For most of Barack Obama’s first term as president he talked passionately, if not persuasively, about the need for national unity. Even the Stimulus Bill – largely a laundry list of pent up Congressional desires – was described as a national effort to get the economy moving. His prime legislative initiative, Obamacare, was advertised as a way to extend medical coverage for those without insurance. Of course, it nationalized one-seventh of the American economy and set the stage for unprecedented government expansion. Although it may be premature to attach historical labels to the president’s first term, I think his record displays what might be called “soft authoritarianism.”