Obama’s appeal, and his danger
watching various Barack Obama interviews
on YouTube. As far as his personal qualities are concerned the man is A-1. He is a genuinely nice person—that’s not something you can put on. He speaks extremely well, is never at a loss for what to say, and has a great speaking voice. There’s an energy and confidence about him which tells you this man thinks he can handle any situation. Everything about his manner and his presentation of himself says that this is a gifted person who could be president. Which is what I thought the first time I heard him interviewed at length on tv about a year and a half ago.
But when it comes to matters of substance, either there’s nothing there, a lot of folderol, or else what he says is foolish or even calamitous. On foreign policy he sounds like Carter reincarnated. I’ve never heard a person put forth more emptiness and more folly with more plausibility and in such a pleasant, digestible, and confident manner. The man has extraordinary talents.
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James R. writes:
Robert Mugabe with a Howdy Doody smile.
It’s very difficult to see him as a sinister or anti-white person pretending to be nice. So I think the comparison to Mugabe is way off. Yes, he could very well represent the undoing of America, but not because he’s a Mugabe-type monster. He could represent the undoing of America, because the “post-racial” America he is expected to bring about really means a post-white America, an America that has lost its historic white identity; and a country that has lost its historic identity (however its identity is defined) has committed suicide, because it has been sundered from its own past which is the basis of its very being as a nation. An Obama election could thus represent the culmination of the developments I’ve been writing about since The Path to National Suicide, the symbolic and actual undoing of white America, which means two things: the undoing of white America, and the undoing of America.
And the reason he could bring this about is not that he’s a monster, but that he’s nice.
On the other hand, the sundering from our own past has already been going on for almost a half-century. In that sense, Obama would represent nothing new. Even without any Obama, a catastrophe has already occurred in America and throughout the West, the delegitimization of the West’s white identity and of the white race itself, the delegitimization that has made it impossible for Western countries to put any limits on their continuing transformation into non-white, non-Western, Islamicized, Hispanicized, Mestizo-ized, Africanized, Asianized countries. So, with or without Obama, the job of Americans who are loyal to our historic nation and civilization is the same: to re-assert and re-legitimize America’s historic Anglo-European character and culture, as the only way to form a counterforce against the continuing browning and Third-Worldizing of America. In that sense, an Obama presidency would not change anything essential. It would, however, make our already very tough job that much tougher.
“In that sense, an Obama presidency would not change anything essential. It would, however, make our already very tough job that much tougher.”
I disagree strongly. An Obama presidency would go a long way towards discrediting liberalism because, regardless of his personality, Obama is too openly leftist in a country that is still center-right/right-liberal.
Just look at Obama’s policies on his campaign website. On domestic issues, Obama is essentially running on Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 campaign platform, and, on foreign policy he sounds like Jimmy Carter.
Furthermore, not only is Obama liberal, he gives every indication of being a true believing leftist who will not bother trying to seize the center ground, as Bill Clinton did following the 1994 Republican landslide, should Obama’s presidency stumble. Obama will have a Democratic Congress to work with and he will be surrounded by sycophants in the White House and the media telling him he can do no wrong. Given those circumstances, the chances are good that Obama will move hard left right out of the gate, and provoke a backlash early on, thus, wounding his presidency.
His race, and his symbolism of the racial transformation of the West, concerns me only to the extent that conservatives might hesitate attacking him for fear of being called racist. But, if he pushes a far left agenda, the right will have to respond at some point, so, this problem ought to be manageable.
Finally, if we truly believe leftist policies are wrong and opposed to reality, then we should not be afraid of Obama, who will push leftism, because leftism will fail when confronted by reality.
I devoutly hope that you are right.
If I am wrong, then conservatism is wrong, and liberalism is right.
I don’t see how that follows. Conservatism could be right, and still lose.
Karen writes from England:
You describe Obama’s positive qualities and describe the guy as nice. But so what? The fact that he may be a nice person is irrelevant and probably would make him an unsuitable President anyway, as he would be insufficiently ruthless to resist those around him (like his wife) and take the initiatives which are needed to turn the USA around. He is an unsuitable Presidential candidate on the grounds that he has no sound policies, no experience and is a black man in a largely white European country. All of these reasons should disqualify him for the role.
He is a looming disaster which the USA could well do without.
“The fact that he may be a nice person is irrelevant and probably would make him an unsuitable President anyway, as he would be insufficiently ruthless to resist those around him (like his wife) and take the initiatives which are needed to turn the USA around.”
You’ve just shown one way in which is niceness is relevant.
In addition, obviously his niceness is relevant, since it is the key to his political success and the possibility that he may become president!
The hope raised by George’s scenario is that the political rough weather that a naively leftist Obama would run into would also defeat his symbolic, racial transformational agenda.
Also, we should remember that in all these speculations about what an Obama presidency would be like, we are spinning out scenarios. We don’t know what will happen.
“The hope raised by George’s scenario is that the political rough weather that a naively leftist Obama would run into would also defeat his symbolic, racial transformational agenda.”
Liberalism will eventually destroy itself, as you have pointed out before. The only question is whether it will destroy the West along with itself.
It seems to me it would be much better for the racial leftist revolution to reach a potential climax now, with an Obama presidency, and hasten the day liberalism burns itself out as an ideology, rather than wait longer for the left to peak and do more damage over an extended period of time.
That is my hope. As you wrote, we don’t know that this would happen, but all things considered, I would take my chances with a head to head ideological fight with the left today while whites are still 67% of the country.
Flyboy writes from Canada:
If George is right, that an Obama presidency will actually hasten the demise of the left, then we should actively support such an event. Like the spread of a serious disease, the longer the cancer is allowed to fester the worse the period of recovery and the higher the risk of the patient dying. Radical surgery is obviously required to rid our societies of this cancerous growth and the sooner this occurs the better.
Postulating this as a valid scenario, the more important questions then arise—will this “radical surgery” period result in civil war or a civilized discourse between opposing parties? I suspect there are few reasons for the left to go down peacefully so we will actually need to prepare for the worst. My Danish friends are now contemplating “parallel societies” while this period unfolds.
Not only do we need to stay alive during the collapse but an alternative vision must be developed, presented and readied for the revival of Western society.
“Not only do we need to stay alive during the collapse…”
Yes—no jumping from tall buildings like Ronald Barbour!
James M. writes:
“He is a genuinely nice person—that’s not something you can put on.”
Not in my experience and how can you be “genuinely nice” and get to the top in politics at any time, let alone today? His tactics are dishonest and he strikes me as very intense and repressed, also arrogant and resentful. But even if he concealed it better, we can know him by his friends and wife, and the knowledge is not pleasant.
I have two answers:
One, if James M. is right, then Obama’s act is the greatest I’ve ever seen, because it’s fooled me.
Two, whether Obama is truly niec or not doesn’t matter, because, as I’ve said, his niceness does not cancel out his danger.
Karl D. writes:
Nothing really significant to say just that your Jimmy Carter comparison is dead on. I have been saying for months to anyone who would listen that Obama in substance (if one can find any) is basically Jimmy Carter with a tan.
Richard W. writes:
“Finally, if we truly believe leftist policies are wrong and opposed to reality, then we should not be afraid of Obama, who will push leftism, because leftism will fail when confronted by reality.”
I’ve heard others offer this same argument and I have to disagree. Leftism is wrong, and as moral people we are called on to battle what is wrong in every instance.
The ultimate example of leftism is, no doubt, the USSR. From the Russian Revolution to the fall of Gorbachev was 74 years. In the end, it did fall because it was wrong, but it had so eroded the social fabric, history, and morality of the people that Russia is a mere shadow of her former self. The fact that the Secret Police and Mafia now run the country without the pretext of ideology is what one might expect in a “post-leftist” polity, not a return to Constitutional freedom and working capitalism.
We don’t have to look all the way to the USSR to see this, we only have to examine the legacy of America’s greatest socialist, FDR. His programs have been failing since inception. His New Deal failed spectacularly to end the Depression, but it was not rolled back. His Social Security program is failing financially but has become the untouchable “third rail” of American politics, about which even critical discussion is not permitted.
