Saturday, October 03, 2015
Actually, I think one of the fascinating things about Obama (and I don’t mean “fascinating” in a positive way) is that he is subject to so many interpretations. I’ve been studying him since 2007, have read probably millions of words about him and have written possibly hundreds of thousands on the topic, if not more. And yet, and yet, something about him continues to elude—not just me, but many extremely intelligent people such as Fernandez, whose intelligence I respect just about as deeply as I respect anyone’s.I think it may stem from the unusual fact that Obama is a consummate actor, a man so practiced and so ideological that everything he says and does is purposeful and is a piece of propaganda. There are no spontaneous moves, no impulsive actions, although sometimes he tries to make us believe that he’s doing something impulsively. Nothing is apolitical, either, except perhaps his golf game.This is what my gut tells me, anyway. And he is remarkably consistent, one of the most consistent people I’ve ever observed, although if his underlying purpose isn’t discerned he can seem meandering and even foolish and inconsistent.I believe that Obama’s purpose—the overarching impetus for all he has done as president (and indeed, for much of his life before that) is something I wrote about back in 2009:Obama considers himself a man of destiny. He seems to have believed that his election itself would have a transformative effect on America, separate from any particular programs or policies he would put into place once inaugurated. He promised change, yes; but the very first change would be the fact that he–Barack Obama, an African-American man–had been elected president. If slavery was (and in some sense still is) America’s original sin, and if the Civil War wasn’t enough to undo that fundamental flaw, then Obama’s election would be a sign that America had finally taken a decisive step to purge itself of that sin.A step, yes; but only the first in a lengthy process. The second step would be confession. And there were many other sins as well for which America must begin to atone. That is why Obama proceeded to go on a worldwide tour early in his presidency, apologizing to nation after nation for America’s manifold sins of hubris and exceptionalism, militarism and imperialism, greed and excess. These were the many ways in which Obama and his fellow leftists have reframed American exceptionalism as American tyranny.If Obama has anything to say about it, there will be further steps in America’s journey of penance and redemption through the mechanism of his presidency. The redistribution of income is only fair and moral, since taxing the rich will punish them for their greed; and cap and trade will be the penalty for having used more than our fair share of resources. Foreign policy is a major mechanism by which this country will be made level with other countries–just one nation among the rest, stripped of much of its power and its weaponry.Obama is here to punish America for its sins, and he’s been very successful at that. That the left and many liberals continue to love him, continue to support him, is a puzzlement to many people. But why wouldn’t those who have been successfully taught that America is a great evil in the world—birthed in evil, steeped in evil, and empowered by evil; especially racial evil but also countless other evils big and small—applaud his efforts?In my recent post exploring the life and work of the remarkable Brit F. L. Lucas, I came across a quotation that’s particularly apt:“One may question whether real civilisation is so safely afloat,” he wrote in his last published letter (1966), “that we can afford to use our pens for boring holes in the bottom of it.”Obama could never have been elected, or in particular re-elected, if generations of intellectuals and not-so-intellectuals had not spent so much time and effort boring holes in the bottom of Western Civilization. Obama is merely reaping the fruits of their lengthy and patient labor.