The Death of White Guilt January 20, 2009Posted by Mongo in Politics.
Tags: Barack Obama, Tom Adkins, White Guilt
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With the inauguration now behind us, perhaps there is something else that can be put behind us as well! NOW, in the event anybody reading this wants to scream at ME, get a grip and understand that I’m simply passing along what I find to be a very interesting article that was written shortly after the November elections. Sadly another unoriginal blog posting from me, but being that I haven’t been updating my website much lately it’s at least a welcome change from the old “Thanksgiving” posting. This is written by Tom Adkins, who is the publisher & founder of CommonConservative.com and is often picked up via wire services in most major newspapers (see the end of the article for more info about Tom).
The Death of White Guilt
By Tom Adkins
Nov. 9, 2008
Look at my fellow conservatives! There they go, glumly shuffling along, depressed by the election aftermath. Not me. I’m virtually euphoric. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not thrilled with America ’s flirtation with neo socialism. But there’s a massive silver lining in those magical clouds that lofted Barak Obama to the Presidency. For today, without a shred of intellectually legitimate opposition, I can loudly proclaim to America : The Era of White Guilt is over.
This seemingly impossible event occurred because the vast majority of white Americans didn’t give a fluff about skin color, and enthusiastically pulled the voting lever for a black man. Not just any black man. A very liberal black man who spent his early career race-hustling banks, praying in a racist church for 20 years, and actively worked with America-hating domestic terrorists. Wow! Some resume! Yet they made Barak Obama their leader. Therefore, as of Nov 4th, 2008, white guilt is dead.
For over a century, the millstone of white guilt hung around our necks, retribution for slave-owning predecessors. In the 60s, American liberals began yanking that millstone while sticking a fork in the eye of black Americans, exacerbating the racial divide to extort a socialist solution. But if a black man can become President, exactly what significant barrier is left? The election of Barak Obama absolutely destroys the entire validation of liberal white guilt. The dragon is hereby slain.
So today, I’m feeling a little “uppity,” if you will. From this day forward, my tolerance level for having my skin color hustled is now exactly ZERO. And it’s time to clean house. No more Reverend Wright’s “God Damn America ,” Al Sharpton’s Church of Perpetual Victimization , or Jesse Jackson’s rainbow racism. Cornell West? You’re a fraud. Go home. All those “black studies” programs that taught kids to hate whitey? You must now thank Whitey. And I want that on the final.
Congressional Black Caucus? Irrelevant. Maxine Waters? Shut up. ACORN? Outlawed. Black Panthers? Go home and pet your kitty. Black separatists? Find another nation that offers better dreams. Go ahead. I’m waiting.
Gangsta rappers? Start praising America . Begin with the Pledge of Allegiance. And please…no more ebonics. Speak English, and who knows where you might end up? Oh, yeah…pull up your pants. Your underwear is showing. You look stupid.
To those Eurosnots who forged entire careers hating America ? I’m still waiting for the first black French President.
And let me offer an equal opportunity whupping. I’ve always despised lazy white people. Now, I can talk smack about lazy black people. You’re poor because you quit school, did drugs, had three kids with three different fathers, and refuse to work. So when you plop your Colt 45-swilling, Oprah watchin’ butt on the couch and complain “Da Man is keepin’ me down,” allow me to inform you: Da Man is now black. You have no excuses.
No more quotas No more handouts. No more stealing my money because someone’s great-great-great-great grandparents suffered actual pain and misery at the hands of people I have no relation to, and personally revile.
It’s time to toss that massive, obsolete race-hustle machine upon the heap of the other stupid 60s ideas. Drag it over there, by wife swapping, next to dope-smoking Plenty of room right between free love and cop-killing. Careful…don’t trip on streaking. There ya go, don’t be gentle. Just dump it. Wash your hands. It’s filthy.
In fact, Obama’s ascension created a gargantuan irony. How can you sell class envy and American unfairness when you and your black wife went to Ivy League schools, got high-paying jobs, became millionaires, bought a mansion, and got elected President? How unfair is that??? Now, Like a delicious O’Henry tale, Obama’s spread-the-wealth campaign rendered itself moot by it’s own victory! America is officially a meritocracy. Obama’s election has validated American conservatism!
