I spend a good deal of time in this space criticizing President Barack Obama. His policies are wrongheaded; his manner is arrogant and condescending; his ideology is Marxist in tenor and content. He is, through his first 21 months, the worst president in American history, a leader who has purposefully polarized the country along racial and economic lines for his personal benefit.
So, why am I grateful for President Obama? Here are five reasons:
— Five: Obama is dumb. Although the media has proclaimed President Obama as the "Smartest Man Ever to Walk the Earth," he is actually rather stupid, at least when it comes to pushing his agenda. Unlike President Clinton, who knew enough to moderate himself in order to win re-election, Obama believes that he has the King Midas mouth — the word he speaks will automatically turn to electoral gold. If his policies aren't turning up roses, therefore, it's just that he's not utilizing that King Midas mouth often enough. So he turns up the rhetoric, all the while irritating the entire populace.
— Four: Obama has exposed the media. When President Bush won re-election in 2004, the New Media proclaimed victory. I predicted that the Old Media would have its revenge and they would dedicate themselves in toto to the promotion of Democratic candidates. I underestimated. The Old Media has actually acted as a public relations machine for Democratic candidates, particularly Obama, as well as a rear guard protecting them from attack. They are blatantly, obviously and openly liberal. And that means we can discount them. The Old Media is busily playing Brynhildr, achieving Pyrrhic victory in 2008 but destroying themselves for all time as a respected voice of objectivity.
— Three: Obama has elevated the discourse. Or rather, he has forced conservatives to elevate their discourse. Believe it or not, the political debate in this country is not at a new low but at a marked high. While Obama's rhetoric is third grade at best (see No. 5), he has triggered a debate that is historic in its implications. It is rare throughout our history for Americans to openly talk about founding principles, the relevance of the Constitution and the wisdom of the Bill of Rights. In May, the Government Printing Office announced that since September 2009, it had sold 8,700 copies of the Constitution to the public; in 2009, Congress authorized a resolution to print 441,000 copies of the Constitution for distribution by the House and another 100,000 copies for distribution by the Senate. Our educational system has done a piss-poor job of educating Americans about their heritage and basic values. Now we're doing it ourselves, and it's incredible to watch.
— Two: Obama has killed the race card. He didn't do it purposefully. In fact, Obama himself remains one of the prime practitioners of the race card. President Obama has, however, ended the legitimacy of shouting "racist" as a political tool. In the past, too many politicians (think Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson) have been able to maintain the illusion of moderation by shouting down political opponents. Now that we have a half-black president, it is obvious to everyone that opposition to a black person's politics is not equivalent to racism. Obama's foolhardy use of the race card has rendered it absolutely moot.
— One: Crystallization. Thank God we live in an age when our choices don't generally mean life and death; even our civilizational foes threaten our existence over the course of decades rather than months. Our choices aren't stark but instead gradual. That means, however, that it is difficult to get excited on a daily basis about the events that surround us.
At least it was until President Obama. He believes he can ram his agenda down our throats wholesale. We aren't facing a gradual slide toward socialism under President Obama. Instead, we once again face a stark choice. And stark choices motivate us to action.
So thank you, Obama voters — well, those of you who are still willing to admit that you were Obama voters. You've given this nation new hope. Before Obama, this country was already a hell of a lot closer to socialism than the small government capitalism of the Founding Fathers; true change would have been restoration rather than a "forward to poverty" leveling. Now we're not going to stop until we get true change. Perhaps, Obama's promises weren't so empty after all.
Ben Shapiro, 26, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School. He is the author of the new book "Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House," as well as the national bestseller "Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth." To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.