Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama: The Politics of Showmanship

By Alan Caruba

For political theatre, there is no denying that the speech Sen. Barack Obama delivered in Berlin drew a huge, adoring crowd and was filled with the kind of talk intended to impress, not just Berliners, not just Europe, not just America, but the entire world that a new leader has appeared on the scene to work miracles.

Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director summed it up best when he pointed out that the same speech could have been delivered by Sen. John McCain because its content was ideologically the same in many ways. The critical difference is that McCain is imbued with the values of a family that has fought to protect American values, American freedoms for generations.

Both believe that industrialization and modern society is contributing to a climate apocalypse of melting Arctic ice and rising sea levels. Both believe the free world must defeat Islamofascist terrorism. The former is a corruption of science. The latter is the single most important issue of our times. At one point, Obama sounded a call for Iran to relinquish its nuclear weapons ambitions.

“People of the world, this is our moment, this is our time…”, said Obama, followed by an echo of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, citing freedom from fear and freedom from want. The other freedoms Roosevelt cited on January 6, 1941 were freedom of speech and expression, and freedom to worship as one chooses. Islam opposes both.

The date of the Roosevelt speech is worth noting because eleven months later, on December 7, 1941, the United States suffered a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan, plunging it into World War Two. Congress declared war against Germany as well. Not since those days has a craven Congress formally declared war on any nation despite the Constitutional requirement to do so.

Roosevelt had called for “a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-- anywhere in the world.”

In Berlin, Obama made a similar call for a reduction of nuclear weapons, but this ignores the fact that once invented, no technology can be un-invented and a new technology can be used for good or evil. It took a nuclear weapon to end Japan’s aggression.

The notion that nuclear weapons will be reduced or the threat of their use be eliminated is no more plausible today than FDR’s wish for a reduction of armaments in 1941. Those in leadership positions seem to feel they have to say such things, but they know better.

Obama and McCain should know better when they talk about global warming and say stupid things about either of the poles melting or rising sea levels. Talk of reducing carbon emissions is baseless given the fact that carbon dioxide plays virtually no role in climate change. The Earth has been through any number of ice ages, has seen mass extinctions of life, and, after 4.5 billion years, continues as the only place in our galaxy with life forms as complex as ours.

An estimated 100,000 gathered to hear Obama and one cannot help but be reminded that Germans gathered in the 1930s to hear another spellbinding speaker. That one plunged Europe into war. The urge to be part of a huge movement is a powerful component of the human psyche, but that doesn’t mean that any good will come of it. As often as not, it has led to bloodshed and misery.

So listening to Obama toss off phrases about “global citizenship” and the need to “share the benefits (of wealth) more equitably” because such wealth should not “favor the few” tended to get my attention amidst the bursts of applause. That is the promise of communism, not capitalism.

When I hear Obama talk of welcoming immigrants I think of the twelve million or more here in America living illegally and parasitically off native-born and naturalized Americans. There are good reasons why nations have borders.

When I hear him say that “this is our moment, this is our time” I think that this is always everyone’s moment, everyone’s time, and that is an individual thing, not something to be melded into a vast collective ideology that will ultimately destroy individual rights, human rights.

What we are witnessing is the showmanship of politics. What we are hearing are ideas and beliefs that obscure the same dangerous ideologies that have caused so much conflict and misery that, if we fall prey to the theatrics of Barack Hussein Obama, we will surely pay a fearful price.

© Alan Caruba, July 2008


Doug said...

Oops. 11 months later, on Dec. 7, 1941. But you knew that....

Alan Caruba said...

Thanks, Doug. I was writing at the speed of light and probably was thinking September 11th, 9/11, because I surely do know Pearl Harbor was December 7, 1941. I appreciate your calling this to my attention.

davefxx said...

Regarding the previous two posts, I guess you fixed whatever the problem was (looks OK).

Good article, with some very well turned phrases. However, I see two problems with this one:

"Earth ... continues as the only place in our galaxy with life forms as complex as ours."

1. Despite tantalizing hints, there is no other place at all that has confirmed life forms.

2. SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has explored only a tiny fraction of our galaxy, so we still don't know what might be out there. I'd say the odds that we're alone, even just in our galaxy, are not high.