So, listen carefully . . . Wham!!!
That’s the sound of my foot kicking the door shut on the era of white guilt. The rites have been muttered, the carcass lowered, dirt shoveled, and tombstone erected. White guilt is dead and buried.
However, despite my glee, there’s apparently one small, rabid bastion of American racism remaining. Black Americans voted 96% for Barak Obama. Hmmm. In a color-blind world, shouldn’t that be 50-50? Tonight, every black person should ask forgiveness for their apparent racism and prejudice towards white people. Maybe it’s time to start spreading the guilt around.
About the author:
Tom Adkins is the publisher & founder of CommonConservative.com. Known for biting wit, Tom has left people laughing, crying, angry, but always thinking about the issues. Beneath Tom’s ironic style, lies deep theoretical detail. It is not uncommon for readers to finish a Tom Adkins piece saying, “This is what I wanted to say, but I didn’t know how to say it.” Until they read it! Tom has been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Times, City Paper, Insight, The Hill, and often picked up via wire services in most major newspapers. He’s also appeared on ABC’s “Politically Incorrect”, Fox “New’s Beyond the News”, “Hannity & Colmes”, CN8’s “It’s Your Call” and numerous other shows.
Sorry to bother you Mr. Obama, Sir . . . November 11, 2008Posted by Mongo in Politics.
Tags: Barack Obama
I’ve just about finished my “congratulations” letter to our new Comrade-In-Chief…but in the meantime here’s some other questions to ponder…
Excuse me Mr. Obama, I mean Senator Obama, sir. Um . . know you are busy and important and stuff. I mean running for president is very important and . . . ah . . . I hate to bother you. I will only take a minute ok, sir?
See, I have these missing pieces that are holding me up, and I was wondering sir, if you could take time out of your busy schedule and help me out. You know, no big deal, just some loose ends and things.
I can’t seem to get some information I need to wrap this up. These things seem to either be ‘locked’ or ‘not available’. I’m sure it’s just some oversight or glitch or something, so if you could you tell me where these things are . . I . . I . . . have them written down here somewhere . . . oh wait. Sorry about the smears. It was raining out. I’ll just read it to you.
Could you help me please find these things, sir?
1. Occidental College records — Not released
2. Columbia College records — Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper — not available, locked down by faculty
4. Harvard College records — Not released, locked down by faculty
5. Selective Service Registration — Not released
6. Medical records — Not released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule — ‘not available’
8. Law practice client list — Not released
9. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate – – Not released
10. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth — Not released
11. Harvard Law Review articles published — None
12. University of Chicago scholarly articles — None
13. Your Record of baptism– Not released or ‘not available’
14. Your Illinois State Senate records–‘not available’
…You couldn’t get a job at McDonalds and become district manager after 143 days of experience.
…You couldn’t become chief of surgery after 143 days of experience of being a surgeon.
…You couldn’t get a job as a teacher and be the superintendent after 143 days of experience.
…You couldn’t join the military and become a colonel after 143 days of experience.
…You couldn’t get a job as a reporter and become the nightly news anchor after 143 days of experience.
From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United State Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate. That’s how many days the Senate was actually in session and working. After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World …. 143 days.
We all have to start somewhere. The senate is a good start, but after 143 days, that’s all it is – a start.
AND, strangely, a large sector of the American public is okay with this and campaigning for him. We wouldn’t accept this in our own line of work, yet some are okay with this for the President of the United States of America??? Come on folks, we are not voting for the next American Idol!
November 4th is here, and I missed my planned writeup… November 4, 2008Posted by Mongo in Politics.
Tags: Barack Obama, Elections, John McCain
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I had hoped to have a new posting up by now, but due to a busy weekend, other efforts to the election cause and probably a bit too much beer while watching football, it’s been permanently delayed. I would like to leave you with a brief writeup I received from a friend early this morning via Facebook…in not a lot of words she explains why she voted the way she did. An excellent summary!
