Obama's Scarier friends:
These friends are scary for two reasons:
Reason # 1: They were Obama's earliest friends, when his political ethos was being shaped. Opinions and positions that are consolidated at a younger age are more difficult to dislodge or change. If his allegiances matured into coherent awareness with these people influencing his thinking, then it is legitimate to wonder how far he has really travelled in casting them aside, how genuine and deep are his new understandings.
Reason # 2: That they are scary has less to do with Obama and more to do with his supporters.
So far I've encountered two types of arguments which Obama's supporters advance in defending him against the charge of his past scary friends. One argument claims that a man's associations and friendships have nothing to do with his own character, beliefs or conduct. Therefore it is unfair to judge Obama by looking at his friends.
The second argument re-enforces the kind of anxiety which I noted above, in reason #1: it is an attempt to cleanse these friends of their radicalism and antisemitism by claiming that they are authentic, basically right-on-target in what they say. They have good reasons to hold the positions they do.
In trying to explain Obama's more recent disavowal of these friends and their stated positions (whether antisemitic, anti-American or anti-Israel), these supporters state unabashedly that it is a temporary political ruse with the aim of getting to the White House. And this ruse, they say, is completely legitimate. Obama is allowed to lie in order to become president. It is what all politicians do. It is this kind of thinking that explains Jesse Jackson's more recent comments or Louis Farrakhan's continued adoration of Obama the messiah.
So this second argument, in fact, agrees with Obama's critics but differs in that it regards lying as a sanctioned tactic. These people see nothing wrong is lying to potential voters or in their tacit assertion that therefore Obama is a liar, and a good thing, too.
For those Obama supporters who have no problem with a presidential candidate lying, I have only this to say:
Dante, in his descent into the Inferno, reserves his worst, hottest circles for the fraudulent, those who act against their fellow-human beings out of malice and by doing so, work at loosening the very bonds of trust that attach one human being to another, trust being the glue that keeps societies, communities, families and friends, coherent, functioning and benevolent. So in Dante’s Hell, those who gnaw at these bonds, like panderers, flatterers, hypocrites and falsifiers, are considered worthy of the choicest punishments.
So I fully expect these Obama rhinoceroses, who mitigate for antisemites and terrorists and so easily attribute to Obama their own deviant propensities of lying and falsifying, to find themselves in due time in one of those locations mapped out in the Inferno.
Later update: By some coincidence, Breath of the Beast posted a short account touching upon the same issue of Obama's scary supporters:
"Then a fellow reporter across the table said: "I think a president with roots in the Koran would be a good thing. I'm sick and tired of Christians … well maybe I should stop there."
I said: "Yes you should stop there. I'm not a Christian but I am sick and tired of liberals' kneejerk demonization of them."
Then the conversation mercifully shifted.
There it was: the breath of the beast.
First, let me be clear. Though I believe Obama poses an economic, cultural and national security threat to the U.S., I do not think the threats he poses have "roots in the Koran." Though, Louis Ferrakhan's praise of him is deeply troubling.
Still, I could not believe what I had just heard. "A president with roots in the Koran would be a good thing?"
The ignorance of that statement took my breath away. Did my colleague have any idea what Islam has in store for him?"
Obama's Reassuring Friends
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Obama's Scarier friends: