Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama the Intellectual

By Alan Caruba

Anyone who has ever studied history knows that intellectuals have been the cause of more misery in the modern world than any other group.

It was an intellectual, Karl Marx, who decided he could cure the ills of society by coming up with an economic system designed to redistribute a nation’s worth by destroying every pillar of human society and assigning all power to the “state” which is, of course, composed of very imperfect humans.

The result, Communism, has killed more people than all the wars in modern times and been the source of such misery as to defy description. Other forms have included Fascism and the watered-down version, Socialism. None of them work. All of them make people into beggars, forever trying to manipulate the system for their advantage.

The latest version is the charade of sending economic “stimulus” checks to taxpayers instead of letting them keep they own money and decide how to spend it.

Did you know that Harry S. Truman was the first U.S. President who did not attend college? Compare the remarkable legacy he left behind to that of Woodrow Wilson, a former president of Princeton University and Governor of New Jersey. Undoubtedly a man of intellect, he also managed to lay waste to every institution he led. The wreckage he left behind at the Treaty of Versailles following WWI led inevitably to WWII.

By comparison, Truman and the men he selected to serve the nation rescued Europe from Soviet domination after WWII, began the transformation of Japan and Germany into democracies and thriving economies, saved South Korea from communist domination, and are remembered for the Berlin Airlift that defied the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

So now the nation is being asked to elect a classic intellectual, Barack Hussein Obama, to lead us and, typically, he has no idea about the lives of ordinary Americans holding jobs, raising families, and trying to survive the idiocy of several previous administrations that have left the nation hostage to foreign oil and locked in battle with the worst elements of resurgent Islam.

I personally take some comfort that John McCain finished far down in the bottom half of his class at Annapolis. Smart enough to graduate, smart enough to fly fighter jets, smart enough to rise in the Navy’s command structure and tough enough to survive five years of torture by his North Vietnamese captors. Despite his differences with his own political party and inclined toward the element that greases any government action, compromise, McCain offers the capabilities and character that suggests an understanding of human nature.

Compare this with Barack Obama whose interpretation of the 9/11 attack on America was due to “a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers.” If Obama took the time to learn why Osama led the attack, he would have discovered that in 1998 he was a leader in the World Islamic Front for Combat Against the Jews and Crusaders. Since the Koran repeatedly commands attacking unbelievers and killing apostates to Islam, Obama has demonstrated extraordinary ignorance and foolishness.

Indeed, Obama attributed the attack and its lack of empathy to feelings that grow “out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.” Bin Laden is a university graduate with a degree in engineering. He comes from one of the wealthiest families in Saudi Arabia. His close associate, Ayman El Zawahiri is a doctor of medicine. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who planned the attack is a graduate of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University with a degree in engineering. Mohammed Atta who flew one of the airliners into the World Trade Center was a graduate of Cairo University, an architect. They were neither poverty-stricken, nor ignorant.

They are or were intellectuals who took great pleasure in destroying the lives of 3,000 Americans and bringing down two great skyscrapers in New York and destroying a big chunk of the Pentagon.

In a similar fashion, Obama expressed the view that Americans in “small towns in Pennsylvania and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest” are guided by feelings of bitterness. “They cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

In short, Obama hasn’t a clue about ordinary Americans who go to church, may enjoy hunting or the concept of self-defense, and are angry with a government that has done nothing to stem the flow of illegal immigrants who will deny jobs to Americans and drive down their wages in the process. Americans are not anti-trade. They buy stuff from China and everywhere else in the world if the price is right.

Obama’s stint as a community organizer managed mostly to make a number of Chicago developers wealthy without improving the lives of those he was supposedly trying to help. He got himself elected to the Illinois legislature where he was reluctant to vote much of the time and then to the U.S. Senate where he has served less than half of his first term in office, having devoted himself solely to getting elected the next President of the United States. His attendance record in the Senate is worse than a joke. It is an offense to those who elected him.

He is, in a word, clueless.

This is a common characteristic of intellectuals who are convinced they know how everyone else should live their lives and convinced that only an all-powerful central government can and should determine the content of those lives.


Unknown said...

There are definatly two qualities a person has "book smarts" and "street smarts"

I have observed that to much of even a good thing is bad. I have seen loving fools, compassionate fools, etc.

Solid people ussually check and balance their qualities so "street smarts" works to balance book smarts, and vice versa. Or equanimity balances loving friendliness something like that.

Its true though that large numbers of book smart people can not exist on their own two feet with any wisdom. They ussually have to hide behind some institution to take care of them.

Modern day liberalism is definatly a very scary "group think" that frowns upon concervative "street smarts"

I enjoy reading your articles very much. They have helped open my eyes from the cultural liberalism my generation was born into.

Alan Caruba said...

Thanks, Justin. I write mostly to help clarify issues and discuss the events and personalities who can have an effect on our lives for good or ill.

Nonin Stone said...


Thank Longstreet's mention in an article at TCV for steering me to your article here. I've long appreciated your contributions there and frequently comment.

I have no love for pseudo-intellectuals and think that assigning Obama even that much "credit" is a stretch.

His lack of genuine intelligence comes to the fore whenever we listen to his off-the-cuff remarks in which he attempts to explain his positions.

Coherent thought quickly disintegrates into vague yet important sounding little speech globules that ultimately convey no information and, I might add, is a trait shared by his adoring throng.

I doubt we can overcome the momentum of the socialist movement which began in earnest when the UN, through UNESCO and the teachers' unions, began hijacking our educational system during the 1940s.

Two generations of "world mindedness" and "fairness" brainwashing leave us at a disadvantage when trying to reason with those who never learned how.

My most recent tactic has been to attack the proposed policies stated right on his website, point for point, then challenge his defenders to discuss them or argue against my position.

Needless to say, takers are nearly nonexistent.

Keep up the good fight, Alan.

Alan Caruba said...

Thank you, Nonin. And an official welcome to Warning Signs.

I have a suspicion that enough voters are going to feel uncomfortable with Obama in the weeks ahead to turn the tide against him.

Your observation that he has trouble putting a simple, declarative sentence together when left to his own devices is going to become very noticable.