Belmont Club

Point of view

Have a seatIn many Third World countries it is customary for the local leftists to demonstrate in front of the US Embassy in order to denounce it as a hell on earth. Once embarked on their ritual demonstrations, almost nothing can move them; not police truncheons, water cannon nor tear gas will normally suffice. However, there is one surefire way to empty the streets of demonstrators, if anyone cares to try it. A consular officer simply has to get on the public address system an announce that the gates of the Embassy will be opened for exactly five minutes and that the first 5,000 who fall in line will be granted visas to the USA. That will clear the streets. Guaranteed.

Recently, Barack Obama’s homeless half-brother was found living in a Kenyan slum, living on less than a dollar a day. If Barack Obama had grown up and lived in Kenya, rather than in the USA, maybe his life, despite his obvious talents and aptitudes, would have been dramatically different. From the news accounts, Obama’s half-brother, George Hussein Onyango Obama, certainly doesn’t seem to deserve the life that he leads. He presumably shares in Barack Obama’s genetic heritage, which means an above average, maybe even a gifted intelligence. George is brave. “I have seen two of my friends killed – I have scars from defending myself with my fists – I am good with my fists.” He is proud. “I live like a recluse, no-one knows I exist.” He never asked his famous older brother for help. Of their second meeting George said: “It was very brief, we spoke for just a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger.” Nothing is obviously wrong with George. Yet, as the Mail Online writes, “the difference in lifestyle could not be more dramatic; one has toured the globe meeting influential world leaders with an army of bodyguards while the other defends himself on his own with his bare hands.”

The difference probably lay less in the differences between the two brothers than in the opportunities open them. One could say, “I am good with my fists.” The other could say, “I am an American.” One could be shot with impunity by the police. The other travels on the famous blue passport. Michelle Obama, who lives in a Chicago mansion, might say, perhaps with justification that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country.” Others in the Third World, even, leftist activists, would die to become part of it. Granted the viewpoints aren’t the same, but at least they should be aware of each other’s existence.

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