(Remember Your Servants, O Lord)
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Obama the Profound
In the October 15th Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Anderson reviews Charles Kesler's new book I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism. Says Anderson:
Professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and editor of the Claremont Review of Books, Charles R. Kesler says that Obama "is playing a long, high-stakes game, and it’s not at all clear he’s losing."Kesler reminds us of Obama's proclamation - like a new version of the Emancipation, stirring to some, ominous to others - in October of 2008, that "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." To which "Kesler cautions: 'Those words mean this will be a different country when he’s finished with it — a new land.'"
Now, Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope, is one of those things I will never read. But at one point, Kesler
highlights a passage from Obama’s The Audacity of Hope (2006): "Implicit . . . in the very idea of ordered liberty," writes Obama, is "a rejection of absolute truth." Yet the Declaration places absolute truths at the core of the American creed ("We hold these truths to be self-evident . . ."). In marked contrast, Obama — who, when reciting the Declaration’s language as president, has repeatedly omitted its reference to our Creator as the source of our rights — says, "Lincoln, and those buried at Gettysburg, remind us that we should pursue our own absolute truths." Kesler replies, "Our own absolute truths? Those words ought to send a shudder down Americans’ constitutional spine."Should, but don't.
I already knew this about the Christian Obama - that his relationship with truth was a completely feel-good, spur-of-the-moment, make-it-up-as-you-go-along sort of thing - but I am mildly aghast that in trying to lay out the case for it he had written such sentences. Even if ripped out of context, they are simply incomprehensible and cannot be made otherwise by putting the context back in. Perhaps in the phrase "ordered liberty" he was blinded to the 'ordered' and saw only the 'liberty,' which understood absolutely might lead him to think it was a thing without form until molded by individual desire. I have read only pieces of Lincoln's writing, but never took from it what Obama would have me. I did once read a short, book-length biography of him, and what I do know is that as yet a young man he developed and articulated to others his hatred of slavery. He was, shall we say, absolutely against it, because he thought it, you know, absolutely wrong. And how Obama manages to communicate with the dead at Gettysburg is known only to him and his medium.
I'm sure that in the book I will never read he gives it that missing context and explains it all to his own satisfaction, to the satisfaction, that is, of a third-rate orator in search of the soaringly profound, but whose stultifying mediocrity keeps him prisoner to all the liberal pieties of our time. In other words, he is incapable of saying anything that wasn't spoonfed to him by someone else who said it first. And again I can't help but wonder what kind of country this is that would choose such a man to be its leader.
I can't help but wonder what kind of country this is that would choose such a man to be its leader.
one of the things he was visibly happy about being able to do before he died was to vote for the first black president...he flat-out refused to believe that Obama would hold a position contrary to his own.