Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Obama’s Leftism

Joshua Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, writes about it at Commentary.

Here’s part of what Muravchik says - - -

Even after declaring his candidacy, and despite a certain inevitable sidling rightward, Obama still reflected the presuppositions of a radical worldview. In one notable remark, he said of voters in economic distress that in their desperation they “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”

Chastised for his condescension, he responded: “I said something that everybody knows is true.”

This was elitism of a very specific kind—the mentality of the community organizer, according to which people in the grip of “false consciousness” need to be enlightened as to the true nature of their class interests, and to the nature of their true class enemies.

The same suppositions are again evident in Obama’s stances on international issues. Iraq, as he sees it, is only a symptom. “I don’t want to just end the war . . . I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place.”

And what would that mindset be? In a 2002 speech that he frequently cites, he said the war resulted from

”the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors . . . to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne . . . the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income . . . the arms merchants in our own country . . . feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.”
In this litany of global perfidy, the issues of Saddam Hussein’s murderous dictatorship, of American security, of the future of freedom, shrink to inconsequentiality next to the struggle of the oppressed against their American capitalist overlords.

When it comes to Iran, Obama has acknowledged that the regime presents a problem. But his actions—he opposed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization—as well as his rhetoric imply that the greater danger emanates from George W. Bush (who is allegedly seeking “any justification to extend the Iraq war or to attack Iran”).

Likewise on defeating terrorism, where he rejects the America-centric focus that Bush has given to the issue; instead, in the words of his aides, Obama’s main goal is to “restore . . . our moral standing”—that is, to put an end to our aggressive ways.

Even the events of 9/11 could not shake Obama from the mindset that the enemy is always ourselves. The bombings, he wrote, reflected
”the underlying struggle—between worlds of plenty and worlds of want; between the modern and the ancient; between those who embrace our teeming, colliding, irksome diversity, while still insisting on a set of values that binds us together; and those who would seek, under whatever flag or slogan or sacred text, a certainty and simplification that justifies cruelty toward those not like us.”
In this reading, the lessons to be learned from the actions of Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atta are that we must accept multiculturalism at home and share our wealth abroad. …

The entire article’s here.

It’s lengthy, detailed and filled with quotes from Sen. Obama and leftists who’ve helped shape his thinking.

So far this campaign season I’ve held off using the “if you read only one” cliché.
But the breath, depth, concision and scholarship of this article merits an: “If you read only one article this campaign season, Muravchik’s should be the one.”


Anonymous said...

John, you are correct,a well reaseached, insightful and excellent article. Thanks for the link! Steve in New Mexico

Anonymous said...

So let me get this right...

When someone attacks you, you must invite more of the same type of people to live with you and also give the rest of the people that don't come over some of your money.

And people are seriously voting for this guy?

Scott S.

JWM said...

To Steve in NM,

Thanks for this comment and your others which are always on-point and reflect a serious person who wants what's best for the U.S.A.

To Scott S.,

You'll understand what I mean when I say unfortunately you're right in what you say and you hit the most troubling point: "people are seriously voting" for Obama.

Maybe we can reduce the number who will be getting the word out about The One.

Thank you both.