I wasn’t able to watch the first debate and all I’ve seen is the general spin of McCain won or Obama won for various reasons. In the end, it seemed like a wash. Later this weekend, I was sent an email quoting some content by Mona Charen who cites a piece by Josh Muravchik detailing just how left Obama really is. I think they’re dead on.
Let me take a brief sidestep here – I’ll return to Ms. Charen and Mr. Muravchik shortly. I’m an optimist, almost to a flaw. I always liked the quote, “In the end, a pessimist may be proven right, but the optimist had a better time getting there”. I think America in general is an optimisitic country — at least until the current wave of democrats crept into power. Now we have candidates running for various offices on the democrat side of our political system implying or outrightly stating what a terrible place America is. Maybe that’s why Congress’ approval rating has hit an all-time low twice in the last year (18%), a point below the lowest George W. Bush has ever fallen. The doom and gloom people out there need some optimism, and to a certain degree, Obama had some of that going for him. Until his true colors shone through that façade. He too believes that America is terrible and the cause of evil things around the world.
Let’s jump back and cite a few examples from the authors above:
Obama called himself “progressive,” a term of art favored by veterans of the hard New Left, like Tom Hayden, as well as by old-time Communists. Early this year his wife Michelle, lacking his tact, would kindle controversy by saying that his success in the presidential primaries made her feel proud of her country for the first time. The comment, a faux pas that she was soon at pains to explain away, flowed logically from her view, expressed in her standard stump speech, that our country is a “downright mean” place, “guided by fear,” where the “life . . . that most people are living has gotten progressively worse.” (Note that home ownership, while flawed with the current bailout issue, is close if not at an all time high, unemployment remains very low, and the GDP continues to grow). Obama still reflected the presuppositions of a radical worldview. In one notable remark, he said of voters in economic distress that in their desperation they “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” Chastised for his condescension, he responded: “I said something that everybody knows is true.” This was elitism of a very specific kind—the mentality of the community organizer, according to which people in the grip of “false consciousness” need to be enlightened as to the true nature of their class interests, and to the nature of their true class enemies. The same suppositions are again evident in Obama’s stances on international issues. Iraq, as he sees it, is only a symptom. “I don’t want to just end the war . . . I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place.” And what would that mindset be? In a 2002 speech that he frequently cites, he said the war resulted from the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors . . . to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne . . . the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income . . . the arms merchants in our own country . . . feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe. In this litany of global perfidy, the issues of Saddam Hussein’s murderous dictatorship, of American security, of the future of freedom, shrink to inconsequentiality next to the struggle of the oppressed against their American capitalist overlords.
When it comes to Iran, Obama has acknowledged that the regime presents a problem. But his actions—he opposed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization—as well as his rhetoric imply that the greater danger emanates from George W. Bush (who is allegedly seeking “any justification to extend the Iraq war or to attack Iran”). Likewise on defeating terrorism, where he rejects the America-centric focus that Bush has given to the issue; instead, in the words of his aides, Obama’s main goal is to “restore . . . our moral standing”—that is, to put an end to our aggressive ways.
Even the events of 9/11 could not shake Obama from the mindset that the enemy is always ourselves. The bombings, he wrote, reflected the underlying struggle—between worlds of plenty and worlds of want; between the modern and the ancient; between those who embrace our teeming, colliding, irksome diversity, while still insisting on a set of values that binds us together; and those who would seek, under whatever flag or slogan or sacred text, a certainty and simplification that justifies cruelty toward those not like us.
Maybe this will come more into the light as we get closer to November. One can only hope. Because that’s what makes America great (and trust, me it is great) – we capitalize on hope through ingenuity and create success. There are some democrats who get things right:
A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. —Harry Truman
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