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Monday, May 26, 2008

Obama Echos the Reverend Wright

Barack Obama gave a commencement speech at Wesleyan University the other day. Pinch hitting for Teddy Kennedy who out sailing on his yacht, he peppered the speech with references to other Kennedys who had gone before. Adding to the list of things we cannot say about Obama, we can’t compare him to Robert Kennedy, but he can … and does.

It will be remembered by people who have been following the Jeremiah Wright controversy that Wright denounced “middle classism” in no uncertain terms all the while having a $1.6 million, 4 bedroom 10,000 square foot house built for him in a gated community.

In an echo of Wright’s denunciation of “middle classism” Obama
...urged students to focus on more than "the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should buy."

The idea that there is something unique in “our money culture” that causes people to want to have the good things of life is … stupid. And hypocritical.

With the possible exception of hermits and certain religious orders that take a vow of poverty, all people everywhere strive to have the good things in life. Poorer societies define “good things” down.

In Haiti, eating cakes not mixed with mud is considered a step up. In other third world hellholes, having a roof over your head is a sign of prosperity.

It so happens that in the United States, we have worked and achieved an unprecedented level of mass prosperity.

We can think of buying not just basic shelter but a house, even a big house like Barack Obama lives in

and the one Jeremiah Wright had his church build for him (see above).

And if we prosper we can buy nice suits like the ones that Barack Obama wears.

This has the not-so-faint whiff of the kind of socialist claptrap expressed by George Orwell in “Animal Farm” where all animals were equal but some were “more equal” than others. I, for one, do not want to see my political masters decide for me how to live and what to wear. Most especially not when they live in the big house and they wear the nice suits but they don't want me to do the same.

Oh, and what did he tell the Wesleyan graduates to do with their college degrees?

…Obama urged college graduates Sunday to "make us believe again" by dedicating themselves to public service.

At a time when America is over-run by government employees and needs to import engineers, technicians, doctors and farm workers the last thing we need is for college graduates to leave school and apply for a job as a government employee to perform "public service." We need plumbers and electricians and auto mechanics. Those are the people that perform a REAL public service, not the drones that work as "community organizers."

And in an exhortation that sounds like a command:
At a time of so much cynicism and so much doubt, we need you to make us believe again. That's your task, Class of 2008."

The scent of Fascism hangs heavy over the Obama campaign when you combine his demands (That's your task, Class of 2008) with the threat of Michelle “My Belle” Obama that Barack”
[Barack Obama]…will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. [Barack Obama] will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

In the “Obamastate” we will have our tasks. We will have our jobs…in government. We will be required to work, uncynically, cheerfully, as a unified mass, Stakhanovite man, shut off from our previous lives. And we WILL LIKE IT! OR ELSE!

Oh Brave New World.


Anonymous said...

Those are some nice houses. I assume they are in diverse neighborhoods and that they are paying carbon credits.

Cappy said...

Is the gate there to keep the bitter clingers out?

Young Grasshopper said...

When will the people wake up?