Sunday, March 16, 2008

a one-man civil war

Since about the time of the lift-off of the rocketship Obama, I have opined that "he's a one-man civil war," and backed up the slogan with some devastating reasoning. He's a phenom, that's for sure, but that may not be a good thing. His personna, his projected self, is fluid. He is a "black man." Sort of. He is a "Christian," but questions about that go far beyond the middle name "Hussein" and the suspected identification with its roots. His pastor's preaching, in his chosen church, really can't meet the minimum definitions of "Christian." He's "pro life." But he's not.

Far more important than what Obama really is, in his core, if anything, is what he projects through his campaign machinery and the media with that booming voice launching volleys of glorious, rhetorical fireworks. Up they go, exploding in bright, colorful bursts that shower a thousand points of light over the awestruck and emotionally supercharged masses. But try to reach out and catch one of those bits of light, and it disappears, untraceable, before you can get your hands on its substance. But man did it look good!

The Obama campaign seems to derive much of its energy from one focused maxim: "You are who you make people believe you are." At the disposal of those who are opportunistic and seek power are many vices and weaknesses to use to influence the actions of those who are starstruck. One of them is the fact that one individual can proclaim two messages at once. Those who are in favor of message "A" will hear it. Those who are in favor of message "B" will hear that. Each will rationalize away the contradiction, as long as they hear enough energy behind the delivery of the message that they want to hear. Or that they have been told they want to hear.

In other words, the campaign -- like clever advertising -- uses people's own unconscious thought processes to sell them on -- not a specific message, but on a Specific Messenger. And so, to reiterate, the Obama Phenom isn't about who Obama really is -- it is about who you allow yourself to believe he is.

Entering into the picture is the overtly and undeniably black racist preacher named Jeremiah Wright. Obama can deny that he has ever heard a "racist sermon" from the man he calls a "spiritual mentor." Some people will believe the denial. They will not face the undeniable fact that Obama has spent 20 years under the tutelage of this destructive message. They want "hope and change" so much, that, given the appropriate rhetoric, they begin to embrace the Messenger and rationalize the Contradiction.

Others, of course, those who are less innocent, will see Obama's responses to questions about his "spiritual mentor" as code-language: the requisite denial that everyone knows is baloney because you can't say what you really want to say in land where you're oppressed.

In either case, The Messenger has mesmerized two diverse camps. It's very effective, for those who choose to engage in such massively manipulative tactics. And it is very worthwhile to search history for lessons about what happens when someone so conniving, so convincing, so clever, is thrust into the spotlight at certain times in history. But that's a different post.

This post is about Obama being a One-Man Civil War.

What has been unleashed through this Obama phenom -- and think of it this way: if he just comes and goes, and never gets near the White House, he has been like the Goodyear Blimp for the second half of the game, broadcasting a message to everyone in the stadium. When the game is over, no matter who won, some will buy the products advertised on the blimp.

Regardless of fitness, or lack thereof, for the Presidency of the US, Obama has been a conduit of a message. A conduit doesn't do anything but carry something else. And Obama hasn't said much, save for some platitudes about "hope" or about "change." But he has carried, by his associations and tacit approval, the message of Jeremiah Wright to the tinderbox of modern race relations.

He can walk away saying, "I never heard that in the pew. I never said it myself," and surely no court of law could convict him otherwise, regardless of how unlikely the assertion.

But we have all heard the message, loud and clear, just the same. The message of racism, hatred, and revolution. Mr. Obama has brought Jeremiah Wright's Angry Gospel to America, the whole time denying it even existed.

So, when the inevitable steamrolling of his ill-conceived and overly-ambitious presidential campaign happens, and the leftwing media starts calling it "2000 all over again," do you think the people who brought you the LA Riots will take it sitting down? Don't you think they're sowing the seeds of the Great Oppressed Black Uprising right now, as we speak? I live in New York City. I see the smouldering rage in the eyes of that small bunch who have bought into The Angry Gospel.

Hopefully Obama's not a "One-Man Civil War." Hopefully, at worst, he'll just be a "One-Man Race Riot." I just don't think I have the audacity to hope that he's just another left-leaning presidential candidate with a silver tongue.
We live in times that seem to career from one "explosive" happening to the next. Are rhetorical fireworks a good thing in a social minefield?


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