In a recent champagne swilling event with his Hollywood devotees, President Obama quoted the late Roger Ebert to explain his own political philosophy. The late Mr. Ebert once said that all his political beliefs are based on kindness, and Mr. Obama stated that it is that philosophy that gets him out of bed each morning to face his critics. Beyond the fact that this president has displayed more nastiness towards those who disagree with him on policy than a bull caught in barbed wire while being taunted by a group of rodeo clowns, is the fact that his statement is illustrative of the core flaw of Leftism.
Politics is, as its root word polis invented by the Greeks suggests, the creation of a city-state that is governed by its citizens. As such, public policy is implemented to the benefit of all the governed, not, as kindness would suggest, to the benefit of a select group of individuals within the whole. James Madison articulated this concept best and most succinctly when he said there is no charity in the United States Constitution. This is as it should be, charity and kindness is best left to individuals in the private sector practicing these lofty and worthy virtues on their families, friends, and neighbors.
The inappropriateness of any President of the United States saying that his politics is driven by kindness is that the subjective nature of kindness can destroy what should be the objective nature of the law and public policy. This is the reason that the symbol of this great nation's justice system, Lady Justice, is blindfolded. The law, as well as public policy, should apply equally to all citizens regardless of sex, race, creed, wealth, or any other cosmetic or external characteristics. But this truly fair way of implementing policy would be the death knell of Leftism because it eliminates governmental authority being used to create victim groups for the expressed purpose of also creating permanent voting blocks, mainly for the Democrat party.
The wisdom of the Founders informed them that a nation based on the subjectivity of human emotions such as kindness and charity could lead to the justification for tyranny. This was best exemplified by Davy Crockett during his term as a representative of Tennessee in the House. Legislation was speeding through the congress to allocate taxpayer money in support of the widow of a well known Navy veteran. Mr. Crockett made an impassioned plea for his colleagues not to violate the public trust by using its money for the benefit of an individual, instead imploring his fellows to follow his lead in donating a portion of their own salaries to the cause. His speech on that day, entitled, Not Yours To Give, should be required reading by everyone in public service. It illustrates that charity meted out by government is not a virtue, but a vice visited upon those who have no stake in the largess of that charity.
And so public servants like Barack Obama who speak of kindness as a driving force for politics, are silent on the inherent unkindness to those who pay the freight for their magnanimity. Of course the kindness of which President Obama and others on the Left speak has its roots more in political opportunity for them and their friends than any benefit for those who are in need of that kindness. In the final analysis, kindness as a driving force for public policy leads to the unraveling of the very fabric of liberty. A concept the founders understood when they created the documents which lead to the greatest nation in history populated with the most prosperous, and I might add, the kindest people on earth.