Sunday, September 7, 2008

Reflections on Barack Obama


Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Middle East analyst Emanuel A. Winston discusses various sponsors and mentors who seem to have been behind Barack Obama’s meteoric rise to public prominence and who may have influenced his political orientation.

Among those mentioned are the anti-American author Khalid al-Mansour, the principle adviser of Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal; the notorious Columbia University Professor Edward Said, once a member of the PLO; and Syrian-born Tony Rezko, a Chicago politician who became executive director of the Muhammad Ali Foundation to spread Islam.

To the preceding one must add Obama’s mentor the Rev. “God-damn-America” Jeremiah Wright, whose church Obama attended for 20 years.

Winston rightly concludes that America is poised to elect a man to the presidency whose known mentors and sponsors put a lie to just about everything Obama has said on the campaign trail.

Winston adroitly refers to Senator Obama as a “Mansourian candidate.” Let me offer some other sobriquets that may give the reader a glimpse into Obama’s mysterious character.

1) Obama may be called America’s first cinematic presidential candidate. Witness the choreography of the Democratic National Convention with its backdrop of Greek columns.

2) Obama is a mesmeric candidate who uses language to convey not his convictions but rather to fascinate his audience and arouse their emotions—as would any actor. (Contrast the speeches of John McCain and Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention. Their words tell you who they are and what they stand for.)

3) Obama conveys an imaginary character, which prompts the individual to envision a leader who will overcome his own feelings of impotence. Hence Obama’s intoning the mantra “Yes We Can.”

4) Obama is a multicultural candidate, not because he is black—so is Alan Keyes, who is thoroughly rooted in the American tradition—but because he does not regard America as a Christian country. Never mind the professions and practices of all American presidents—above all George Washington. Never mind the Christian foundations of the American Declaration of Independence, which Abraham Lincoln deemed America’s “ancient faith.” All that which made the Americans a nation under God is remote if not foreign to the disciple of the Rev, “God-damn-America” Jeremiah Wright.

5) Obama may thus be deemed America’s first postmodern candidate. He rejects the idea of the nation-state. Has he not declared that he is “a citizen of the world”?

6) Like his inflammatory pastor, Obama is infatuated with his own oratory. He is a narcissistic candidate. His facial expressions or body language reveals arrogance and smugness.

Of course, these reflections on Obama can be contradicted by one or another public profession of the senator. But then, I have never accused him of consistency or of stupidity.


I’m afraid I have to revise my concluding remark about Obama, having been enlightened by an astute friend of mine.

In a speech, available on YouTube, Senator Obama said he had visited 57 states of the Union.

In another speech, also available on You Tube, Obama said his uncle helped liberate Auschwitz.

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