The “new politics” of Barack Obama are leaving many Americans lost in his dust. Traditionally they may have been categorized— and understood themselves to be— “liberals,” “conservatives,” “progressives,” “Republicans,” “Democrats,” and “Independents.” Not so surprisingly, a sizable majority of MSM pundits also have no idea what Obama means by a “new politics.”
But it is proving altogether unsettling for these various sub-groups of the electorate, having been so thoroughly and completely indoctrinated in the “Left-Right-Centrist” Meme of politics as usual that they can’t see themselves defined any other way, to suddenly find Barack Obama is not following their calcified notions of what they think he should be, and how he should behave. A few weeks ago Karl Rove was all by his lonesome calling Obama “arrogant” and “elitist” (read: “uppity”); now the fickle mouth breathers of teh illiterate electorate are having to change their intellectual underwear almost every week, and they don’t like it one bit.
Yo Yo: What ever your old political notion was of Barack Obama, he is not definable that way, anymore.
It has nothing to do with the dissection of political decision making by attributing it to left, right, or center, and it never did. These crude demarcations of political ideology never really yielded a true picture of the real values that form the basis of the decisions of a Barack Obama, or any other politician. Obama’s recent decisions have the various segments of his supporters, and his opponents, attempting to hammer them into the increasingly meaningless meme of the old politics, by whining “He’s tacking teh the center,” “He’s betraying the left,” “He can’t be trusted,” “He won’t go to Bagdad,” He’s just another liar,” “He’s a fundamentalist Christian!” blah, blah, blah— Because the MSM, and even some of the progressive blogosphere, still insist on seeing the political world through the grossly cynical but fading paradigm of the old politics. Thank you, Dick Bush; your legacy is upon us.
It is inevitable that a presidential candidate who actually has a living relationship with Christ will eventually make his way to the White House. The tacit and superficial toleration of the inconsequential religious lives of recent presidential candidates and presidents (save perhaps Jimmy Carter) is symptomatic of an even bigger problem, and it has left the electorate unprepared — even the secular and religiously educated intelligentsia— for what they might expect from an Obama presidency.
Many who were initially inspired by Obama’s leadership abilities and personal charisma haven’t really grokked what he’s been saying about his religious convictions, in his books or in his speeches. Those who have been paying attention, if they are agnostic secularists or even religious secularists, are flabbergasted and confused by his commitment to following the truth— as he sees it, not them or more specifically, their political creed— wherever it may take him. Why is anyone shocked they barely hesitate to turn and rend him, his pearls be damned.
There are numerous comments at places like Alternet and HufPo where one can read the whining superficial loyalty to Obama, now that he’s beginning to “refine” his opinions in ways that don’t nuzzle up to the secular left’s butt cheeks. A couple examples.
Obama also may be undercutting his claim to be a straight-shooting, new-politics candidate as he repeatedly breaks with his liberal base on various issues to aggressively move to appeal to the center of the electorate.
Liz can’t help but fall into the “center of the electorate” pit; it’s just too easy to assume Obama’s principles are as jello-like as any other politician’s; he can’t really believe his own decisions are based on real principles, can he??
I selected this comment from Susan of Texas at HufPo because she riffs on a “true believers” stereotype and father substitution, while throwing in a little personal peccadillo she harbors on authoritarianism:
He says everthing [sic] that is right, but what he actually does conforms with his authoritarian leanings. He is extremely competitive and ambitious; he wouldn’t be the nominee if he weren’t. He gew [sic] up without a father and substitutes his “heavenly father” to make up for the loss; he is a true believer. And we all know how dangerous they are.
Setting aside for the moment the lack of personal religious experience at the heart of so many of Obama‘s critics both inside the democratic party and out, let’s focus on her notion that Obama says everything that’s “right, but. . .” Ask yourself why he says everything that’s right, if he really means none of it? The deeply ingrained cynicism of such a view is of course, lamentable, but ultimately it’s the insinuation that Obama is a shallow, lying deceiver just like Bush, Cheney, or Rove, that he has no real values at all, that smells up the place. Such a lack of discernment results from a completely debilitated ability to trust, and is the ultimate cost of cynicism.
“And we all know how dangerous they are.” Let the term “True believers” be defined here as anyone on the planet with a genuine spiritual awareness through their own personal religious experience. To every appearance, Obama is such a person. But “dangerous”? True believers in Jesus actually believe “Love your enemies” is a superior philosophy to “kill your enemies.” Hence, Obama’s commitment to withdraw from Iraq, and not launch American wars of choice.
And his recent decisions, which have caused a chorus of caterwauling among some of his supporters, probably the same ones who recoiled at the spiritual fervor Obama engendered in many of his other early supporters, are all positions that place the highest values of a truth-driven political prodigy right out there for all to marvel at, or complain about. Discuss.
“He g[r]ew up without a father and substitutes his “heavenly father” to make up for the loss; he is a true believer“
Non-religious minds can plop out such a thoughtless notion because it seems so logical. But anyone who truly knows God as a Father does so, not to fill the physical void of an absent or inadequate earthly father, but because they have already learned the value of such a divine Father through their experiences with an earthly father figure. Every child is wholly dependent on his parents and the home life for all his early concepts of everything intellectual, social, moral, and even spiritual; all that he can first know of either human or divine relationships comes from the family. Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father, makes it reasonably clear that most of that guidance came from a loving Grandfather, Grandmother, Father, however briefly, Step-father, and Mother all of whom, to my mind, must have done a superb job, based on what little we can observe of Obama’s spiritual relationship with God as a Father.
America’s political ship has steamed out of the sheltered bays of established old-politics tradition, and has begun its perilous cruise upon the high seas of evolutionary destiny. The only real question is, does America want Obama— a genuine religionist— the “real deal” at the helm, or McCain— a genuine fraud. As never before in our history, the soul of America had better carefully scrutinize the charts of our highest shared values, and therein find the trust the new captain will need from us if he is to steer us true.