Do you ever get the idea that this nation is not only in decline but completely rudderless under the Obama administration? Well, it's not really rudderless; it only appears rudderless because Obama isn't pursuing the same goals as past presidents.
Let's first concede that Obama expressly admitted his goal of fundamentally changing the nation — an alarming thought to most patriots. Let's also acknowledge that Obama's perception of pre-Obama America is largely negative. He has made that abundantly clear during the past five years, with his incessant harping on the state of the African-American community, his articulation of class warfare themes, his virtually overt war on our domestic energy industries and his harsh criticism of American health care, the insurance industry, the "wealthy" and various other targets.
By pitting Americans against each other, he produces both the distraction and the fuel to facilitate his goal of fundamental change.
Neither he nor his like-minded leftist colleagues look to America's founding with pride. They regard America's international record as unacceptably imperialistic, and they still believe we are on the wrong side of history on civil rights and other issues.
Though it has taken some a long while to come to terms with Obama's radicalism — and it would be an understatement to label it as anything less — many are finally opening their eyes to it.
Only if we fully come to grips with the sincerity of Obama's goal of fundamental transformation will we have the proper context within which to evaluate his policies.
By seeking transformational change, Obama does not mean that he wants to return unemployment and economic growth to their traditional levels. He doesn't mean that he wants to ensure that America remains the world's lone superpower, committed to defending itself and its allies and to opposing radical jihadis in the war on terror.
He has shown that he doesn't necessarily even share these domestic and foreign policy goals or that if he does, they are far down on his list of priorities.
Obama cannot be completely candid about his goals, because even today, most Americans would probably oppose his ideas if they fully understood them. He gives us many hints about where he's ultimately headed, but he also remains vague and cloaks his goals in euphemisms of "fairness" and "equality," by which he means something entirely different from America's traditional commitment to equality of opportunity and equality under the law. He means moving toward equality of outcomes to achieve "fairness."
If Obama were like other presidents, he would at least be alarmed by the enormousness of the national debt and the entitlements that are driving our unfunded liabilities into the stratosphere. He would be concerned that the economy has remained anemic his entire five years in office and that we're experiencing the worst recovery since World War II.
But you never hear Obama expressing genuine concern over the debt, our unfunded liabilities, our perpetual lack of growth or the explosion of our welfare and food stamp programs, which he may well regard with pride.
Why? Because his head is elsewhere. He wants the welfare state to thrive because that is one of the most efficient ways to achieve his desired income redistributions. He does not concern himself over growth-stifling tax increases, because he is more interested in confiscating income and assets of those he perceives as having too much. He isn't worried about the colossally negative impact his quixotic green energy programs have on our economy and livelihood, because he is more interested in achieving his goal of fundamental transformation than in presiding over a robust American economy. He isn't worried about the expansion of government and the unaccountable administrative bureaucracy, because to him, government is the panacea and "liberty" is merely a word to mouth when expedient.
To give himself cover for implementing fundamental change, Obama has been not only preaching "fairness" but deliberately lowering Americans' expectations for future growth. He has attempted to reorient people to accept the currently unacceptable levels of economic performance as the new norm.
Sadly, Obama's idea of reallocation of resources doesn't stop at the nation's shores. Just as he wants a "fairer" allocation of resources in this country, he wants our relative power in the world to be diminished, as well. He's all but admitted he isn't comfortable with America's being the world's sole superpower.
We've discussed the bizarre phenomenon of Obama's avoiding accountability for his miserable record by distancing himself from the negative effects of his own policies. His ability to escape accountability is further served by the fact that he doesn't aspire to the same goals as other presidents and thus eludes some measure of blame for failing to achieve them.
What is going on in this nation is breathtaking to those who love America as founded and as embodying the greatest principles of self-governance in world history.
If we are to have any hope of rolling some of this insanity back in the short term and ultimately preventing Obama's goal of fundamental change, we must, at the very least, call Obama out on exactly what he's doing and do our best to re-establish the traditional yardsticks against which to measure his failures.DAVID LIMBAUGH, a Washington Examiner columnist, is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate.