Wednesday, March 19, 2008
RealClear Politics is loaded with links analyzing yesterday's Obama speech on race, although it is sprinkled with a few other things, including a column written by none other than the Republican nominee, John McCain. Too bad we'll be getting nearly the same thing no matter which color predominates the electoral map come November.
First, although I haven't heard or read the entire speech myself, indications are that it is as effective as such a speech can be coming from a conventional leftist. In other words, Obama seems intent on using race to advance his left-wing agenda.
One self-proclaimed "secular conservative" describes how Obama just slipped that race card out from his sleeve and played it: "His main theme is this: we have to set aside racial grievances and agree to a racial truce--so that we can unite across racial lines and work together to achieve socialism."
This would confirm the fears that several commenters have expressed here in the past and which a long-time association of an eloquent leftist with a racist makes completely unsurprising. Namely, this speech paves the way for all dissenters from Obama's leftist agenda to have to defend themselves against charges of racism. This is an opportunity for cultural activism in disguise.
I recommend looking at an Obama Presidency as the opportunity to de-couple, once and for all, the ideas of racial equality and egalitarianism. Egalitarianism is not the opposite of racism: Respect for individual rights is. Time to get the word out.
Thomas Sowell devastates Obama's attempt to plead ignorance of Jeremiah Wright's racism and hatred of America:
Spin number one is that Jeremiah Wright's words were "taken out of context." Like most people who use this escape hatch, those who say this do not explain what the words mean when taken in context.Indeed. And I also agree with Sowell that, "Equality means that a black demagogue who has been exposed as a phony deserves exactly the same treatment as a white demagogue who has been exposed as a phony."
In just what context does "God damn America" mean something different?
Spin number two is that Barack Obama says he didn't hear the particular things that Jeremiah Wright said that are now causing so much comment.
It wasn't just an isolated remark. Nor were the enthusiastic responses of the churchgoers something which suggests that this anti-American attitude was news to them or something that they didn't agree with.
If Barack Obama was not in church that particular day, he belonged to that church for 20 years. He made a donation of more than $20,000 to that church.
In all that time, he never had a clue as to what kind of man Jeremiah Wright was? Give me a break!
You can't be with someone for 20 years, call him your mentor, and not know about his racist and anti-American views. [bold added]
I agree further with Sowell that it is "heartening that the country has reached the point where a black candidate for President of the United States sweeps so many primaries in states where the overwhelming majority of the population is white". That said, if we are to reach the point of true racial equality with Obama in charge, those of us who oppose the left will have to stand up to charges of being racists or being in league with them. The Republicans cannot be counted on to do this on their own.
And speaking of the Republicans, what alternative do they offer to Barack Obama's package-dealing of racial equality with socialism? Setting aside for the sake of argument McCain's disqualification as an enemy of freedom of speech, it is: A call for "unity". In other words, the same bet, but without the convenience of a race card!
Americans and Europeans share a common goal – to build an enduring peace based on freedom. Our democracies today are strong and vibrant. Together we can tackle the diverse challenges we face, whether radical religious fanatics who use terror as their weapon of choice, the disturbing turn towards autocracy in Russia or the looming threats of climate change and the degradation of our planet. [bold added]McCain plays the "freedom from foreign threats equals socialism" card instead. He also touts his message as "the truest form of realism". He does not explain, however, how subordinating America's national sovereignty in order to impose, for example, a multinational fuel ration is "realistic", let alone moral.
Both candidates tout unity as an unlimited virtue in service of goals that are incompatible with individual rights. Obama plans to use unjust charges of racism as a cudgel to preempt or quash dissent while McCain has already demonstrated a willingness to outlaw it. Both are enemies of individualism. One will be our next president unless, by some miracle, yet another enemy of individualism, Hillary Clinton, wins out.
Whether one votes against McCain or leaves the presidential ballot blank, one has a sacred obligation to explain whenever appropriate that political unity for any purpose other than the self-defense of free individuals is anything but a virtue.
PS: Myrhaf has more on Obama's speech.
Today: (1) Corrected a typo. (2) Fixed wording in last sentence. (3) Added a PS.