americans are on food stamps than at any time in American history. Worst of all, last Saturday, thirty of our most courageous, highly skilled troops were killed in action in Afghanistan, the greatest loss of military personnel in the 10-year history of the war, a war that even the Washington Post admits is now fully Obama’s.

Before you accuse me of having a profound grasp of the obvious, please understand that I am not trying to depress you by calling attention to the place we find ourselves during the One’s regime. I know that you know how bad things are. Rather, I hope to remind readers of the insidious and dangerous nature of the “historic” hoax, used most recently by the Con Artist in Chief. Like the equally meaningless phrase “making a difference,” it conjures positive images of sunny days, rainbows and unicorns in the imaginations of the soft-headed, with disastrous results.

When candidates ask us to vote for them because they are “historic,” or because it’s an opportunity for the voter to “make history,” here’s what they’re really saying. They’re admitting that they can’t run on their policy positions on taxes, national defense, social programs, or any other actual substantive issue. Instead, they prefer to run by appealing to emotion rather than reason. The advantages are obvious, particularly in our age of celebrity worship, race-baiting, and dumbed-down, low-information voters, most of whom could not pass basic civics at gunpoint. By branding themselves with glamourous glittering generalities, meaningless aspirational slogans, star power, and entreaties to support “diversity,” they attract legions of devoted followers who wouldn’t have the slightest interest in their candidate’s ideas about the capital gains tax, that is if they had the first clue what the phrase “capital gains tax” actually means. The genius of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was its ability to excite this cohort into a hysterical frenzy that would fuel them to storm the polls with the same fevered enthusiasm they usually reserve for getting tickets to Lollapaloozza. In addition, this strategy helps candidates avoid discussing the inconvenient fact that their plans would repulse many Americans, thereby concealing their agendas until they are safely ensconced in office.

This “make history” hokum exploits a basic human need, hardwired into every single mortal human being ever born: the desire to be special. B. Hussein Obama is not the first unqualified, affirmative-action assisted Cook County pol to use this demagogic scam to win an election. In 1992, Carol Moseley Braun, infamous for her friendship with an African dictator, and for calling a rival in last year’s Chicago mayoral race a “crack addict,” garnered major support from upper-middle class suburban housewives, young voters and other clueless, emotionally-driven types with the slogan “Make history,” by electing the first African-American woman to the U.S. Senate. A young attorney, fresh from Harvard Law School, is credited with helping elect Sen. Braun through his work with the ACORN-affiliated “Project Vote.” She proved to be an incompetent, embarrassment in office, and eventually lost her re-election bid. Perhaps history’s repeating itself isn’t all bad after all.


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