Here’s another blast from the trying-to-figure-Obama-out past, this time from Spengler (David P. Goldman), who wrote the following on February 28, 2008:
Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother’s milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career. He shares the resentment of Muslims against the encroachment of American culture, although not their religion. He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at emotional distance. That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath. The difference is that he is practicing not on a primitive tribe but on the population of the United States.
There is nothing mysterious about Obama’s methods. “A demagogue tries to sound as stupid as his audience so that they will think they are as clever as he is,” wrote Karl Krauss. Americans are the world’s biggest suckers, and laugh at this weakness in their popular culture. Listening to Obama speak, Sinclair Lewis’ cynical tent-revivalist Elmer Gantry comes to mind, or, even better, Tyrone Power’s portrayal of a carnival mentalist in the 1947 film noire Nightmare Alley. The latter is available for instant viewing at Netflix, and highly recommended as an antidote to having felt uplifted by an Obama speech.
America has the great misfortune to have encountered Obama at the peak of his powers at its worst moment of vulnerability in a generation. With malice aforethought, he has sought out their sore point…
Be afraid – be very afraid. America is at a low point in its fortunes, and feeling sorry for itself. When Barack utters the word “hope”, they instead hear, “handout”. A cynic might translate the national motto, E pluribus unum, as “something for nothing”. Now that the stock market and the housing market have failed to give Americans something for nothing, they want something for nothing from the government. The trouble is that he who gets something for nothing will earn every penny of it, twice over.
Holds up pretty well, I think.
But enough of the past. Moving right along, we come to the future. How will this play out? Spengler didn’t know in February of 2008, and we still don’t know in March of 2010 (actually, we can never know the future—until it becomes the past, and even then our knowledge remains incomplete).
But we certainly should know more about whether either of the following two possibilities occurs within the next three years (perhaps even sooner):
“Evil will oft evil mars”, J R R Tolkien wrote. It is conceivable that Barack Obama, if elected, will destroy himself before he destroys the country.
Obama is certainly well on his way to destroying himself in terms of public opinion. But he has also shown that he has contempt for public opinion; although he prefers that it be with him, he has no problem acting against it if he has the power to do so. And right now he’s got that power.