A Living LieBy Thomas Sowell
An e-mail from a reader said that, while Hillary Clinton tells lies, Barack Obama is himself a lie. That is becoming painfully apparent with each new revelation of how drastically his carefully crafted image this election year contrasts with what he has actually been saying and doing for many years.
Senator Obama's election year image is that of a man who can bring the country together, overcoming differences of party or race, as well as solving our international problems by talking with Iran and other countries with which we are at odds, and performing other miscellaneous miracles as needed.There is, of course, not a speck of evidence that Obama has ever transcended party differences in the United States Senate. Voting records analyzed by the National Journal show him to be the farthest left of anyone in the Senate. Nor has he sponsored any significant bipartisan legislation -- nor any other significant legislation, for that matter.
Senator Obama is all talk -- glib talk, exciting talk, confident talk, but still just talk.
Some of his recent talk in San Francisco has stirred up controversy because it revealed yet another blatant contradiction between Barack Obama's public image and his reality.
Speaking privately to supporters in heavily left-liberal San Francisco, Obama let down his hair and described working class people in Pennsylvania as so "bitter" that they "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."
Like so much that Obama has said and done over the years, this is standard stuff on the far left, where guns and religion are regarded as signs of psychological dysfunction -- and where opinions different from those of the left are ascribed to emotions ("bitter" in this case), rather than to arguments that need to be answered.
Like so many others on the left, Obama rejects "stereotypes" when they are stereotypes he doesn't like but blithely throws around his own stereotypes about "a typical white person" or "bitter" gun-toting, religious and racist working class people.
In politics, the clearer a statement is, the more certain it is to be followed by a "clarification," when people react adversely to what was plainly said.
Obama and his supporters were still busy "clarifying" Jeremiah Wright's very plain statements when it suddenly became necessary to "clarify" Senator Obama's own statements in San Francisco.
People who have been cheering whistle-blowers for years have suddenly denounced the person who blew the whistle on what Obama said in private that is so contradictory to what he has been saying in public.
However inconsistent Obama's words, his behavior has been remarkably consistent over the years. He has sought out and joined with the radical, anti-Western left, whether Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers of the terrorist Weatherman underground or pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli Rashid Khalidi.
Obama is also part of a long tradition on the left of being for the working class in the abstract, or as people potentially useful for the purposes of the left, but having disdain or contempt for them as human beings.
Karl Marx said, "The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing." In other words, they mattered only in so far as they were willing to carry out the Marxist agenda.
Fabian socialist George Bernard Shaw included the working class among the "detestable" people who "have no right to live." He added: "I should despair if I did not know that they will all die presently, and that there is no need on earth why they should be replaced by people like themselves."
Similar statements on the left go back as far as Rousseau in the 18th century and come forward into our own times.
It is understandable that young people are so strongly attracted to Obama. Youth is another name for inexperience -- and experience is what is most needed when dealing with skillful and charismatic demagogues.
Those of us old enough to have seen the type again and again over the years can no longer find them exciting. Instead, they are as tedious as they are dangerous.