Barack Obama - Savior of the Liberals


The rapid ascension of Senator Barack Hussein Obama as savior of mankind or at least the United States is a study in the current status of race relations in this country. His meteoric rise emanates from a yearning by some to redeem a nation that, in their eyes, remains horribly broken.


Whenever the discussion turns to his candidacy for Democratic nominee for President, it is invariably accompanied by the query, "is the country ready for a black President?" To which I would reply, sure, provided he's the right individual.


But this straightforward answer may not suffice for those whose mindset of American society remains frozen in the fifties, as if nothing had changed in this country since that era: no civil rights legislation, voting rights act, affirmative action, diversity programs, anti-discrimination laws, desegregation, no leftward tilt by our media and universities, no multiculturalism or political correctness. No, for many in this country, America remains a dark, bleak place, engulfed, as they see it, by racism and other social derangements.


Yet, with the fanfare that has accrued to Senator Obama, the adulation of the media and other influential types, one wonders why the thought even arises for there are large numbers in the country ready to anoint him President whether he deserves it or not. And never has there been an individual with so thin a record of accomplishment being touted so fiendishly for the highest office in the land.


Senator Obama, 43, was a lawyer and community activist in Chicago. He served seven years in the Illinois state legislature and now two years in the US Senate. He gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 and has written a best seller, "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream." He has no executive experience, and his limited voting record in the Senate has been to the left of Ted Kennedy.


It is worthwhile to contrast the hoopla over Obama with the indifference for fellow Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, from the adjoining "red" state of Indiana. Evan Bayh, 51, was a two term governor and is now in his second term as Senator. During his governorship, he presided over budget surpluses and tax cuts. He was chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. In his Senate career, he has been a moderate, although of late he has veered Left in anticipation of a White House run.


But given his general conservatism, his executive and legislative experience coupled with his relative youth and attractiveness, it is Senator Bayh who should be heralded as the rising star of a Democratic Party seeking to burnish its centrist credentials, right? Wrong, and, in fact, Senator Bayh recently withdrew from the race.


So how does a political novice like Obama run roughshod over a seasoned veteran like Bayh?


There is a desire by many in the media and elsewhere to see liberal blacks succeed. Liberal blacks, mind you, not conservative blacks, for there is a plethora of conservative blacks who have come and gone and received none of the flourish accorded their liberal counterparts, in fact, quite the opposite.


Consider, for example, the plight of three prominent conservative blacks that ran for high office in the last election (Ken Blackwell, Michael Steele, and Lynn Swann) who were often treated quite disparagingly if not in outright racist fashion by the "tolerant" liberal media - not to mention prominent liberal black leaders who were known to refer to them as "sellouts," "Oreo cookies," and "race traitors."


But the political success of liberal blacks serves important functions for liberal whites: it promotes their agenda, satisfies their dystopian vision of America, and, perhaps, most importantly, provides ample opportunity for moral preening.


If, after all, successful white liberals subscribe to the notion (which many do) that America is intrinsically racist then how could they in good conscience enjoy positions of high status, salary, and influence in so bigoted a society?


If devoted liberals believe that gaps in education, health, income, and life expectancy between whites and blacks is a function of racism and not lifestyle, choices, and attitudes then how can they participate in so unjust an enterprise?


If liberals accept the premise that American society is an oppressive and corrupt system founded on racial (as well as economic, sexist, and others) exploitation then it follows that to prosper and benefit from it they must also reject it (to demonstrate good faith) - and then show penance for their complicity through acts of contrition and self-flagellation.


These include maintaining a withering attitude toward the dominant culture, focusing obsessively on American shortcomings, giving little credit for reformative measures already taken, insisting on victim status for blacks, and demanding ongoing corrective actions such as income redistribution and affirmative action. It also involves the endorsement of liberal blacks for high office regardless of qualifications.


For, in the minds of many liberals, we are guilty, all of us, if only by association as citizens of a debauched nation. Senator Obama serves as a kind of savior figure for liberals, a transcendent (liberal) Negro who will engage the sinister forces within the American soul and defeat them. By his mere presence, the sainted Obama will bind our wounds and absolve us.


But Obama's candidacy stretches this narrative too far. He is untried and inexperienced; he has the flimsiest of resumes; his meager Senate voting record is doctrinaire left; he is manifestly unfit to lead the nation or defend it.


Still, it is enlightening to observe the subterranean fantasies and self-loathing that drive politics in our humane but misguided republic.


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