It was Mark Twain who said, “History may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” And it is Marie Antoinette who is famously misquoted as saying, “Let them eat cake.” Now if it wasn’t for First Lady Michelle Obama’s movement to stop American citizens from eating things that could potentially be “bad” for their health, these days one could imagine her saying something along these lines. This is because there is an increasingly evident, and equally alarming parallel between the behavior of the first couple and the aristocracy right before the French Revolution.
Take for instance the health crusade of Michelle Obama. With the obesity epidemic that this country faces, her push towards a healthy life style could be a very admirable thing, that is if she weren’t quite literally trying to force what she deems best down our throats. She has gone so far as to suggest the passing of laws aimed at curbing fast food meals to children and suggest limiting the amount of salt and fat that can be put in restaurant meals. Yet, how many times has she been caught chowing down on a high fat, high calorie cheeseburger and fries? In fact, she has admitted that she has a weakness for French Fries. But Michelle, I thought French Fries were bad for us? Why is it that she can eat them and we can’t? Excepting herself from the rule seems to imply that she thinks she is better than the American people. Besides, who is she to tell us what we can and can’t eat? After all, this is a country built on the idea of equality.
Then there is the ten million dollars of taxpayer money that she has reportedly spent on vacations. It’s nice that, in a time when families are struggling to get by and can’t afford to go on vacation, she and her husband can take their hard earned money and enjoy it for them. But then again, perhaps we should thank them for putting that money to work by stimulating the local economies of the places they vacation.
Then there is our commander in chief, whose job related stress is so great he has had to play over seventy rounds of golf since taking office, including the one interrupted by the recent East Coast earthquake. Poor man, how is he ever supposed to relax?? Even Hurricane Irene, despite the absolute disaster it appeared could occur to many areas of the country, could not pull him away from Martha’s Vineyard. And yet, he receives no criticism from the press. Obama has even refused giving a federal state of emergency to Texas, apparently for no other reason than their Republican leadership. This harkens back to medieval monarchies where advisors to the king were punished for speaking against him. This is clearly an example of Obama flaunting his authority and taking the opportunity to make evident that those who don’t follow him will be punished.
But this is not the only way he has abused his presidency. More and more, he has been legislating by executive order, completely bypassing Congress because he knows his policies wouldn’t be passed. He has a history of not listening to the voice of the people. Prime example- the federal health care bill, which, according to a USA Today poll, two thirds of Americans did not want. For the most part, no one even knew what was in the bill. We were told we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it. This should be a shocking condemnation of our leadership. It once again indicates that those who have power do not care about the people because they do not care what is in legislation and how it affects those they supposedly represent.
These are not the actions of a country’s leaders who are clearly invested in the well being of the people. In fact, the Obamas seem to have forgotten one idea that is extremely important in America. They were elected by the people to represent and serve them, not the other way around. These are the actions of leaders who clearly care nothing about the consequences of their actions, who don’t care about the consequences of their actions and who are so emboldened by a lack of outrage that they flaunt this abuse of powers in the faces of citizens, much like the behavior of the French aristocracy before the revolution.