By Tom Quiner
Ronald Reagan was a man of the people.
This Hollywood Democrat landed a job hosting television’s new General Electric Theater in 1954. His life would never be the same. For one thing, he owned a piece of this wildly popular show, which is how he made his fortune.
For another, as part of his job, GE sent him all over the country to visit their plants and give speeches to their employees and customers as a PR move. Some quarter of a million people heard him speak over an eight year period.
Mr. Reagan gave a great speech, which made him popular with the working class Americans who worked in GE’s plants and factories. But something more important than celebrity came out of all his exposure to working class America. He had a chance to listen to normal people. He heard about their aspirations. He heard about their challenges in life.
And he cared.
He began to see government as an impediment to the common man, not the solution, leading to a shift in his political thinking. The Democrat became a Republican, thanks to an eight year immersion in talking to normal, working class families. You know who I’m talking about; they’re the backbone of this country.
Barack Obama had a different set of influences.
He was tutored by a rogue’s gallery of anti-American mentors in his formative years:
Frank Marshall Davis was a communist and a pornographer. His sentiments were with the Soviet Union and Red China.
Roberto Unger is a philosopher, Brazilian politician, Obama’s former Harvard law professor, and a socialist.
Edward Said is Palestinian, an anti-colonialist, and anti-Israeli whom some say is a terrorist sympathizer.
Bill Ayers founded a communist underground group, The Weather Underground, that bombed public buildings and killed people.
The Reverend Jeremiah Wright was an anti-American, anti-Israeli preacher at the church Barack and Michelle Obama attended for two decades.
Each of his mentors nurtured anger and grievance in Obama, which he put to good use as a community organizer in Chicago. His successes were few, but even his biggest success revealed a blind spot in his thinking. Through his organizing, he helped to pressure city officials to remove asbestos from a public housing project from the 40s called Altgeld Gardens.
That was a very good thing. But Altgeld Gardens was a lousy place to live in a lousy location. Three generations typically lived in the apartments. Rather than a stepping zone to a better life as liberal planners had projected, residents seemed to become trapped, unable to escape their world of poverty.
Barack Obama didn’t see the bigger problem.
He honed impressive organizational skills during his days in Chicago which served him well in his quest for political power. Once he got power, he has demonstrated an inability to accomplish much and see the bigger problem.
Obamacare is a classic example.
His top -down, command-and-control approach to healthcare isn’t working. Those working class families that were the core of Reagan’s support are getting hurt.
Peggy Noonan characterized Obamacare as the “President’s catastrophic victory.”
The program is such a “fantastical flop,” says Ms. Noonan, that Congress should haul the administration before them and ask a simple question:
Maybe they could even call in some people from the White House and Congress, the ones who helped write and interpret this famous law that you had to pass before you could know what was in it, and ask: “Did you ever meet a normal human? Did you understand what you were doing when you produced this thing?”
Maybe they could even ask the president: “In your entire life, from community organizer to lawyer to politician, did you ever buy an insurance policy? Were you always on your wife’s plan, or immediately put on a plush government plan? Did you ever have to do anything like what you’re telling the people of your country to do?”
As things stand now, America’s “normal people” are losing their health insurance and being forced to buy coverage they can’t afford.
The president looked normal people in the eyes and promised we could keep our current coverage if we wanted. Now Obama insiders acknowledge that they all knew it wasn’t true three years ago. And yet the president lied, and lied again.
If “normal people” knew this last year, Mr. Obama would have lost his reelection bid.