Enemies of the People
Victor Davis Hanson
In 2008, a mostly unknown
Four years later, none of those promises will be themes of his 2012 re-election campaign. Gas has more than doubled in price. Billions of dollars have been wasted in insider and subsidized wind and solar projects that have produced little green energy.
Unemployment rates above 8 percent appear the new norm, when 5 percent in the past was dubbed a "jobless recovery."
After four years, the claims of "Bush did it" and "It might have been worse" grow stale. So re-election will rest not on a new agenda, or an explanation of what happened, but on a divide-and-conquer strategy. Translated, that means Obama will find fissures in the voting public over fairness, expand them, and then cobble together various angry partisans in hopes of achieving a bare majority. Such an us/them strategy is not new in American history.
There are suddenly new enemies called the "one percent" -- those who make more than
In 2009, Obama pushed through his health care plan by a narrow partisan margin in the House, despite constitutional questions about the individual mandate. Now, as the
Team Obama has seized on the Democrats' allegations of a "war on women," waged by both
The president faults "Big Oil" and tension in the
Suddenly, after the Trayvon Martin tragedy and what may prove to be murderous white vigilantism in
If Obama can cobble together disaffected young people, greens, women, minorities and the poor -- who all believe a nefarious "they" have crushed their dreams -- then massive debt and deficits, high unemployment, sluggish growth and spiraling gas prices won't decide the election.
Lots of presidential candidates have run by identifying such enemies of the people, rather than debating the general state of the nation -- sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
But the problem with an us/them strategy is not just winning an election, but trying to put back together what was torn asunder.
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Enemies of the People | Politics
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