His Obamaness addresses the UN General Assembly.
Mark Steyn tops Obama’s rhetoric with his own satirical rap.
One of the reasons why Barack Obama is regarded as the greatest orator of our age is that heâ€™s always banging on about some other age yet to come â€” e.g., the Future! A future of whose contours he is remarkably certain and boundlessly confident: The future will belong to nations that invest in education because the children are our future, but the future will not belong to nations that do not invest in green-energy projects because solar-powered prompters are our future, and most of all the future will belong to people who look back at the Obama era and marvel that there was a courageous far-sighted man willing to take on the tough task of slowing the rise of the oceans because the future will belong to people on viable land masses. This futuristic shtick is a cheapâ€™nâ€™cheesy rhetorical device (I speak as the author of a book called â€œAfter America,â€ whose title is less futuristic than you might think) but it seems to play well with the impressionable Obammysoxers of the press corps.
And so it was with President Obamaâ€™s usual visionary, inspiring, historic, etc., address to the U.N. General Assembly the other day: â€œThe future must not belong to those who bully women,â€ he told the world, in a reference either to Egyptian clitoridectomists or the Republican party, according to taste. â€œThe future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians,â€ he added. You mean those Muslim guys? Whoa, donâ€™t jump to conclusions. â€œThe future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam,â€ he declared, introducing to U.S. jurisprudence the novel concept of being able to slander a bloke whoâ€™s been dead for getting on a millennium and a half now. If I understand correctly the cumulative vision of the speech, the future will belong to gay feminist ecumenical Muslims. You can take that to the bank. But make no mistake, as he would say, and in fact did: â€œWe face a choice between the promise of the future or the prisons of the past, and we cannot afford to get it wrong.â€ Because if we do, we could spend our future living in the prisons of the past, which we forgot to demolish in the present for breach of wheelchair-accessibility codes.
And the crowd went wild! Well, okay, they didnâ€™t. Theyâ€™re transnational bureaucrats on expense accounts, so they clapped politely, and then nipped out for a bathroom break before the president of Serbia. But, if Iâ€™d been one of the globetrotting bigwigs fortunate enough to get an invite â€” the prime minister of Azerbaijan, say, or the deputy tourism minister of Equatorial Guinea â€” I would have responded: Well, maybe the future will belong to those who empower women and donâ€™t diss Mohammed. But maybe itâ€™ll belong to albino midgets who wear pink thongs. Who knows? Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, the futureâ€™s not ours to see. But one thing we can say for certain is that the future will not belong to broke losers. Youâ€™re the brokest guy in the room, youâ€™re the president of Brokistan. Youâ€™ve got to pay back $16 trillion just to get back to having nothing, nada, zip. Who the hell are you to tell us who the futureâ€™s going to belong to?
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The idea of Progress, the notion that change is good and the past is bad, is an essential ingredient of liberal pseudointellectuality.
Sure, we keep getting better gadgets as time goes by. We gloat over having personal computers and the Internet now, the way my parents used to congratulate themselves on having television and owning an automobile, and my grandparents rejoiced over indoor plumbing and electric lights. We generally live longer, too. But progress is hardly uniformly upward. As technology gets better, it seems that concomitantly the sphere of personal liberty diminishes, the volume of laws and regulations climbs skyward, material culture gets cheaper and shoddier, our music and entertainment becomes coarser, our journalism more corrupt, and the character of the typical American grows feebler and more dependent. People my age commonly watch the old black & white films on Turner Classics rather wishing we could go back and live in that terrible old-fashioned America that Barack Obama consistently condemns once again.