The Rise of the Forgotten Man

“The big difference is, you’ve got me,” boasted Barack Obama in January 2010. He was responding to Democrats’ concerns over looming mid-term losses as they recalled the disastrous elections of 1994. Unfortunately, 52 incumbent Democratic House members and 2 fellow Senators did not have him as they vacated their seats the following January in the worst Congressional turnover since 1948.

When Obama, the campaigner says, “me,” he refers to his battalions of public and private union employees, legions of giggling college students on the receiving end of Tweets and texts, an Organizing for America political army and a myriad of linked campaign sites funneling to “Me” means hundreds of millions in contributions from fawning advocates, salivating ideologues, business opportunists and agitated victims of Mr. Obama’s charismatic demagoguery.

When the jolt of his irrevocable 2012 defeat settles, few enthusiasts will accompany Mr. Obama on his denouement in January 2013. What convinces me Barack Obama is programming for defeat? The one assemblage the President has most successfully created since 2009 is not jobs nor a campaign super- dreadnaught, but rather the rise of the Forgotten Man. Let me explain.

William Sumner was a lecturer, philosopher and sociologist at Yale University, who wrote the 1919 essay, “The Forgotten Man”. Sumner described social economics in terms of A, who observed the pitiable plights of the downtrodden, whom he labeled X. He then worked with politician B to write palliative legislation ultimately paid for by C.

Much is written of A, the social observer, of X the victim and of B the political savior. However, few mention C, the one who pays. As Sumner noted, “The forgotten man…He works, he votes, generally he prays, but his chief business in life is to pay.”

The Forgotten Man is not the sought-after independent. He is he, he is she, and he is liberal, independent and conservative. The Forgotten Man resides everywhere. He may be a private or public union or non-union member; employed, unemployed or underemployed. He is the shoemaker, the store manager, the auto mechanic, the Human Resources administrator, the grocery clerk and the CEO. The Forgotten Man supported McCain, Obama or even sat out 2008.

Since January 2009, Barack Obama has elevated the ranks of the Forgotten Man beyond anything imaginable in the fall of 2008.

So ingrained is Mr. Obama’s belief in central power, the debasement of capitalism and the installation of a green hegemony that his centrist dissembling cannot outweigh the economic impact of his ideological DNA. As the payers grow and the payments enlarge, the Forgotten suffer.

If cronyism is Mr. Obama’s entremets, statism is his entree. As businesses dieted in response to confiscatory legislation, wages froze and hiring trickled to a soupcon. Meanwhile the President’s policies launched price increases for food, healthcare, gasoline, education and local taxes. The Forgotten Man dangles between the two, suspended like a steel pin in opposing magnetic fields, as every cost increase reduces his living standards.

Those who understand the collectivist nature of Obama’s policies are frustrated that the severity of his intentions eludes others. Yet, their damage still cuts deeply. People blamed Bush, but they pinned their hopes to Obama and his failures to deliver resound in unexceptional ways.

The Forgotten Man may not see a Marxist usurper, but he knows that he now pays for two bags of groceries what he once did for three. He may not fathom the serpentine thread binding falsified NOAA data, GE, and the EPA, but the $40 fill-up is now $50 and instead of lunch out, a detour home for a quick bite is apropos.

The new is abnormal and feeling more so. A trip to the movies means skipping the popcorn and candy, sale prices are for necessities and suddenly the Dollar Store has a more promising future than Wal-Mart. The cuts grow deeper and the wounds cannot heal, because the salve Obama carries is a toxic asset. Checkbooks do not understand political boundaries. Even among his own legions, he breeds the Forgotten Man.

The President may organize, fraternize and monetize. He may be a “reasonable propagandist” as was once applied to Franklin Roosevelt. The irony is that Obama’s programming is to enrage. That is what organizers do. He is incapable of processing the notion that his actions will enrage the Forgotten Man and carve his own political demise in 2012.

John Anthony
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John Anthony is a nationally acclaimed speaker, researcher and writer. He is the founder of Sustainable Freedom Lab. Mr. Anthony is the former Director of Sales and Marketing for Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc. In 1989, he founded Corporate Measures, LLC, a management development firm. In 2012, Mr. Anthony turned his attention to community issues including the balance between federal agency regulations and local autonomy. In January 2016, Mr. Anthony was a guest at the prestigious Rutgers University School of Management Fellowship Honoring Dr. Louis Kelso. In March 2016, he was the keynote speaker on HUD and Property Rights at the Palmetto Panel at Clemson University.