The mother of family feuds hit home yesterday when the Leadership Institute hosted Dr. Milton Wolf, President Obama’s second cousin. Dr. Wolf is a practicing diagnostic radiologist, a conservative columnist for The Washington Times, and an outspoken opponent of nationalized healthcare.
“A Civil War tore our country apart, ripped families in two, and divided brother against brother,” Dr. Wolf said before the 83 guests in attendance yesterday. “Today our country is similarly divided. There is a division of worldviews between liberty and tyranny.”
President Obama is a caring man and means well, Dr. Wolf, his cousin, said, but he profoundly misunderstands America and what makes us exceptional.
“I’d like to believe Barack wants the best for America. I just can’t accept that he wants to destroy America. But it’s a matter of semantics because the things that he wants to do will destroy America.”
Dr. Wolf is an advocate of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional fidelity.
“I find nowhere in the Constitution the right of government to take away our right to decide whether or not we want to buy health insurance or what kind of health insurance we must buy or what doctors we must see,” Dr. Wolf said. “If government can get between you and your doctor, there’s not a single area of your life it [the government] can’t touch.”
According to Dr. Wolf, nationalized healthcare is the defining issue of our lifetime, and will have repercussions for our children and grandchildren.
“The biggest lie yet was that government could decide healthcare for you better than you could for yourself and that government can spend money more wisely than you can for yourself,” he said.
With a national debt of $16 trillion, nationalized healthcare is not something America can afford, Dr. Wolf said.
Besides the economic issues brought on by such a system, Dr. Wolf believes the issue also presents significant ethical problems. Too much time is spent pleasing bureaucrats instead of patients, he said.
“Look at what happened with contraception,” he noted. “You not only tell a religion how it should practice, but you define what is considered religion and what is not by allowing the secretary of HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] the power to define ‘church’ – be it four walls or religious institutions.”
Dr. Wolf quickly dismissed any notions that this was a “Catholic concern."
“In this issue, we’re all Catholics,” he said. “If we don’t stand with the Catholics today, no one will stand with us when government comes after us.”
Further highlighting government’s ineptitude in handling the economy, Dr. Wolf cited the Cash for Clunkers program.
“That was one thing I absolutely loved,” he said, noting that he himself drove an SUV classified as a “clunker” by his cousin-in-chief. “I loved it not because I thought it was a worthy program, but because it was a miserable failure and economic tragedy. We got to learn just how miserable government is at managing the economy.”
To make up the cost, Dr. Wolf said he simply deducted money from the extended family Christmas shopping budget the following year, which included President Obama.
According to Dr. Wolf, people are often angered by President Obama’s apologies for America and his willingness to bow to foreign leaders.
“While I will never understand bowing to terrorists, I can understand the need to apologize for somebody you care about – after all, I am related to Barack Obama,” he quipped. “I launched my own Barack apology tour – and I think I’ve hit most of the 57 states.”
While he adamantly opposes his cousin on policy discussions, Dr. Wolf has resolved never to attack President Obama personally.
“Obama is a wonderful and gifted speaker,” he said. “I wish I could speak as eloquently as he does – but then again, I don’t have a teleprompter in every room.”
Focusing his message, Dr. Wolf said the solution is for government to spend less, get our country back on its feet, and trust America to be America again.
“Who are we going to be?” he asked. “America is at a crossroads and we have to choose between liberty and tyranny. Are we going to be that shining city on a hill or a second-rate European-style social welfare state? To those who say we are not capable of choosing our economic destinies, I say, ‘Yes, we can.’”
Those who came before us earned the right to be Americans, he said. As George Washington once referred to the “charming” sound of bullets whistling by him during war, we must likewise learn to find the charm in these bullets whistling by us today.
“Those who fought in the Revolutionary War and Civil War put it all on the line for us,” Dr. Wolf said, concluding his speech. “We have to decide whether we want to be worthy of being Americans and are willing to step out of our comfort zones. If we do, I promise you, we’ll be just fine.”
Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell presented Dr. Wolf with one of LI’s famous Adam Smith ties as a token of appreciation.
“Obviously this guy is not only a good writer but a good speaker and, underlying it all, he’s a good thinker,” Morton said. “Now we just have to dismantle all the teleprompters that have been set up here.”
LI’s Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is held the first Wednesday of each month and is an excellent opportunity for friends of the Institute to meet leading conservative speakers and hear their thoughts on current affairs over good food and fellowship with conservative friends.
The next Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast is May 2, 2012 and will feature Richard Rahn, chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and formerly the chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the Reagan Administration. Click here for more information and to register.