Friday, June 3, 2011

Obama, Israel and the Spirit of 68: The Leftist Takeover of the American Presidency

Thomas Sowell is a great economist and a great thinker. Author of dozens of books, including the widely used Basic Economics, Sowell is expert at puncturing the pomposity and self-congratulatory smugness of the Left. In this article, Seductive Beliefs Part II, he puts Barack Obama's disdain for Israel in its wider context.

What makes Obama tick is not in any way unique or novel. He is just like the millions of white middle class left-wingers, the generation of '68, in his view of the world. That world view is one of of resentment, envy, class division, anti-colonialism, anti-patriarchalism, anti-Westernism and anti-capitalism. It is a worldview in which the world is divided neatly into victims and oppressors; everybody must be one or the other. Victims are hardly even moral agents; they are just passive absorbers of the actions of the oppressors. Those who hold this worldview see themselves as, in Dostoevesky's acid phrase, "saviors of mankind."

Sowell writes:

Obama's declaration that Israel must give up the land it acquired, after neighboring countries threatened its survival in 1967, is completely consistent with both his ideology of many years and his previous actions as President of the United States.

Whether as a radical student, community organizer or a far left politician, Barack Obama's ideology has been based on a vision of the Haves versus the Have Nots. However complex the ramifications of this ideology, and however clever the means by which Obama has camouflaged it, that is what it has amounted to.

No wonder he was moved to tears when the Reverend Jeremiah Wright summarized that ideology in a thundering phrase-- "white folks' greed runs a world in need."

Israel is one of the Haves. Its neighbors remain among the Have Nots, despite their oil. No wonder that Barack Obama has bent over backward, in addition to bowing low forward, to support the side that his ideology favors.

Whether at home or abroad, Obama's ideology is an ideology of envy, resentment and payback.

Israel is not simply to have its interests sacrificed and its security undermined. It is to be brought down a peg and-- to the extent politically possible-- insulted. Obama has already done all these things. His latest pronouncement is just more of the same.

One of the first acts of Barack Obama as president was to send money to the Palestinians, money that can be used to buy rockets to fire into Israel, irrespective of the rationale for the money.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A photograph that should tell us a lot about Barack Obama shows him on the phone, talking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Obama was seated, leaning back in his chair, with his feet up on the desk, and the soles of his feet pointed directly at the camera. In the Middle East, showing the soles of your feet is an insult, as Obama undoubtedly knows.

This photograph was no accident. Photographers cannot roam around White House, willy-nilly, taking snapshots of the President of the United States as he talks to leaders of foreign nations.

It was a photograph with a message. No one would have known who was on the other end of the line, unless Obama wanted them to know -- and wanted to demonstrate his disdain.

Prime Minister Netanyahu's visits to the White House have been unlike previous Israeli leaders' visits to the White House, and certainly unlike the pomp and circumstance accompanying other nations' leaders' visits to the White House over the years.

After one of his meetings with Netanyahu, Barack Obama simply told the prime minister that he was going upstairs to have dinner. You wouldn't say that to an ordinary neighbor visiting in your home, without inviting him to join you.

Obama knew that. Netanyahu knew that. It was a calculated insult. And the American public would have heard about it, if so much of the media didn't have such a hear-no-evil, see-no-evil and speak-no-evil attitude in its coverage of Barack Obama.

Defenders of Obama have argued that Obama has not taken away all of America's aid to Israel and has maintained the America-Israel alliance - as if it were likely that Obama would be able, in two and a half years, to undo the ties between America and Israel that have grown up over more than half a century. But the American support for Israel is not something Obama created and it was not created by people like him. The Left has never supported Israel, even though, ironically, much of the intellectual leadership of Israel are themselves left-wing.

I would suggest that Obama's attitude is completely typical of those who have been educated in the humanities and social science departments of those Western universities that have been, in large part, taken over by 60s left-wing radicals. They share a set of prejudices, beliefs and perspectives which are cookie-cutter replicas of the worldview promulgated by the cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt School. Critical thinking is on the wane in contemporary universities and group think is on the increase.

Obama's worldview is the worldview of the academic establishment today. What we are seeing is the infiltration of the 60s leftists into yet another American institution: the presidency. Whether Obama or Hilary Clinton was nominated by the Democrats in 2008 is less important than the fact that the New Left, using Alinsky tactics instead of the old tactics of violence and confrontation, has come to control one of the two major parties in the United States.

The task for the Conservative movement in the US is to create the conditions necessary for the taking back of the Democratic Party by centrists and the way to do that is to make the leftist-controlled Democratic Party permanently unelectable. A giant step was taken toward that goal in November 2010. The string of defections from the Democratic to the Republican Party throughout the South was indicative of the fact that many local politicians perceived that the Democratic Party, as presently constituted, was finished in their area.

When enough Congressional districts are unwilling to elect anything but a conservative, the Democratic Party will be unable to gain a majority without a strong contingent of fiscal and social conservatives in its caucus. Then, when that contingent is big enough and finds a competent leader, it can drive the leftists to the fringes of the party and perhaps drive them out of the party. Only at that point will America be safe from leftist activism and only then will the cultural revolution that has been flowing for 50 years begin to ebb. And only then will America's finances be reformed in such a way that it will be safe from the economic collapse that threatens the European social democratic experiment.

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