What FDR left us was false history, unredeemable promises, and a broken social system (that is a system of people, not government, solving problems as they see fit). What he ensured was that no matter what, moving forward a “small government” would not be possible.
Likewise a successful Obama revolution will utterly transform America in ways that are unlikley ever to be reversed, short of the inevitable catastrophy they bring on.
Imagine the conversion of Health Care from a service rendered in the free market (which it is struggling to remain) to a “right.” From there out anyone attempting to end the socialist practice of paying for doctors for “the people” will be taking away a “right,” not merely fixing Obama’s broken policy.
One only need look at the most broken and universally criticized social programs, like AFDC, to see this. They can never be ended, only improved. Bill Clinton did not “end welfare,” he “ended welfare as we know it.” And replaced it with a welfare we didn’t know (section 8 housing vouchers, pushing welfare recipiants into disability claims and thus Social Security roles, ever expanding “free” child care for the “underpriviliged,” etc.)
This then, is what to expect from an Obama success. A complete re-definition of basic terms, a re-writing of history to support the socialist narrative, and a gradual atrophy of the muscles of freedom until many limbs of our traditional cultures must simply be amputated as too sickly to survive.
The only reversal possible after that would leave us looking a lot more like Russia in 2008, and a lot less like America under Reagan.
Do you then support a vote for McCain?
Richard W. writes:
Yes. I do, though the discussion has given me pause.
The only argument “for” voting for Obama is that our we are stronger now than we will be in the future. That Obama may bring the backlash and awake the “silent majority.”
But I think that’s wishful thinking, in two respects.
The first says that whatever crisis happens that Obama will be held to blame. This is not at all obvious to me. Obama’s policies may be as bad as Carter’s, but his delivery is much better. He can probably talk his way out of it. FDR talked his way through eight years of depression where (it has now been shown pretty conclusively by economic historians) his policies were making things worse, not better. But in his fireside chats it was always some amorphous “other” that was responsible. “moneyed interests” “international bankers”
Even Nixon was not held up to the same sort of ridicule that Bush (G.W.) has been. Thus it will be very easy for the left to say (as Clinton already has in her campaign), “He’s just cleaning up the horrible mess that the criminal George Bush left for him.”
The second facet of wishful thinking goes back to something you wrote:
The conservative hope in an imminent defeat of liberalism is founded on the belief that there is some “normal” source of authority that is still operative in society that will eventually reassert itself and prevent the society from going to extremes, like a parent who will appear and stop children from misbehaving. But the terrible realization that conservatives must go through is that there is no parent waiting in the wings to make things right. The parent has long since been banished, with the conservatives’ tacit approval, when the conservatives went along with one aspect of liberalism after another. The fundamental error and illusion of modern conservatives is that they do not realize the extent to which they themselves are liberal.
For all the reasons you have mentioned. I have made it a habit to discuss politics with many 20 to 25 year olds this election cycle. Their ignorance is simply appalling.
So as conservatives we have to start over (as we’ve discussed) in re-building a movement from the ground up. This will be much harder with the ground continuously moving left under President Obama.
Presidents matter greatly, not just for what they do, but for what they represent. Obama represents a rejection of our culture and heritage, along with his appalling leftist policies.
It is simply too terrible not to resist.
BTW: The other alternative interpretation of the “bring it on with President Obama” strategy is that what is brought on is so horrific that it effectively ends the American experiment.
I don’t see McCain destroying America under any scenario. He is at worst just another bad emperor, Rome survived dozens. Obama really could bring the whole house of cards down on us.
For the right wing fringe spoiling for a REAL fight (guns & bullets) this suits them just fine. I don’t think VFR has too many readers in this category but one doesn’t have to look to far to see many right wingers who LIKE the Obama victory for exactly this reason. I don’t think that’s a wise view. Civil Wars are really horrible and to be avoided at all costs.
You write: “I don’t see McCain destroying America under any scenario. He is at worst just another bad emperor, Rome survived dozens. Obama really could bring the whole house of cards down on us.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 25, 2008 01:51 AM | Send
I’ve said before that I would vote for McCain if his opponent were Lenin or Hitler. What I meant was, if I believed his opponent represented an existential threat to the country, I would vote for him.