Many non-Americans are perplexed by the political scene in America. It can indeed be a bewildering and complex situation. I wish here to throw a bit of light on this topic, specifically on the issue of religion and the American Presidential race.
It goes without saying that anyone who wants to make a serious run for the Oval Office in the US must at least mouth some religion, and give the appearance of being somewhat religious, if not specifically Christian. This is because of the fact that despite the growing secularism in the US, especially among the ruling elites, the average American is still quite religious.
So as expected, the two Democratic hopefuls, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are seeking to present themselves as Joe Average, replete with religious bona fides.
The truth is, however, both of the Democrat challengers are far from religious, and certainly far from being Bible-believing Christians. They are typical liberal Democrats who in fact look down on ordinary Americans and their religious values.
A great example of this came from the lips of Obama last week during a private fundraising talk given to a group of donors in San Francisco. Speaking of small-town Americans, he said this: “It’s not surprising that they get bitter. They cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment.”
Of course Hillary thought this a good chance to distance herself from her arch rival, although the two are identical twins when it comes to such elitism, secularism, and snobbery. She denounced Obama for his remarks, and tried to play up her down-to-earth religious background.
The high point of all this was when a reporter afterwards asked her this revealing question, “When was the last time you fired a gun or went to church?” Hillary, whose face turned various shades of red within a split second, simply changed the subject, and said such a question was not relevant to the race to the White House. This had to be one of the great moments of the election campaign. It was a classic Clintonism.
Thus both Presidential hopefuls are typical Democrats: they have a condescending view of most Americans and their deeply-held values, yet they are willing to bend the truth and distort perceptions in the effort to be seen as religious, and therefore, electable.
Either candidate will be bad news if they win the election in November. Much can be said about both, but let me here focus on Obama for the remainder of this article. Black American commentator Thomas Sowell had a great piece on him recently, and is worth quoting at length. He begins,
“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.”
He continues, “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.”
Sowell then discusses the San Francisco talk: “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.”
This contempt of the working class is regular fare from leftists: “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.”
Sowell concludes, “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.”
We all can be grateful that this private remark of Obama’s was made public. It is good to know who we are really dealing with. Another American columnist, Michelle Malkin, refers to Barack as “Snob-ama”. Not bad. Of course Hillary does not fare much better, so future articles will have to zero in on her as well. Stay tuned; we are in for an interesting ride over the next six months.