Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Great Divider

We quasi-conservative, sorta Republican types make the mistake of thinking that Democrats are all liberal atheists who are afraid of guns and want illegal immigration. It's not so. There are lots of Democrats who are gun totin', church goin', law-abidin' citizens who will be insulted by Obama's elitism almost as much as we are. Or maybe more, because he assumes they're in the bag for him, and they're explicitly who he's talking about.

OBAMA: So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people are most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre…they’re misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to ‘white working-class don’t wanna work — don’t wanna vote for the black guy.’ That’s…there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today - kind of implies that it’s sort of a race thing.

He's trying to say that his popularity among black voters and lack of popularity among some white voters has nothing to do with race, but he's wrong. It has everything to do with race. But it's not that his opponents are all racists and his supporters are not; it's that his supporters think voting for a black man, electing a black man President, will allow us to put race behind us, will show that we're not racists.

It's the same old affirmative action argument: we've mistreated other blacks in the past, so now we owe this black man special favor.

Here’s how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long. They feel so betrayed by government that when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama, then that adds another layer of skepticism.
That's just incorrect, as many people have pointed out. Americans suspect government because it defines us. It's the definition of American to distrust government.

"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

So add betrayal to our outrage, and you have an idea how some Democrats will now feel about Obama.

Obama is trying to spin his remarks as caring for the people at their subject, understanding their pain.

Even so, it's a pack of paternalistic lies.

"So I said, well you know, when you're bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country."

After acknowledging his previous remarks in California could have been better phrased, he added:

"The truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation, those are important. That's what sustains us. But what is absolutely true is that people don't feel like they are being listened to."

Even granting that people in general are bitter, which I do not, and even granting that he used the wrong word in "cling", which I do not, because it's clear from context that it was the intended word, he's still wrong, and it doesn't spin.

Becuase Obama claims to be a Christian, and a Midwesterner, and he's probably as much one as the other. It's simply false to say that people, even the specific Jacksonian Democrats about whom he's specifically talking, adhere to traditions in the face of bitterness. They adhere to the traditions because that's what they do. The alleged bitterness makes them leave the traditions, because that's what people do when what they've been trying doesn't work any more.

So Obama has insulted the people he has ostensibly been trying to reach, and insulted them, us, in a way that makes it clear he doesn't understand us. Not only does he not understand us, but worse, he thinks he does.

And believing oneself wise is the first sign of not being so.

Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 04/15/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Blog stats

Add to Technorati Favorites