Facing the political trends today often feels like confronting a tank in Tiananmen Square in China. The tank is powered by intellectual lethargy, moral turpitude and an uncontained malice for the freedom and independence that made the country possible and great. Its purpose is to crush anyone who refuses to get out of its way.
Hope? Change? A new direction? Suppose one doesn't want to go in a "new direction" or see the country go in it? Suppose the change one hopes for is the banishment of government and others from one's life, from the economy, from education? Suppose one knows that the only way one can be taken in a new direction is by deception, theft and force?
The Democratic convention in Denver last week presented the latest model tank which the collectivists plan to deploy in the country. Call it the Obliterator.
A succession of speakers, every one of them adopting the tone of an abrasive locker room pep talk instead of a political address, ranted a from a podium on what looked like the topside of a blue Klingon warship - blue, one supposes, for Blue States - incongruously grafted to the faÃade of a Roman temple, doubtless intended to evoke Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial forty-five years ago. The parade of blowhards, most of whom combined secular collectivist sentiments with religious altruist ones, complete with quotations from the Bible, was climaxed by the appearance of Barack Obama, who on the evening of August 28 gave his acceptance speech as the Democratic nominee for President to a mass of worshipping, weeping, belief-crazed Obama cultists.
From beginning to end, the Democratic convention that ended with his appearance was more like a vaudeville show - "a series of acts," as one admiring commentator told the PBS anchor - imbued with the hysterical spirit of an evangelical tent meeting, in which all the attendees were united in an unreasoning, emotional Gestalt to hail the Messiah (or the Mahdi, the "expected one," to put an Islamic twist on the event). One half expected the 80,000-plus audience to rise as one and do the "wave," the American equivalent of the Nazi salute. To assure themselves that Obama is truly the "people's choice," the Democrats filled Invesco Field with a mob of the faithful to create the illusion that Obama would address not merely a hall full of party hacks, state delegates and their whips, and vote manipulators, but the whole American electorate.
The New York Times, in an adulatory story on Obama's acceptance speech, "Obama Takes the Fight to McCain" (August 29) remarked with brazen insouciance that the speech
"...came on a night that offered - by the coincidence of scheduling - a reminder of the historic nature of the Obama candidacy: 45 years to the day after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 'I Have a Dream' speech on the Mall in Washington."
A coincidence of scheduling? There was nothing coincidental about it. The anniversary was a planned part of the Obama extravaganza to lend it "historical" significance, and perhaps even substance.
Viewers on any of the news programs covering the Democratic convention in Denver were constantly and solemnly reminded by news anchors that "history" was being made because an African-American or an American black was for the first time a major presidential candidate. Well, history of a sort was made, but not the kind that will be much dwelt on.
Obama's race, however, is immaterial. One judges an individual by the contents of his mind, by his values, by the conduct of his life. But Obama from the beginning has angled for the "black vote" and the vote of guilt-ridden whites. Thus, the charade. This is worse than mere dishonesty. It is a fraud being perpetrated on an entire country in the guise of "racial justice."
Much has been made during the presidential campaign of the candidates' experience or lack of it, in both domestic and foreign affairs. This is a straw man. True, any one of the other candidates had greater congressional and political experience. Obama had a comparably short stint in the Illinois senate and 173 days as a U.S. Senator. But of what value is there in it in any of the candidates? Has it ever been defined? And what has all that experience garnered the country, except an incremental progress towards statism and a steady dwindling of individual freedom?
Further, not a single candidate lacks experience in corruption, venality, malfeasance, concession, logrolling, compromise, theft, and a multitude of other misdemeanors. Obama is not the stainless prophet ready to lead the country in a "new direction." He is as guilty as any of the rest of them.
John McCain is an enemy of freedom of speech. His campaign finance law has made it more difficult for any one to oppose the collectivist policies that his alleged opponents "across the aisle" regularly propose. Barack Obama, for his part, has twice now, as far as it is known, attempted to suppress the truth about his past political associations, chiefly his comradeship with Rob Malda, the Weatherman "radical" who bombed the Capitol building long before Obama would spend so little time in it and created the ultimate forum for lefties to vent emotional tirades and avoid the presence of any facts. It is appropriate that Obama's political career - one that advocates the use of government force in every sphere - was launched in the home of a retired and unrepentant terrorist.
Obama likes to chide Senator John McCain for his lack of vision, possibly for his age, and for wanting to continue Bush's domestic and foreign policies. But one has never heard Obama thank McCain for having sponsored the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, which Obama is attempting to use to censor or intimidate anyone who raises the matter of his extremely questionable political background.
What all the candidates seem to have lacked are any commitment to freedom, and the integrity to proclaim it and act on it. But, it would be an error to think that. Neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party is a friend of those things. In point of fact, both parties are committed enemies of freedom. Whether McCain or Obama wins the White House in November, there would be no "change" and no "new direction," but more of the same movement in the same direction, which is statism. The only difference between the candidates is the preferred rate of acceleration in that direction.