June 12, 2008
Paul Gottfried notes that Obama puts stress upon the traditional Democratic Party coalition of white ethnics and poor minorities. One problem with the excitement many liberal-minded young people feel for Obama—and the confusion they have about his earlier black nationalism—is that they do not take time to consider what Obama’s words mean in light of who he is.
“Let’s help the poor,” means something very different coming from a well-off WASP or a working-class Irish Catholic than it does from a poor black or poor Hispanic or poor redneck. In the case of the former, it’s an expression of charity, concern for the poor, and social solidarity. However misguided welfare policies may be—and they are—such are noble sentiments. Coming from the poor, however, the sentiment is one of avarice, anger, resentment, and appetite. Whatever justification it may have, it knows no limits. It is made more dangerous because it finds moral justification for its limitless desire within the liberal idiom, which maintains broader critique of all society. Instead of seeing the majority society as a generous benefactor, the inherited society is mislabeled by most liberals—whether the well-meaning kind or the greedy kind—as the source of the poor’s troubles.
This is why Obama is so dangerous. His yuppie white supporters think he’s one of them, a generous and educated man of wealth looking out for “our” downtrodden brothers. But he’s not. Even wealthy blacks feel alienated from the society, as evidenced most dramatically by Michelle Obama. Barack Obama is not benefactor; he’s a Spartacus-figure, leading his people—blacks as well as any poor whites and other self-identified victims who want to tag along—to power. It simply has a very different moral meaning when a black man demands affirmative action or welfare for his loyal constituents than when a patrician white decides to bestow it. Obama has been prudential to date, but the content of his policies and his life-long association with extremists like Ayers and Wright reveal his real worldview as a resentment-driven quest for revenge and his self-concept as a justifiably angry victim.
His entire campaign depends on mutual misunderstanding. His white supporters pretend he’s not a black nationalist in spite of a 20 year association with Reverend Wright and his frequent Marxist rhetoric. His black supporters must pretend that his white supporters do not really understand that “he’s one of us.” His superficial message of “hope” is really a message of empowered revenge. Whites forget that Obama is not Franklin Roosevelt, the old money WASP “class traitor,” who acted as a tribune of the people. Obama’s a biracial, black-identifying, insecure bastard child of a hippy, and, since his early 20s, he’s been cultivating revenge for his chosen tribe against the white society that he (and the tribe) have never felt fully a part of.
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