Delegate Scott Lingamfelter has been puzzled, not quite certain what to make of Barack Obama’s empty rhetoric. How, he wondered, could the man say so many words and still say so little? During Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, he heard the words that gave him a clue. What did he learn? Here is an excerpt from Lingamfelter’s December 11th email to his supporters.
Obama Code: “The Continued Expansion of Our Moral Imagination”
It’s been hard to put my finger on it. During his campaign for the presidency, I was struck by the volume of empty rhetoric (now) President Barack Hussein Obama got away with without media scrutiny or press investigation. It really bothered me because the man clearly lacked a moral center on any number of issues. He would speak long lines of meaningless paddle while people and press alike marveled at the guy. I can’t honestly tell you how many folks I spoke to would say after hearing him speak “what did he just say?”
Now comes what I have been looking for; some indication, some glimpse inside why Obama thinks and says so much signifying so very little. Obama loves to talk about President John F. Kennedy’s unfilled work. He uses this device frequently to suggest he—Barack Obama— has arrived on the scene to finish Kennedy’s work.
So—once again— after invoking the Kennedy legacy during his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize on December 10th, 2009, Obama, said of the unfinished Kennedy years: “I do not believe that we will have the will, or the staying power, to complete this work without something more – and that is the continued expansion of our moral imagination”.
Bingo! That’s it; “the continued expansion of our moral imagination”. In one moment Obama told us why so much of what he says has so little meaning. Simply put, he thinks morals are something you imagine and expand.
Morals are not something you “imagine”. Morals are rooted in precepts like the Ten Commandments, the Code of Hammurabi, and the teachings of Jesus. Indeed, morality is based on code of conduct, a set of beliefs that distinguish between right and wrong. And morals are not “expanded”, they are embraced, unless of course, you prefer to be unencumbered by those very rules, maybe setting for a “designer” set more suited to your individual purposes.
In fact what is horribly wrong with America and the world today is that people have rejected morals to “imagine” whatever they will to justify whatever they want. Dictators routinely engage in “moral imagination” to justify and “expand” tyranny. Criminal enterprises employ “moral imagination” to justify their lawlessness and “expand” their influence over innocent people. And deceitful liberal politicians in Washington use “moral imagination” to justify spending our nation and our grand children into a legacy of life-long debt and “expanding” government dependence that will lead to the socialist state they idealize and we reject.
And really, should we be surprised that Obama has such an ill-defined concept of moral development. After all, he doesn’t subscribe to the view that America is exceptional. To do so would be to acknowledge that this nation was founded on Christian principles—which he has publically rejected— and that those Christian principles have led to unparalleled tolerance for other faiths, respect for the dignity of mankind, and a commitment to freedom and justice for all. On the contrary, Obama spends most of his time abroad apologizing for us, possibly as he ponders “new morals” that would be better for us than the ones that have governed right actions since Moses received the Ten Commandments. But then again, maybe Obama has plans to take up mountain climbing. Think about it. If he can get the Nobel Peace Prize for simply showing up, who says he can’t create a new moral order? Pardon me while I’ll stick with the original version.
Does Lingamfelter have the right of it? You can and should judge that for yourself. Here is the text of Obama speech. Below is an excerpt from the speech that puts Obama’s strange phrase in its full context.
Agreements among nations. Strong institutions. Support for human rights. Investments in development. All these are vital ingredients in bringing about the evolution that President Kennedy spoke about. And yet, I do not believe that we will have the will, the determination, the staying power, to complete this work without something more — and that’s the continued expansion of our moral imagination; an insistence that there’s something irreducible that we all share.
As the world grows smaller, you might think it would be easier for human beings to recognize how similar we are; to understand that we’re all basically seeking the same things; that we all hope for the chance to live out our lives with some measure of happiness and fulfillment for ourselves and our families.
Because he is our leader, President Obama’s entire speech is worth reading. In his speech, Obama tells us much about how he envisions peace, and we can learn just how naive he is. Obama speaks of peace as freedom from fear and freedom from want. Liberty is something we maintain by evolving powerful institutions. Unfortunately, Obama’s vision confuses a successful tyranny with peace.
Because we divide ourselves into interest groups, the world has always been divided in factions, us versus them. As Obama says, war is old as humanity and peace difficult to achieve. Obama understands the problem of peace. Nonetheless, it is in the midst of declaring his awareness of the problem that Obama reveals his naivete. Rather than calling upon our nation’s Christian traditions as Lingamfelter would prefer, Obama asks us to call upon our imaginations. Obama believes our relative differences small. With a little imagination we should be able to achieve a common understanding with our foes. Because we share a common humanity, each side should be able to see the advantages of peace.