“I voted against higher taxes for those making over 250, oh, I mean 200, oh, I mean 150, oh, I mean 97, oh wait, I mean 42, against redistribution of wealth, against smearing those who ask questions, against the followers of the mainstream media, against Ayers, Wright, Flager, Davis, Rezko, Alinsky, Hollywood, against the waving the white flag, I voted for drilling, for keeping the coal industry alive, for nuclear power, for lower taxes, for smaller government, for keeping babies who survive abortions alive, I voted as an informed leader and not a misguided follower. I voted for the one who has experience, whose voted with his party 75% of the time, not the one whose voted with his party 97% of the time. I voted for true Change not delusional change. I voted for M-C-C-A-I-N because he’s the only one whose taken a hit for my country! We’ve already warned our employees that some may loose their jobs should The One who wants to fine businesses to pay for nationalized health care be elected.”
Thanks to Susan H. for the above!
Time to get a bit more political… October 6, 2008Posted by Mongo in Politics.
Tags: Barack Obama, Democrats, Economic Crisis, Illinois, Joe Biden, Poverty
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I should be clear that no personal offense is meant to friends, family or anyone in particular in this writeup. I just happen to share the same observations and opinions of millions upon millions of smart Americans who are hoping for better lives, a better economy and a better country, but don’t want to see the WRONG type of change take over the White House.
The common adage is to avoid discussing religion and politics unless you want to cause trouble. I completely agree, but usually manage to find myself unnecessarily stirring it up at times – which is funny as I don’t necessarily consider myself a very political person (or religious for that matter). However, there comes a time when some things really need to be said. Admittedly I felt that the Republicans sort of shot themselves in the foot with the latest regime, and that their well-documented faults would open the door for a potentially more liberal, Democrat-run country. However, I’m consistently amazed at the some of the blatant ignorance and somewhat blind faith that many Democrats have embraced with an unqualified candidate during this election year. Some are people I know pretty well, who are all educated and generally well-off financially. Mind-boggling at times to be sure, but in a way understandable as the Bush years haven’t exactly helped the GOP. Still, when you dig into the facts and qualifications, making the Socialist/Dem choice is confusing as it really doesn’t seem to be the right choice for our country.
When listening to Barack Obama talk about “change” and pretty much blame the Republicans for all of society’s ills, you have to wonder if he’s really taken a good, hard look into the mirror that reflects himself and the many illusions within the Democratic party. I’ll share with you a few links and tidbits of information that really should not and can not be ignored:
First of all, take a look at this video titled “Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?”
It is an informative look at factors that are causing our current financial and economic crisis, dating back 13 years ago. Seems that many Democrats are quick to blame the other side for all these woes without considering some of the underlying facts that have led to this demise. Outside of a 911 catastrophe, these things just don’t happen overnight.
Perhaps you find the above video too partisan? Well, feel free to watch this one, and the title speaks for itself:
“Shocking Video Unearthed Democrats in their own words Covering up the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Scam that caused our Economic Crisis”
Is is not just these videos that should determine who is qualified to run our country, but to deny the facts that are reported is truly a scary-ignorant thing to do.
Here’s a few other interesting stats . . . yes, you must agree that change indeed is needed . . .
10 Poorest Cities in the USA
What do these top ten cities with the highest poverty rate all have in common?
– Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961;
– Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected one since 1954;
– Cincinnati, OH (3rd)…since 1984;
– Cleveland, OH (4th)…since 1989;
– Miami, FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor;
– St. Louis, MO (6th)….since 1949;
– El Paso, TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor;
– Milwaukee, WI (8th)…since 1908;
– Philadephia, PA (9th)…since 1952;
– Newark, NJ (10th) … since 1907.
Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” It is the disadvantaged who eagerly elect Democrats, yet are still disadvantaged….
In closing, I’ll leave you with a bit on the Illinois Democrats, which of course includes Obama:
– In the last six months 292 have been murdered in Chicago.
– The state pension fund is $44 Billion in debt, worst in country.
– Cook County (Chicago) sales tax is 10.25%, highest in country.
– The Chicago school system one of the worst in country.
– Senators Barack Obama & Dick Durbin, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Gov. Rod Blogojevich, House Speaker Mike Madigan, Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan & Mayor Richard Daley are the Democratic leadership in Illinois . . . and all Democrats are, of course, blaming each other. They can’t blame Republicans since there aren’t any!
