As Washington sweeps away the parade confetti left behind from President Obama’s second inaugural, those who still honor the Founders’ vision of America must hold fast to their conviction that our republic will someday stand once again as a “shining city on a hill.”
Though the theme of Inauguration Day 2013 was “faith in America’s future,” the United States has seldom chosen a president more determined to separate the nation from its traditional reverence for faith, family and freedom. The proposition that individuals “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, is harder to see in the vision of Mr. Obama’s America where administrative agencies make choices for individuals, even down to the details of dictating the design of everyday household appliances. Key to the transformation in the scope of the federal government has been the relentless assault on the U.S. Constitution, the mooring securing the ship of state since its inception. As a former lecturer on constitutional law, Mr. Obama is well aware that relentlessly chipping away at the founding document’s meaning will tear away the country from a past that once recognized the value of individualism.
The signature achievement of his first term, Obamacare, established the precedent whereby the White House can force citizens to purchase a service that had previously been a matter of personal choice. The health care mandate goes so far as to override the distinct choices of religious organizations, forcing them to provide contraception and abortion coverage against their will. This is a clear attempt to undermine the previously sacrosanct respect for religious freedom in American political culture.