Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
January 29, 2013
Obama’s acolytes, sycophants, and presstitutes in the world of mercenary journalism have mounted a special mobilization, attempting to portray Obama’s second inaugural address as the definitive statements of the liberal and progressive agenda.
In reality, this speech marks a new low for the modern Democratic Party. It is right wing neo-liberalism wrapped in right wing communitarianism. It is a million miles away from the concerns of the average American, and rather reflects the obsessions of the Wall Street elitists and, Malthusian ideologues.
In order to illustrate the utter hollowness of Obama’s demagogy, it will be instructive to compare his speech to the second inaugural addresses of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 – that is to say, of the best American presidents of the 19th and 20th centuries.
On January 20, 2009, addressing a small gathering of political activists in Arlington, Virginia, I pointed out that Obama’s first inaugural was vastly inferior to the speech given by Franklin D. Roosevelt upon assuming the presidency in the midst of the previous world economic depression. Many are familiar with Roosevelt’s famous observation that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” but his 1933 speech went much further. In the depths of the Depression, Roosevelt did not hesitate to indict Wall Street bankers and financiers as those responsible for the tragic economic collapse of the country:
“… the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.”