Obama thinks of humanity as rational and capable of self perfection. Lingamfelter, on the other hand, sees Christianity as fundamental to peace.
What a man believes makes a difference in that man. Obama knows that much. Look at his policies. What has his administration and the Democratic Party majority in Congress set about doing? Have they not set about remolding the United States into an image of their own liking? Isn’t their immediate goal readily apparent? Do they not want to bring every aspect of our lives under the power of government. Hasn’t the Democratic Party made huge efforts to dominate our mass media and educational institutions. Isn’t their apparent objective to make all Americans believe the same truths?
It is with his own example and the example of the Democratic Party that Obama undermines peace. These are men and women who arrogantly believe they know the truth and have the right to impose this truth upon others. Obama speaks of freedom and liberty, but his administration’s policies reek of the need to control. Sadly, what Obama fails to appreciate is that such an undisciplined need is what leads to war. Has not every warlike tribe and nation always believed that it alone had a monopoly on “truth”?
Christianity taught something new, and it is Christian belief that helped the United States achieve peace with itself and other nations. What is this truth? Christianity promotes freedom of religious belief. Christians understand that it is from God, not another man, that we learn the true path to salvation. What early American colonists well appreciated is that men could achieve peace only when they were willing to let each other live in peace.
Live and let live. Unfortunately, freedom of belief is anathema to the modern Democratic Party. How can we be so sure? Consider that Democrats are socialists and how socialism works. If we were allowed to refuse, how could socialists impose their vision of Utopia upon the rest of us? Yet Democrats would control every aspect of our lives. Who then will not want to refuse at least some aspect of the Democratic Party program for governing our lives. In that refusal lies the seeds of future conflict.
John Doe – I suspect that if Obama was assassinated even now the fools would worship him. Wouldn’t the news media would go into overdrive trying to make a martyr out of him? So let’s hope it does not happen.
Why do some still worship Kennedy? I think some people prefer style over substance. Style focuses on how we feel about something; it involves little real effort, but it makes the lazy feel good. Kennedy looked good. He sounded good, and he had a beautiful wife. Moreover, his assassination made it easy to imagine what might have been. Even if the lazy cannot bother to read anything difficult, they can daydream about what might have been.
Consider how Fightmaster responded to my post. He said almost nothing. Instead, he tried very hard to say what little he did say stylishly.
Here is what Fightmaster said boiled down to just a few words.
What do comments like Fightmaster’s prove? Consider how such are much to much like the speeches being made by elected Democrats. They too don’t debate. The just throw around various accusations, and they call their opponents names.
Do we need such lazy and arrogant fools running our lives? Don’t we all do a bad enough job as it is without such help? Since I don’t want their help, I fight such busybodies and their push for socialism.
Yeah, Fightmaster, that notion that Christianity is a grounding for ethical action went out with this country’s Founding Fathers. What did they know? You, on the other hand, are a genius. You wrote the Constitution and made this country great. Can’t wait until your likeness is on the quarter, baby!
Tom, you’ve inadvertently hit upon a pet peave of mine. How citizens of the US still idolize JFK decades after his death. He was only President for 2 years, he accomplished next to nothing (although he did cut taxes dramatically). He is still consistently rated as one of our top 5 Presidents. It would be like if GWB was assassinated a few months after 9/11, when his popularity was in the high 80s, even though he has done nothing yet. Grrrrrrrr! Or if Obama was assass’d a month into his term, when the fools had not yet discovered what a useless failure he is.
Your verve and commitment to citizenship is well intentioned but fundamentally misguided. My guess is you are recalcitrant to reason. I am convinced that thinking Christianity or any other theism a grounding for ethical action and political commentary regarding this nation, is illogical and subject to ‘magical thinking.’ Perhaps the fallacy is evoked as a defense against one’s fear of death. The additional false hope of some one or entity intervening in support of the true believer is sad and exploitative. I think the above author should hang his head in shame as he clings to antiquated ideologies and the Santa Claus’ for adults syndrome. Nothing will improve until each person forcefully seizes personal responsibility and practices compassion.
My advice, officious though it may be, is to put your energy into serious critical thinking and do your part to heroically put on the mantel of action precisely where you live. Cease the blame and ad hominem name calling games in favor of thoughtful discourse. While your IQ isn’t as high as mine, you appear capable enough intellectually to cast off the archaic notions you proffer, which render you politically imprisoned and impotent.