The Tide of History
By: Eddie Clements
Today, January 20, 2009, marks the beginning of a new era for America. Poor John McCain! He was born at the wrong time. He could no more have defeated the first black presidential candidate than he could shovel back the ocean with a fork.
I have written previously some deserved and now, it appears, some undeserved criticism of the McCain presidential candidacy. On reflection, the thought occurs that if he had been born just a few years earlier, McCain might have nosed out George Herbert Walker Bush and been Ronald Reaganâ€™s vice president, following with a presidency of his own. Such would have been a delicious twist of fate given that George W, Bush, son of the elder Bush, defeated McCainâ€™s 2000 candidacy. Instead, his candidacy came at a time when the baby boomers have been displaced by the Gen-Xâ€™ers. God truly works in mysterious ways.
Credit must go to Mona Crowley appearing on Fox Newsâ€™ Oâ€™Reilly Factor just last night for supplying new insight. Obama, the blank slate upon whom the new generation could project their own values, such as they are, has the good fortune to be able to claim blackness. He is hip, cool, computer-literate, and decidedly non-traditional.
McCain must have appeared irretrievably decrepit against Barack Obama. McCain represents the old values, including such things as patriotism, sacrifice, determination, and tradition, the last being the most damning of all. While Obama chose to be a lawyer, this is hip enough under the new paradigm of litigiousness to achieve what cannot be achieved through negotiation and compromise. Gen-Xâ€™ers will brook no compromise; witness their reactions to Obamaâ€™s cabinet choices. The most virulent opposition, however, was invoked by choosing Rick Warren to give the Inaugural Invocation. What an insult – a traditional religionist, the quintessential enemy of modern liberalism!
Not that Obama is a good or even qualified candidate, quite the contrary! He had to manipulate his way into the Illinois state legislature under one of the most dishonest political systems in the U.S. To win a Senate seat, he had to eliminate his competitor Jack Ryan by unsealing sealed records, smearing his opponent rather than running an actual race. Through deception in the primaries, and some grassroots work, he barely managed to overcome the previously thought inevitable Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. His campaign for president was marked by evasion, deception, avoidance â€“ the only way he could maintain viability. Add to that the poor campaign McCain ran, plus embarrassingly fawning press coverage, and viola! We are subjected to a person so flawed he still only got 52% of the popular vote, when a qualified, honest black candidate in todayâ€™s atmosphere would have gotten 60% or more.
Obama used the language of the past to enrapture legions of followers, gathering many voters in the middle who would reject strident leftism. Rather than speaking in absolutes like removing the right to bear arms, raising tax burdens, and promoting same-sex marriage, he spoke soothing, non-committal rhetoric meant to inspire and uplift. He made appeals to those emotions we all like, sounding positive, unifying, and above all, freshly different. Where it was needed, he spoke the language the left would appreciate: our military as murderers of innocents, failure of Republicans, greatness of America through government, oil bad, rich bad, alternative energy good, environment good.
It is so clear now. This explains the vicious attacks against Sarah Palin, McCainâ€™s vice presidential candidate. She is about Obamaâ€™s age, but represents the same value set as McCain â€“ identified by Gen-X as ossified thinking. She is in the slang of my youth a â€œsquareâ€, meaning not hip. The liberal press could not allow this challenge to the assumed validity of the new liberal paradigm: no God, no guns, no glory. The tide of history is overtaking the America that embraces tradition and respect, principle and integrity, self-reliance and upward mobility. These are considered old hat by the left, and Palin personifies these values. McCain could be forgiven as a holdout to the old standards because his age put him beyond the ability to understand values of the new left. Not Palin. The ultimate insult is that she is of the same generation as the new left; she had to be crucified as a heretic.
The values of the new left are those that have resulted from over a generation of propaganda from sixties radicals. They include the message that we and the rest of the world are all victims of an America that is imperial, material, racist, and violent. Years of changes in pedagogy have taken a toll on solid values, resulted in instilling the need for self-esteem. Self-importance has replaced self-awareness; courtesy has evolved into political correctness. The left holds â€œequalityâ€ as the prime goal, which no longer means equality of opportunity but of outcome. Political representation must be allocated by reflection of numbers in the populace, not who is best qualified through proven record of accomplishment; for example, the call for more ethnic minorities, more women in the Senate. Money should be equally distributed in theory, or everything should be free. Money is an acceptable means of determining relative value, but only as it relates to personal worth. Thus, it is OK for multimillionaires to proliferate through Hollywood, or be rock stars; that is art. Wealth derived through conscientious business practice, like work or stock trades, is capitalist and exploitive. The truly sinful sinner is an oil man, like Dick Cheney.
All these things and more have resulted in a mental and emotional mix which allows the voters to reject analysis of the relative accomplishments and qualifications of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. The left is not affected by deception; the ends justify the means â€“ when it is the left that gains the advantage by achieving the means. When those in opposition achieve their ends, even if done fairly, the left continues the posture of victim.
Obamaâ€™s Inaugural Address sounded like a campaign speech. While he spoke, I was thinking this is truly the representative of liberalism: shallow, self-absorbed, high-sounding rhetoric, devoid of content, unable to forego criticism of preceding events. My Russian wife said it was more appropriate for Lenin in the 1920â€™s, making the transition from Tsarist Russia to something completely different. Leninâ€™s new thing held promise as well, but turned out more oppressive and murderous than Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Surely Senator McCain and President Bush took exception to the part about their representing the old politics of fear and divisiveness. We can only hope Obama is as effective at deceiving world leaders into thinking we are strong as he is at deceiving American voters into thinking we are so weak we need to change everything. It would be preferable to respect the man as well as the office, but the new President makes it difficult.
It should be noted that President George W. Bush may have his faults. Conservatives are rightly upset by some of his doings, from nation-building to legislative programs, but not nearly as much as the deranged left. Democrats, press, and other liberal detractors attacked President Bush mercilessly for eight years, never offering so much as a begrudging wish of success for his Presidency for the good of the country. Wishing Obama success is an implied requirement before adverse comment can be considered legitimate. The new President still has not presented for examination a birth certificate showing he is a native-born citizen, a basic Constitutional requirement. We can only assume by his reticence to produce the document that it would disqualify him. Which one is the illegitimate president now? We can be comforted by the knowledge that George W. Bush is a better man than all his most vicious critics combined.
This is Americaâ€™s future; the torch has been passed. Toward the end of the Inaugural Address Obama said one thing certain: the ground has shifted beneath our feet. Woe to us that didnâ€™t see it coming, and heed the call for renewal â€“ just like Tsar Nicholas II. The near-term outcome is uncertain, meaning the next hundred years or so. The final outcome is known, we just donâ€™t know exactly when. God will reveal both when the time is ripe.