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Barack Hussein Obama: What’s in a Name?

Sometimes a name tells you all you need to know.

by
David Solway

Bio

October 29, 2012 - 12:02 am

His acolytes, naturally, see the man by no means as a sort of ideological wyvern or the product of a politically ectopic gestation, or as in any way extraneous or aberrant, but as a Promethean hero intent on breaking the shackles of the past. However, regarded not as a radiant departure from hidebound tradition, as we have been urged to believe, but as an invitation to think twice about the substance of the man, the name should be considered as cognate with the person. They go together in more ways than one. As David Goldman writes, “Obama is an alien intrusion into American political life, a Third World anthropologist profiling us.” He is profoundly out of synch with the main thrust of American values and traditions. America is made up of people of all the races on earth, any one of whom ideally might be president, but Obama exemplifies a fundamental cultural difference that is incompatible with the American essence — at least such as it was before welfare liberalism began its surreptitious advance. His fundamental disparity from the vast majority of U.S. presidents in his orientation to America as an idea, and in his philosophical understanding of what America has been, is now, and should be in the future, is blatant. As Charles Kesler observes in his recent book I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism, Obama embraces “tortuous doubts about American exceptionalism” and “seems to lack both the citizen’s pride and the immigrant’s gratitude.”

Contrary to the media portrayal of his Yankee bona fides and his penetrating intelligence, Obama’s knowledge of America and the world is alarmingly superficial. He may enjoy an ornithological interest in Sesame Street, but such erudition scarcely qualifies as presidential. As Victor Davis Hanson observes, he is a man for whom “Austrians speak Austrian, Hawaii is in Asia, Afghans speak Arabic, the Maldives lie off Argentina, there are seven additional states, servicemen are zombie corpse-men, and Kansas twisters kill 10,000 at a time.” But it is worse than that, for Barack Hussein Obama, with his still occluded or disputed origins, his hermetically sealed records, his Alinskyite training, his Indonesian youth, his diehard, America-hating, Leftist mentors like Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, and Jeremiah Wright, his determination to “fundamentally transform” America, his “You didn’t build that” philosophy, his persistent blaming of others for the failures of his administration, his penchant for frivolities like late-night talk shows, his emphasis on racial and class divisions rather than national unity, his palpably willing reliance on the Democrat vote-fraud machine (even the liberal Pew Charitable Trusts estimates many millions of invalid, illegal, or inaccurate voter registrations which Obama’s DOJ is determined to keep in place, patently serving the president’s electoral prospects), his campaign to water down key components of the American Constitution, including, as some fear, the gradual abridgment of the First Amendment, and his clear partiality for the culture of Islam, which his fawning and historically inaccurate Cairo speech and subsequent actions and friendships, as noted below, render unmistakable — this man simply does not belong in the grand tradition of American republicanism and American public comportment.

Former Muslim Nonie Darwish, author of the new book The Devil We Don’t Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East and president of FormerMuslimsUnited.org, is of the same mind. “For 4 years the Obama policy was not on the side of America as it should have been,” she writes. “Unlike any American president, Obama spoke softly to enemies of America while holding a stick to the American people” (italics mine). “Obama’s legacy,” she continues, “will be empowering radical Islam, both in the Middle East and inside America, at the expense of freedom of speech and American power.” She elaborates her thesis in a subsequent article dealing with the Benghazi fiasco: “we have an American president who refuses to make the American people the number one recipient of his empathy…to me, an American born and raised in Egypt, I see many similarities between Obama and Arab leaders I grew up with.” Then comes the clincher: “Obama would be best described as the first Arab president.”

Plainly, the relationship between the White House and the American public should be more or less symbiotic rather than intrinsically predatory or discrepant. Darwish and Goldman are correct. There is something foreign and incongruous about Obama, as if he were not simply an exotic departure from business as usual, but a political trespasser poaching on another’s cultural property, a stark deviation from the norm.

It is noteworthy that 68% of his campaign donations consist of illegal foreign traffic — the campaign is being fed largely from elsewhere, from other individuals, institutions, cultures, and nations with a stake in the American election. Obama represents not a continuation of American history and political life but a menace to its integrity and endurance. Goldman’s conclusion is chilling: “He has done more to undermine America’s standing in the world than any president in history, and the consequences of his re-election are horrible to mention.” Or in the words of economics specialist Monty Pelerin, the country is at an “inflection point” where it will be determined “whether we continue to veer off-course or return to a conventional path.” Obama may be a Marxist interloper, an oleaginous egoist, a closet Muslim, or an incompetent ideologue, but most of all, as Pelerin writes, he “represents an existential threat to the way of life of the American people.” When Obama in a 2008 speech referred to himself as someone who would be a “different kind of president,” many did not realize the irony inherent in his act of self-promotion, for he proved indeed to be a different kind of president, that is, a president different in kind from any of his predecessors.

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