This is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois….and he’s “gonna fix Washington politics”? Please. Hey, don’t take my word for it, just listen to what his VP running mate, Joe Biden, had to say about Obama earlier this year…while he also endorses McCain. All the explanations in the world can’t help them get around this fact…
How Palin Changed the Game September 17, 2008Posted by Mongo in Politics.
Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin
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This is an unoriginal post I am borrowing from CNN – giving full credit:
It was about time I added something new to this blog and this was interesting enough to include here. What a wise man!
How Palin changed the game
By Ed Rollins
September 15, 2008
It seems like just yesterday when Sen. Barack Obama impressed our troops in Kuwait by shooting his flawless three-pointer into the basket without hitting the rim.
Two days later, he spoke to 200,000 Berliners. It looked like he could do no wrong and the campaign was only a formality on his way to inauguration day.
But it wasn’t yesterday. It was the third week in July, and that’s a lifetime ago in presidential politics.
Obama looked unbeatable then. He looked unbeatable the night of his acceptance speech before 85,000 cheering supporters. If victory went to the guy who could make the best speech or could win the schoolyard basketball game of “horse,” he was thought to be unstoppable.
Then his world stopped with Sen. John McCain’s shocking selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the vice presidential nomination. And over the last two weeks, the governor of Alaska has deflected the arc of Obama’s campaign. She can match his pretty words. The outdoor game has changed from “horse” to “moose,” and only one candidate in this race has shot “moose.”
Obama’s campaign diminished itself by challenging her experience. The candidate who ranked 99th in Senate seniority, with one of the thinnest resumes ever when he began his presidential quest, looked foolish challenging a governor who made decisions every day while he was missing votes in the Senate running for president.
The good news for Obama is the Europeans still want him to be our president. Unfortunately for him they don’t vote here, and the independent voters who do are shifting to McCain-Palin.
The other good news for Obama is that this race is far from over. But he is not going to win by telling voters McCain is too old and doesn’t know how to use the Internet. Many of McCain’s supporters are old and could care less about the Internet.
What the country wants to know is do these candidates understand what’s going on in their lives and in their neighbors’ lives, and are they willing to try and fix it.
They want to get our soldiers home from Iraq as quickly as possible and leave that country as stable as it can be without us being there for another decade. They want someone who understands ordinary Americans are hurting and will try to find solutions to the economic mess we are in.
The leading “mainstream media” including ABC’s condescending Charlie Gibson and The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd have raced “North to Alaska” to find out what makes this woman tick. But alas, they show again and again that they just don’t get it.
Nobody cares if Palin knows the Bush doctrine. I defy anyone to tell you what the Bush-Cheney strategy has been over the last seven years (other than getting re-elected) or what doctrine has been practiced by this “gang that can’t shoot straight.” And who cares? They are gone in 126 days.
What the media doesn’t get is that Palin is one of us. She got to the top of the heap because she could relate to ordinary people, because she is ordinary people and through extraordinary efforts made it.
She’s got kids; she worked her way through college (state college like most of us). Her husband is a working stiff.
She started at the bottom and worked her way to the top by being better, not prettier. She did her job at the top by being smarter and tougher than the good old boys who stood in her way.
One thing we do know is Palin is not going to look into the eyes of her neighbor across the Bering Sea and say Vladimir Putin’s an honest man.
What she’s going to see is a fearless adversary who we need to be wary of. Equally important, if she is elected, she’s not going to be one of the boys in D.C. Behind her charm is a certain toughness. And that’s a good thing.
The charisma of Palin was even evident on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend. There in the opening skit was Sarah Palin (played by her wonderful look-alike Tina Fey) opposite Hillary Clinton (played by “SNL” regular Amy Poehler).
Even though it was a spoof, Palin stood out. Besides anyone who brings Fey back to “SNL” does the country and the show a big favor.
Palin has certainly energized McCain’s campaign and drawn record crowds to boot. What Democrats didn’t realize is that Palin was not about getting Hillary’s voters. It was about energizing the base and getting independent voters. She has done that in spades.
Both Obama and Palin have compelling stories and are great talents. In the end, the margin of victory may be the voters who say I like him, or I trust her.
