Obama: A Man of Class
I couldn't help but notice a recurring pattern in the words and actions of Barack Obama which led me to the following thoughts...
In the world of Barack Obama, nearly everything seems to be a "class struggle". It's the poor against the rich, the haves against the have-nots, the exploited against the exploiters. It's labor versus management, consumers versus the capitalists, and sometimes even blacks against whites. You can see it in nearly every speech or statement he makes. It's the little guy on Main Street versus the Fat-Cats on Wall Street. It's the innocent patient versus the devious, tonsil-removing, limb-amputating doctors. It's the sick and dying versus the greedy, inhuman, health insurance providers. It's the educated black college professor against the brutish white Cambridge Police thugs. It's the affluent, West-Coast, politically correct, urban elite versus the average, Mid-Western, gun-toting, Bible-clinging small-town xenophobes. It's the dedicated national teacher's union versus the destructive school voucher advocates.
In the world of Obama, there are very few individuals if any. For him, there are only classes of individuals. When Obama refers to an individual by name, it is generally to define what class of people he wants to talk about. For example, he might say: "Mr. So-and-so wrote to me to tell me how he was getting screwed over by the such-and-such evil bastards." Or, he might say: "I was talking to Jane Doe the other day, and she told me how upset she was because some other evil bastards were screwing her over." By describing the individual's situation, Obama establishes a class distinction, puts a warm fuzzy face on it, and then pits that class against the "bad guys".
I would even dare to say that Barack Obama may perhaps categorize Sasha and Malia in the "children" class and Michelle Obama in the "wife" class. I believe that in Obama's world, there is really only one individual, and that individual is Obama himself. He is "the one" that America has been waiting for. He is "the one" that the world has been waiting for. He was destined to "remake America". He was the one who would "fundamentally transform America". (As if America needed "remaking" or "transforming".)
Of course, the concept of "class struggle" is a Marxist proposition, and it should come as no surprise that Barack Obama embraces it. He was raised in part, by a mother who was at the very least a Progressive Secular Humanist (but more likely a Communist sympathizer). He was also raised in part by his maternal grandparents who were themselves Communist sympathizers. He was mentored throughout his youth by a self-avowed Communist and labor activist. In college he admits to choosing his friends "carefully", which included "Marxist professors". He admits to attending "socialist conferences" and becoming despondent over the rifts he encountered among varying Marxist factions.
But a basic question we have to ask ourselves is: how much of this class struggle nonsense does Obama sincerely believe in, and how much of it has he made up along the way. I would posit that he genuinely accepted everything he learned from those around him during his childhood and youth. That formed the basis of his "class struggle" beliefs, and he is indeed a socialist at his core. But when he became a community organizer in Chicago, then everything changed. He read "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky and was trained in Alinsky's methods. One of his trainers, Mike Kruglik, said that Obama "was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation".
At the heart of the Alinsky method is the concept of "agitation" - making someone angry enough about the rotten state of his life that he agrees to take action to change it; or, as Alinsky himself described the job, to "rub raw the sores of discontent."
--Ryan Lizza, The Agitator, 19 March 2007
At this point in his life, he was no longer talking about the old Marxist "class struggle", but he was now creating new class distinctions on the fly in order to rile up specific individuals against specific institutions regarding specific situations. He employed these tactics to further the agenda of the organizations he then supported. Later, as a politician, he would employ those same tactics to further his own political agenda.
It was these tactics of agitation that Obama would use to rile up the nation in 2008 against George W. Bush and the Republicans to get himself elected President. On becoming President, he did not stop using those tactics. He started out blaming others for the situation our country was in, and continues to blame others to this day, even for his own mistakes. He continually pits one group against another in order to score political points.
It is the same in regards to religion. For Obama, it is the "Muslim" class versus the "Christian" and "Jewish" classes. He issued an unwarranted apology to Muslims for America's past behaviors. He praised Islam's culture and achievements during a speech in Egypt. He bowed before the Saudi king. He honored Muslim tradition by taking off his shoes when entering a Turkish mosque. Conversely, he felt no qualms about insulting America's 80%+ Christian population by stating that America is "not a Christian nation". He also had no qualms about demanding that all Christian symbols be covered before he made a speech at Georgetown University. Likewise, he demanded that Israelis unilaterally halt all construction activity in East Jerusalem in order to placate the Palestinians.
Foreign affairs is no different. For Obama, it is the "Authoritarian Enemies" class versus the "Democratic Allies" class. His foreign policy has consisted primarily of reaching out to our enemies who are ruled by authoritarians, while snubbing our allies which are democratic. He has reached out to Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro and Zelaya, while snubbing Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy, and Benjamin Netanyahou.
The original Marxist "class struggle" was primarily vertical in nature: rich capitalists in charge at the top, and poor working stiffs at the bottom. Similarly, the American racial "class struggle" was likewise vertical: whites in charge at the top, and people of color reaching up for equality. But Barack Obama has created new class struggles that are diagonal: rich, white Republicans (upper right) against poor, Democrats of color (lower left); and rich, urban liberals (upper left) against poor, small-town conservatives (lower right). He has even created some that are horizontal: middle class labor union workers (left) against middle class tea party conservatives (right). And a few that defy easy identification: Doctors against patients, small businesses against bankers that won't give them credit, and the religious and foreign policy types mentioned above.
This process of continually creating new class struggles has resulted in some unfortunate dilemmas for President Obama. For example, he had to reach out to those mean, tonsil-removing, limb-slashing doctors so he could use them as props to help sell his healthcare reform legislation. And, after authorizing big bonuses for executives of banks and financial institutions, public backlash caused him to label them as greedy, Wall Street Fat-Cats in need of greater regulation. And, after labeling small-town, Mid-Western people as xenophobes, he used them as props to get his stimulus package approved because they were a good example of the "unemployed" class.
Continually fabricating new class struggles has also resulted in the unintended consequence of forcing Barack Obama to lie more often. Yesterday's "greedy doctors" are today's "respected medical professionals". The ACORN people that yesterday Obama stood shoulder-to-shoulder with and "worked along side of", he can no longer remember having much involvement with. Yesterday's military who were "air-raiding villages and killing civilians" are today's "honored heroes". The war in Iraq which was a disaster under George Bush will now be one of Obama's great success stories.
Since taking office, Barack Obama has flip-flopped on any number of issues, and at least once within mere hours. He has broken an untold number of campaign promises, and he has reversed himself on statements that he made long before he started to run for President. His actions have managed to offend almost everyone and have pleased almost no one.
This is the world of Barack Obama, and frankly... it's not a very classy place.