Candidate Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign promised “change,” over and over: he was “a leader who can deliver change.” And he has indeed delivered to the country changes in exponential proportions – changes that are praised by some as the “new normal,” but by others seem like daily confrontation with the bizarre.
Obama, an erstwhile professor of Constitutional Law, showed great adeptness as president in doing “end-runs” around the Constitution –especially as it related to the traditional division of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Sometimes his strategy was non-enforcement of laws with which he disagreed – e.g., the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by Congress in 1996, but ordered not to be enforced in February, 2011, thus paving the way for “same-sex” marriages (biologically impossible, but bizarrely created out of thin air by governmental fiat). Similarly, the 1976 Hyde Amendment, passed by Congress to prohibit federal funding for most cases of abortion, was an obstacle to a president who wanted to extend maternal execution-rights even to infants born alive after botched abortions; so this pesky law was also ignored, in spite of a non-binding and easily forgettable “executive order” promised to Representative Bart Stupak, to assure passage of Obamacare. The 2016 Democratic Party platform promises to get rid of the Hyde Amendment, and establish a James Bondian “license to kill” unquestionably, once and for all.
Further advances in bringing about a new, changed country were achieved by encroachment of the Executive on other governmental branches. Congress in 2009 refused to pass the DREAM Act, proposed by Obama, to grant legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children; but this obstacle was overcome by a 2012 memo to the HHS to make many young illegal immigrants legal. Congress, which has the Constitutional authority over immigration, was thus “trumped” by the Executive branch. Also, not only ignoring the Hyde Amendment but contradicting it, Obama required religious institutions under penalty to finance access to abortifacient drugs through a HHS mandate.
In line with Obama’s ongoing Islamophilia efforts, Iran has been allowed to do its own nuclear inspections at a military site; and, ignoring the protest of some Republican governors against the indiscriminate admission of Muslim refugees to the U.S., the State Department in the 2016 fiscal year admitted 12, 587 Syrian refugees, 98% Muslim and 0.5% Christian.
Finally, possibly mindful of the advice of his former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel (“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”), Obama has selectively chosen cases of fatalities resulting from confrontations of police with blacks to point to racial bias and “profiling” of blacks in the criminal justice system. The most bizarre example was at a Dallas funeral on July 5 for five police officers murdered at a Black Lives Matter protest. Obama in his “eulogy” used the occasion to discuss racial bias by police and others, and to praise the BLM movement.
Our Newly Bizarre Civil Society
All around us we find markers of our newly bizarre civil society: Constant references to Islam as a “religion of peace” in spite of over a hundred passages in the Qur’an inciting violence on “unbelievers”; Christian bakers going out of business because they refused to make a cake for a lesbian “wedding”; photographers and florists and wedding planners being subject to similar duress; Catholic nuns being forced to offer contraceptive coverage; a Catholic adoption agency closing down because of demands for adoption services by same-sex couples; Catholic hospitals faced with demands to offer abortifacient contraceptives; bathrooms for women and girls being re-labeled in case males feeling like women want to go into them; school children being proselytized with ideological tenets regarding sexuality and the great peaceful contributions of Islam to civilization; Catholic churches with nary a semblance of traditional Catholic catechesis receiving lectures on the beauty of Islam by representatives from CAIR; riots immediately following deadly police encounters with blacks, before any investigation can take place.
In case we are in doubt about a future under Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Convention this year gave us a preview of what a Clinton administration will be like: Islamic terrorist organization ISIS was mentioned 26 times (in contrast with 546 mentions at the Republican Convention); the traditional opening prayer by Rev. Cynthia Hale was met with boos and chants of “Bernie, Bernie”; a serviceman trying to read names of fellow soldiers killed in combat was booed; a female sheriff reading names of fallen police officers was heckled by “Black Lives Matter” protesters; the equality of all cultures was emphasized; and the foremost issue seemed to be “climate change.”
In the midst of all the strange topsy-turvy faits accomplis of Obama’s Brave New World, a potty-mouthed, male-chauvinist, narcissistic billionaire TV “reality” star, Donald Trump, enters the race to oppose the proposed Democratic successor to Obama, who promises more of this “new normal.” Multitudes of “deplorables,” who usually keep silent for fear of being tagged as racists, islamophobes, homophobes, sexists, xenophobes, or “Christian fundamentalists,” may see support for Trump as a step in the direction of restoring some semblance of sanity to reality – cutting down on stifling regulations, fostering school choice, dropping bloated Obamacare, enforcing immigration laws passed by Congress, building up the military and allowing them to fight Islamic terrorism by name.
The bizarreness of the previous administration has let many, including many Christians and members of the new “silent majority” to look for someone completely outside the DC “beltway” in this election.
Trump’s list of possible nominees to the Supreme Court, and his hiring of Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony organization, to chair a new pro-life coalition, are hopeful signs that one of the most bizarre “accomplishments” of the Democratic Party over past decades, the transformation of abortion (even “partial birth” abortions) from criminal act to “health measure,” may finally be reversed.
Guest Contributor: Dr. Howard P.Kainz is emeritus professor of philosophy at Marquette University. His most recent books include Natural Law: an Introduction and Reexamination (2004), Five Metaphysical Paradoxes (The 2006 Marquette Aquinas Lecture), The Philosophy of Human Nature (2008), and The Existence of God and the Faith-Instinct (2010).