Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Such Men Are Dangerous

Digby tut-tuts Rev. Wright, and he deserves every tut, but surely this is not unexpected. We already knew Wright was angry, unsurprisingly he's also angry at Obama. Obama had the opportunity to be another Martin Luther King, but he gave it up to be part of the power structure that considers men like him disposable. Obama refused to risk his image as a safe black man, refused to say that yes, he is angry at the treatment of black people, and he has every right to be. Just as Obama refuses to see the US as a menace in the Middle East. And just as Clinton gives little or no hint of the enormous rage she must feel at the thousands of insults and injustices women receive, especially those with brains and ambition.

However, Digby quotes something I find far more alarming than opportunism and anger.

I watched Obama today and felt very sorry for him on a human level. As Joan
Walsh pointed out in a series of sensitive posts on the subject, this is a guy who has written a book about being abandoned by his father and here comes
father figure
Wright, so self-centered that he apparently couldn't accept that his own star burned less brightly than the younger man who was very
possibly on his way to becoming America's first black president.
(Emphasis is mine.)

If Obama is indeed a man searching for a father figure, that is an authority figure, such men are dangerous. He has already chosen to side with authority too many times, to protect government lawbreakers or save the world.

He will not prosecute anyone in the government. He has too much respect for its institutions. He will not get us out of the Middle East. He sees us as saviors of the world. He will not restore the rule of law. As Chris Floyd says, to do so would be to implicate those who broke it. He will support religions over secular society, out of respect for religion if not for many of those who practice it. He sees religion as an authority to succumb to, a necessary part of public, not just private, life.

"[Americans] want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives. They're looking to relieve a chronic loneliness, a feeling supported by a recent study that shows Americans have fewer close friends and confidants than ever before. And so they need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them - that they are not just destined to travel down that long highway towards nothingness.

And I speak with some experience on this matter.... And in time, I came to realize that something was missing as well -- that without a vessel for my beliefs, without a commitment to a particular community of faith, at some level I would always remain apart, and alone."

Any Democrat is preferable over any Republican. Their time has come and gone, at least until the famously short American memory dims again and they can return to power, the next generation of Goldbergs and Podhoretzes and Bushes. But I don't think the changes we are hoping for will happen if Obama is elected. When in the course of human history did those in power willingly give up power, especially ill-gotten power that might never come again? When did people ever gain freedom except by fighting for it?


Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Arthur Silber speaks.

Most people completely failed to grasp the breadth of Obama's commitment to
America's mythologized history in his "nuanced," "historical" speech on race, or
his unbreached determination to lie about anything and everything. They were --
and are -- incapable of understanding this issue for the simple reason that
they, too, embrace this mythology. If they are deprived of their belief in
America's, and their own, claim to being "unique" and "special" in all of
history, they will die psychologically. Our mythologized history has become a
crucial part of their own identities. Obama's condemnation of Wright today
amounts to an emphatic postscript to his earlier speech: "I meant it. I will lie
to you about anything you want. I will lie about everything."

We are not special. The United States is not moral. We are not a force for good. We built our nation on blood and theft. We do not bring freedom to the world. Blacks are not inferior to whites. Women are not inferior to men. Children don't owe their parents obedience. Blind obedience is bad. Religion is useless and harmful. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We watch the world drowning in our lies, begging for rescue, and tell ourselves that they are waving.

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