Friday, December 2, 2011

Sorry, but the White House is not the People's House

I am often amused when I read that the First Family and their employees have renamed the White House to the "People's House".

For example, in her remarks at a Country Music Student Workshop, Mrs. Obama stated:

"Well, we are excited to have you all here.  We’ve invited you here because I want to make sure that the White House lives up to the name “The People’s House.”  That’s what everybody calls it, what we call it".

And, Megan Slack wrote in the White House blog article From the Archives: Holidays at the White House:

"The holidays are a special time at the White House. The President and First Lady have made it their mission to open the “People’s House” to as many Americans as possible, and this is never more true than around the holidays".

Finally I wondered: What exactly is the "People's House"?

After doing a bit of web research, I discovered that the term "People's House" is actually the name of the palace that the Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu built for himself and his wife as he "drove Romania from a state of relative economic well-being to near starvation". According to The People's Palace: Ceausescu's Lasting, Loathed Legacy:

"Ceausescu achieved the idea for 'The People's House' after a visit to North Korea's Kim II-sung in 1972. The 'People's House' would be the largest, most lavish palace in the world and would hold all the functions of his socialist state, as well as serve as a handsome residence for he and his wife".

The History Guide's page Nicolae Ceausescu, 1918-1989 describes Ceausescu reign:

"While following an independent policy in foreign relations, Ceausescu adhered ever more closely to the communist orthodoxy of centralized administration at home. His secret police maintained rigid controls over free speech and the media and tolerated no internal dissent or opposition. In an effort to pay off the large foreign debt that his government had accumulated through its mismanaged industrial ventures in the 1970s, Ceausescu in 1982 ordered the export of much of the country's agricultural and industrial production. The resulting drastic shortages of food, fuel, energy, medicines, and other basic necessities ... "

Reading the above, one might begin to compare the Presidency of Barack Obama and that of Ceausescu. Both have created their own independent foreign policies, controlled the media, and accumulated massive debts. Obama is exporting much of our industrial production to China.  His proposed "American Jobs Act" imposes massive taxes on the oil industry which may increase our dependence on foreign oil, and Obamacare may lead to shortages in medicines and medical care.

So, perhaps the Obama references to our endeared White House as the "People's House" is a foreshadow of things to come in America.

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