Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Won't Vote for a Myth

While I've had mixed feelings about Obama, my feelings on Hillary are quite clear. Richard Nixon skillfully showed that lack of moral scruple is usually not a significant obstacle to political success. But when you combine Hillary's lack of scruple with her lack of any tangible accomplishment in her "35 years of service" you realize she is just a front for her husband's otherwise unconstitutional third term. She ran an incompetent campaign, clearly demonstrating that Hillary and Bill's political expertise has been vastly overrated. Her recent attempts at finding some purchase on Obama, like the suddenly discovered outrage over the near 50 year old suppression of Tibet, reminds me of a fish struggling in a net.

I initially considered voting for Obama because I found his anti-war stance attractive. As I wrote here, I think we need to withdraw completely from not just Iraq, but the entire Middle East. Obama is not radical enough, and he's not honest. He's committed to a "measured withdrawal" while I want a sudden one. He isn’t honest enough to admit the plain consequence of a withdrawal: a regional war. My view is that we'll eventually get this sort of chaos no matter what we do, because we've fought ourselves onto ground we can’t hold in the long run. I want to get out so that when there is chaos, we're not in the crossfire. Let the Chinese bleed to preserve "stability" in the Middle East.

But regardless, he lost my vote with his race speech. While I'm not convinced that Jeremiah Wright is a racist, his lies about America make it clear he is no patriot. I've watched his entire sermon leading up to his "God Damned America!" quote, and the longer context does nothing to mitigate the fact that he was exulting in 9/11. I actually subscribe to the analysis that says that that U.S. foreign policy contributed to the event, but that is far different from exulting in it as part of God's anger. Far different. So Wright is no patriot.

Neither is Obama. He's the sort of man that believes that simple love of country is too unsophisticated for his Harvard Law School sensibilities. But as the pictures and commentary on this post make clear, when lack of simple patriotism becomes a political liability - then the flags come out. He wasn't talking about race until his attitudes and associates get called into question. Then somehow it becomes something that requires a national dialogue.

To me it isn’t just the "controversial statements." Jeremiah Wright is a follower of James Cone's brand of Liberation Theology. As a Catholic, I find this deeply troubling. There is a reason that John Paul II publicly rebuked a Nicaraguan bishop on this matter. This is a theology that is rooted in Marxism, and it casts Christ as a political revolutionary for the oppressed, not a spiritual redeemer of all. So that is my problem with Obama - he is really a socialist at heart, and I can find nothing in any speech that disabuses me of that notion.

Geraldine Ferraro was right. Obama would not be where he is if he wasn't black. Obama has the Magical Negro schtick going. He's no more articulate than John Edwards, no more accomplished, no more committed to the Democratic Party's idea of "social justice." Obama is black, so for cultural reasons there are plenty of white people that credit him - based on words alone - with a certain wisdom and nobility because it fits into an Hollywood stereotype. Obama is all myth.

It's nice to know that as a white male I'm somehow a swing voter this year. But there is a reason the Democrats haven't won the white vote since 1964, and they probably won’t win it this year either. There is a certain limit to one's willingness to be the gravy train for someone else's idea of "justice."

So I won’t vote for Obama. Neither will I vote for John McCain. The last time I voted for a mainstream politician was my (proud) vote for Ronald Reagan. Until his like comes again, I'll continue to vote libertarian.


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reader_iam said...

Bob Barr today said he's going to seek the presidency as a Libertarian (the convention of which party is slated for Memorial Day weekend).

I'm curious about your reaction. Any thoughts?

Malik said...

How exactly is BLT "Marxist"? And don't the teachings of Christ imply the necessity for political change, at least where recognition of individuals' basic humanity is concerned, or do you see the Bible as being solely concerned with ethereal otherworldly matters?

Sweating Through fog said...


LT is Marxist because it believes that human salvation is impossible without radical political changes, the most important of which is the elimination of any inequalities of wealth, income or power between people.

I don't think the teachings of Christ are political at all. There were political radicals in Christ's time too - the Zealots, who believe in active resistance to Roman rule. Christ ignored them, and no he had no problem taking a tax collector as one of his Apostles.

I don't see Christianity as being ethereal and unworldly. To the contrary, Christians have a moral obligation to resist injustice in their personal lives, and treat people with compassion. LTs believe that political change will bring salvation; Christians believe that widespread salvation will bring political change. Very different.

Malik said...

Hm. My sense of BLT specifically, not LT in general (I'm not certain if it's fair or accurate to conflate the two), is that it contends that:

1) Jesus has a special measure of compassion for the poor
2) Jesus came to uplift the downtrodden and free the oppressed from tyranny
3)Jesus enjoins all men to resist injustice and promote compassion and righteousness and
4) Jesus seeks to restore dignity to the poor by bestowing upon them a spiritual identity that is independent of the castes and ranks created by men

I'm puzzled as to how you go from that to an intent to create absolute equality of wealth, or indeed any identity that equates personal worth with social status.

And as far as Christ's disregard for politics, I agree that Christ had little concern for anyone's political affiliations, and He was most emphatic that His followers and the custodians of the scriptures reject worldly affiliations and aims in their dealings with each other. One has to be candid and confess that on that score, the American church has failed miserably. And it is that failure that seems to me to be the central concern of BLT.

E said...

Obama has my vote for sure, he's more genuine than Edwards or Hillary.

Z said...

Yes, widespread salvation would bring change, I believe.

If nothing else, our presence in the Middle East is apparently changing muslim hearts to Christianity.

STF? If we left the ME as you say you'd like, what message do you think that would send the Iraqis, insurgents, Iran? Jordan, Syria?