…was convincing the world tyranny doesn’t exist.
President Obama recently gave a commencement speech in which he declared that students should reject those who warn of the possibility of tyranny.
Obama says, in part:
“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
No. Tyranny is always just around the corner. We must always be on guard against it. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are build upon the assumptions that our liberties and our very freedom will always be under siege, and that we must perpetually be on guard against those who would tear them down.
Obama goes on to say that “they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.” What Obama is doing, is conflating the people with the government. It is, as your humble author has noted before, “the ultimate collectivist view: There is no separation between society and state; one blends softly, casually into the other until they are concomitant with each other.”
As Ann Althouse has noted before, Obama’s view of the state and its relation to the people is that “Government is not to be regarded as in need of limits, because the government is us. Anything we — the government — want to do is never tyranny, but freedom.” This is echoed in Obama’s speech when he says:
“Because we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it’s not about what America can do for us, it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government.”
Because Obama sees the government as simply the collective will of the people working together, and that the government is the people, the government can’t be tyrannical because the people would never tyrannize themselves.
Of course, this seems to only apply when Obama or a philosophical ally are the ones who are channeling the Volonté Générale. Since a proper democratic government is the people, and the people can’t tyrannize themselves, those not aligned with the Progressive left are considered to be tyrants and don’t represent the will of the people because they don’t represent what the Progressive left considers the will of the people.