Of course, the big choice is McCain or Obama. But this is one race where the “veep” choice may really matter. The rise of Palin certainly has made this the most exciting presidential race in my lifetime. And I am one of those old guys who thought he had seen it all.
After the marathon of the primaries, we are down to a 100-yard dash, and McCain’s got a 2-yard lead with Obama close on his tail. There’s a lot ahead before the finish line.
An interesting take on Obama March 12, 2008Posted by Mongo in Uncategorized.
Tags: Barack Obama, Democrats, Obama, Politics
Though I’m a McCain supporter, I find Barak Obama a very charismatic and interesting character. Not enough to vote for him of course, but if I had to choose between him and Hillary, I’d definitely be an Obama guy! The following article was sent to me from a friend, and it originates from the Asia Times out of Hong Kong. It seems to be generally hostile towards America, and I can’t honestly say I concur with all that is written here, but it does give an interesting perspective on Obama. It’s rather long so go grab yourself something to drink before starting.
Obama’s women reveal his secret
By Spengler, Asia Times
“Cherchez la femme,” advised Alexander Dumas in: “When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman.” In the case of Barack Obama, we have two: his late mother, the went-native anthropologist Ann Dunham, and his rancorous wife Michelle. Obama’s women reveal his secret: he hates America.
We know less about Senator Obama than about any prospective president in American history. His uplifting rhetoric is empty, as Hillary Clinton helplessly protests. His career bears no trace of his own character, not an article for the Harvard Law Review he edited, or a single piece of legislation. He appears to be an empty vessel filled with the wishful thinking of those around him. But there is a real Barack Obama. No man – least of all one abandoned in infancy by his father – can conceal the imprint of an impassioned mother, or the influence of a brilliant wife.
America is not the embodiment of hope, but the abandonment of one kind of hope in return for another. America is the spirit of creative destruction, selecting immigrants willing to turn their back on the tragedy of their own failing culture in return for a new start. Its creative success is so enormous that its global influence hastens the decline of other cultures. For those on the destruction side of the trade, America is a monster. Between half and nine-tenths of the world’s 6,700 spoken languages will become extinct in the next century, and the anguish of dying peoples rises up in a global cry of despair. Some of those who listen to this cry become anthropologists, the curators of soon-to-be extinct cultures; anthropologists who really identify with their subjects marry them. Obama’s mother, the University of Hawaii anthropologist Ann Dunham, did so twice.
Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics. Anthropologists, though, proceed from resentment against the devouring culture of America and sympathy with the endangered cultures of the primitive world. Obama inverts the anthropological model: he applies the tools of cultural manipulation out of resentment against America. The probable next president of the United States is a mother’s revenge against the America she despised.
Ann Dunham died in 1995, and her character emerges piecemeal from the historical record, to which I will return below. But Michelle Obama is a living witness. Her February 18 comment that she felt proud of her country for the first time caused a minor scandal, and was hastily qualified. But she meant it, and more. The video footage of her remarks shows eyes hooded with rage as she declares:
“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment.”
The desperation, frustration and disappointment visible on Michelle Obama’s face are not new to the candidate’s wife; as Steve Sailer, Rod Dreher and other commentators have noted, they were the theme of her undergraduate thesis, on the subject of “blackness” at Princeton University. No matter what the good intentions of Princeton, which founded her fortunes as a well-paid corporate lawyer, she wrote, “My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘Blackness’ than ever before. I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong.”
Never underestimate the influence of a wife who bitch-slaps her husband in public. Early in Obama’s campaign, Michelle Obama could not restrain herself from belittling the senator. “I have some difficulty reconciling the two images I have of Barack Obama. There’s Barack Obama the phenomenon. He’s an amazing orator, Harvard Law Review, or whatever it was, law professor, best-selling author, Grammy winner. Pretty amazing, right? And then there’s the Barack Obama that lives with me in my house, and that guy’s a little less impressive,” she told a fundraiser in February 2007.
“For some reason this guy still can’t manage to put the butter up when he makes toast, secure the bread so that it doesn’t get stale, and his five-year-old is still better at making the bed than he is.” New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported at the time, “She added that the TV version of Barack Obama sounded really interesting and that she’d like to meet him sometime.” Her handlers have convinced her to be more tactful since then.
