Day By Day

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Resenters

One benefit of this interminable Democrat nomination process is that fundamental issues do get discussed -- no I'm not talking about health care, or foreign policy, or the war, or any of those other transitory things; I'm talking about things that really matter in the long run, such as how the candidates and their supporters see America.

By now it is clear that "Hillary!" and her supporters see America solely in terms of competing interest groups. This is pretty standard for mainstream Democrats, has been ever since the rise of the "broker state" concept in the Roosevelt years. It's a social science vision of the country and in terms of electoral politics it consists of identifying and pandering to a sufficient number of interest groups to accumulate a majority.

Tonight in his North Carolina victory speech, "O-ba-ma!" went out of his way to disparage that sociological approach to America, emphasizing instead common approaches to common problems. This is at first glance similar to the unifying nationalistic themes on which Republican candidates have run ever since the party's inception in the middle of the nineteenth century. But there is a significant difference. Republicans love the country for what it is and what it has been as much as for what it might be in the future. Obama, with his strong liberal and radical associations, focuses almost exclusively on negative aspects of the American experience, and talks instead about an ideal America that has never been, but which he promises to bring into existence. Hence his idiot mantra of "change".

And this brings us to the sour ruminations of Mrs. Obama and the insane posturings of Rev. Wright. Their view of America is exclusively and profoundly negative. In the case of the candidate's wife, this is just simple leftist cant -- the sort of sillyness one picks up in places like Princeton. But Rev. Wright is a different matter.

Peggy Noonan recently wrote [here] that Rev. Wright's insane rhetoric didn't bother her much. She compared it to Irish immigrants and their descendents who on occasion would drink too much, get their Irish on, and revel in denunciation of the Brits, landlords, and other iconic oppressors of their race. Good clean fun, wallowing in self-pity and basking in the glow of ethnic solidarity, and with regard to the "Wolfe Tones" and other Irish nationalist groups, not very threatening. But such things are relatively innocuous because the resentment being stoked at these performances is directed at things long ago and far away. By contrast, Rev. Wright aims his venom at targets in the here and now -- corporate America, the white working class, the country's foreign policy establishment, and the like. Rev. Wright hates America, not just for what it may have done in the past, but for what it is today, and the resentments he stokes have the intent of alienating those who hear them from the society and culture in which we all must live.

To the extent that Sen. O-ba-ma! buys into Rev. Wright's vision of America he is even more of a divider than those he denounces, and his calls for change are a broad-based repudiation of the land that I love. He says that he loves America, but he doesn't. He repudiates America as it is and loves the utopia that he imagines it might be if only people like himself are in charge.


I will be voting for John McCain in the Fall elections. At least he understands just what a miracle America has been and continues to be.