“Frustration” and “disappointment” have dogged Michelle Obama these past 20 years, despite her US$300,000 a year salary and corporate board memberships. It is hard for the descendants of slaves not to resent America. They were not voluntary immigrants but kidnap victims, subjected to a century of second-class citizenship even after the Civil War ended slavery. Blackness is not the issue; General Colin Powell, whose parents chose to immigrate to America from the West Indies, saw America just as other immigrants do, as a land of opportunity. Obama’s choice of wife is a failsafe indicator of his own sentiments. Spouses do not necessarily share their likes, but they must have their hatreds in common. Obama imbibed this hatred with his mother’s milk.
Michelle Obama speaks with greater warmth of her mother-in-law than of her husband. “She was kind of a dreamer, his mother,” Michelle Obama was quoted in the January 25 Boston Globe. “She wanted the world to be open to her and her children. And as a result of her naivete, sometimes they lived on food stamps, because sometimes dreams don’t pay the rent. But as a result of her naivete, Barack got to see the world like most of us don’t in this country.” How strong the ideological motivation must be of a mother to raise her children on the thin fair in pursuit of a political agenda.
“Naivete” is a euphemism for Ann Dunham’s motivation. Friends describe her as a “fellow traveler”, that is, a communist sympathizer, from her youth, according to a March 27, 2007, Chicago Tribune report. Many Americans harbor leftist views, but not many marry into them, twice. Ann Dunham met and married the Kenyan economics student Barack Obama, Sr, at the University of Hawaii in 1960, and in 1967 married the Indonesian student Lolo Soetero. It is unclear why Soetero’s student visa was revoked in 1967 – the fact but not the cause are noted in press accounts. But it is probable that the change in government in Indonesia in 1967, in which the leftist leader Sukarno was deposed, was the motivation.
Soetero had been sponsored as a graduate student by one of the most radical of all Third World governments. Sukarno had founded the so-called Non-Aligned Movement as an anti-colonialist turn at the 1955 Bandung Conference in Indonesia. Before deposing him in 1967, Indonesia’s military slaughtered 500,000 communists (or unfortunates who were mistaken for communists). When Ann Dunham chose to follow Lolo Soetero to Indonesia in 1967, she brought the six-year-old Barack into the kitchen of anti-colonialist outrage, immediate following one of the worst episodes of civil violence in post-war history.
Dunham’s experience in Indonesia provided the material for a doctoral dissertation celebrating the hardiness of local cultures against the encroaching metropolis. It was entitled, “Peasant blacksmithing in Indonesia: surviving against all odds”. In this respect Dunham remained within the mainstream of her discipline. Anthropology broke into popular awareness with Margaret Mead’s long-discredited Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), which offered a falsified ideal of sexual liberation in the South Pacific as an alternative to the supposedly repressive West. Mead’s work was one of the founding documents of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, and anthropology faculties stood at the left-wing fringe of American universities.
In the Global South, anthropologists went into the field and took matters a step further. Peru’s brutal Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) guerilla movement was the brainchild of the anthropologist Efrain Morote Best, who headed the University of San Cristobal of Huamanga in Ayacucho, Peru, between 1962 and 1968. Dunham’s radicalism was more vicarious; she ended her career as an employee of international organizations.
Barack Obama received at least some instruction in the Islamic faith of his father and went with him to the mosque, but the importance of this experience is vastly overstated by conservative commentators who seek to portray Obama as a Muslim of sorts. Radical anti-Americanism, rather than Islam, was the reigning faith in the Dunham household. In the Muslim world of the 1960s, nationalism rather than radical Islam was the ideology of choice among the enraged. Radical Islam did not emerge as a major political force until the nationalism of a Gamal Abdel Nasser or a Sukarno failed.
Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother’s milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career. He shares the resentment of Muslims against the encroachment of American culture, although not their religion. He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at emotional distance. That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath. The difference is that he is practicing not on a primitive tribe but on the population of the United States.
There is nothing mysterious about Obama’s methods. “A demagogue tries to sound as stupid as his audience so that they will think they are as clever as he is,” wrote Karl Krauss. Americans are the world’s biggest suckers, and laugh at this weakness in their popular culture. Listening to Obama speak, Sinclair Lewis’ cynical tent-revivalist Elmer Gantry comes to mind, or, even better, Tyrone Power’s portrayal of a carnival mentalist in the 1947 film noire Nightmare Alley. The latter is available for instant viewing at Netflix, and highly recommended as an antidote to having felt uplifted by an Obama speech.
America has the great misfortune to have encountered Obama at the peak of his powers at its worst moment of vulnerability in a generation. With malice aforethought, he has sought out their sore point.
Since the Ronald Reagan boom began in 1984, the year the American stock market doubled, Americans have enjoyed a quarter-century of rising wealth. Even the collapse of the Internet bubble in 2000 did not interrupt the upward trajectory of household assets, as the housing price boom eclipsed the effect of equity market weakness. America’s success made it a magnet for the world’s savings, and Americans came to believe that they were riding a boom that would last forever, as I wrote recently .
Americans regard upward mobility as a God-given right. America had a double founding, as David Hackett Fischer showed in his 1989 study, Albion’s Seed . Two kinds of immigrants founded America: religious dissidents seeking a new Promised Land, and economic opportunists looking to get rich quick. Both elements still are present, but the course of the past quarter-century has made wealth-creation the sine qua non of American life. Now for the first time in a generation Americans have become poorer, and many of them have become much poorer due to the collapse of home prices. Unlike the Reagan years, when cutting the top tax rate from a punitive 70% to a more tolerable 40% was sufficient to start an economic boom, no lever of economic policy is available to fix the problem. Americans have no choice but to work harder, retire later, save more and retrench.
This reversal has provoked a national mood of existential crisis. In Europe, economic downturns do not inspire this kind of soul-searching, for richer are poorer, remain what they always have been. But Americans are what they make of themselves, and the slim makings of 2008 shake their sense of identity. Americans have no institutionalized culture to fall back on. Their national religion has consisted of waves of enthusiasm – “Great Awakenings” – every second generation or so, followed by an interim of apathy. In times of stress they have a baleful susceptibility to hucksters and conmen.
Be afraid – be very afraid. America is at a low point in its fortunes, and feeling sorry for itself. When Barack utters the word “hope”, they instead hear, “handout”. A cynic might translate the national motto, E pluribus unum, as “something for nothing”. Now that the stock market and the housing market have failed to give Americans something for nothing, they want something for nothing from the government. The trouble is that he who gets something for nothing will earn every penny of it, twice over.
The George W Bush administration has squandered a great strategic advantage in a sorry lampoon of nation-building in the Muslim world, and has made enemies out of countries that might have been friendly rivals, notably Russia. Americans question the premise of America’s standing as a global superpower, and of the promise of upward mobility and wealth-creation. If elected, Barack Obama will do his utmost to destroy the dual premises of America’s standing. It might take the country another generation to recover.
“Evil will oft evil mars”, J R R Tolkien wrote. It is conceivable that Barack Obama, if elected, will destroy himself before he destroys the country. Hatred is a toxic diet even for someone with as strong a stomach as Obama. As he recalled in his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father, Obama idealized the Kenyan economist who had married and dumped his mother, and was saddened to learn that Barack Hussein Obama, Sr, was a sullen, drunken polygamist. The elder Obama became a senior official of the government of Kenya after earning a PhD at Harvard. He was an abusive drunk and philanderer whose temper soured his career.
The senior Obama died in a 1982 car crash. Kenyan government officials in those days normally spent their nights drinking themselves stupid at the Pan-Afrique Hotel. Two or three of them would be found with their Mercedes wrapped around a palm tree every morning. During the 1970s I came to know a number of them, mostly British-educated hollow men dying inside of their own hypocrisy and corruption.
Both Obama and the American public should be very careful of what they wish for. As the horrible example of Obama’s father shows, there is nothing worse for an embittered outsider manipulating the system from within than to achieve his goals – and nothing can be more terrible for the system. Even those who despise America for its blunders of the past few years should ask themselves whether the world will be a safer place if America retreats into a self-pitying shell.