Obama wants the government to redistribute wealth *UPDATE*

Traditionally, Americans conceived of taxes as a way in which citizens paid for basic government services that benefited all (such as defense, infrastructure, etc.).  With socialism, the notion arose that the government was to take from the rich (as defined by the government) and give to the poor (as defined by the government).  Since the Civil Rights movement, the American tendency has been to take from the rich (as defined by the government) and give to the victims (as defined by themselves).

Conservatives have been deeply suspicious that Obama desires the White House to achieve precisely this socialist agenda:  He wants to use taxes, not to provide funds for basic government services, but to take from those he deems rich and to give to those he deems appropriate recipients of government largesse.  (Let’s not pretend he’s just talking about the poor.  Hint:  ACORN.)

When Obama had his little conversation with Joe the Plumber, and went into his “spread the wealth” shtick, he pretty much gave the game away to those who were listening.  Large swathes of America, however, not just the die-hards, but the ones who want to feel good about voting for Obama, rejected the obvious, however, and claimed he was just talking about ordinary taxes.

How, then, can they explain away a 2001 Public Radio audiotape, which Pierre Le Grand found on the always useful Free Republic?  In it, Obama carefully explained that it’s a tragedy that the Warren Court was too conservative to upend the Constitution and redistribute wealth, but that it’s not too late to use legislation to achieve precisely the same goal.

And please note, Obama uses and reuses the word “redistribute.”  No hiding here behind colorful, user-friendly expressions such as “spread the wealth.”  What Obama clearly envisions is a government program that takes away your money (and your incentive to work hard and make it the American way), so that the money can go to those Obama deems worthy:

I’ll give Pierre Le Grand the last word:

[I]f we had an honest press corp stuff like this wouldn’t depend on people like me to find. But since we do not have an honest press corp thank you Free Republic!

UPDATE: If you prefer reading over listening, Michelle Malkin has a transcript of the core discussion.

UPDATE II:  Of, if you feel like discovering some Obama gems for yourself, there are lots more early interviews with the Obamessiah at the same radio station.  I wish I had the time to plow through some of them.  They look intriguing.

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Comments

  1. Mike Devx says

    Hmm, my post disappeared twice while posting. Let’s try it again! Apologies if duplicates!

    The lead headline at
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008

    (England newspaper ‘Telegraph’ web site) is:

    Obama’s 2001 interview reignites socialism fears

    So I checked out ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN to see if this story even appeared in their news or politics section. Nope! (Of course not!)

    So Obama’s focus on redistribution of wealth goes back to, at a minimum, 2001, and surely goes back much further. All those so-called conservatives putting their faith in Obama, that they hope he’s lying about where he wants to take the country… this must be reassuring to them.

    Actually, his redistributionist focus goes back much further. I found a video from my 1962 summer trip to Hawaii shows Ann Durham with her one year old child in a baby carriage, in a park.

    Obama Mama: Can you say, “Mommy”?

    One year old Obama: “Mommy!”

    Obama Mama: Good! Can you say, “Redistribution of wealth from the evil capitalist pigs”?

    Obama: “Redistibushin of wefth!”

    Obama Mama: Hmm. Good enough! Can you say, “Che”?

    (How did I make this videotape in the summer of 62 when I wasn’t born until November 62? After the media gets done investigating Obama’s past and vetting him, so the American people know who they might be voting for, I’m sure they’ll be right on it.)

  2. Tiresias says

    The most amazing part to me is that this Harvard Law-educated clown apparently thinks that “redistribution of wealth” is an area into which the Court SHOULD “venture.”

    Tells you about all you need to know about Harvard Law.

    It also tells you that this man operates from such a fundamental failure to understand this country, from a depth of ignorance so abysmal that it’s extraordinary anybody who’d ever been to school and once learned to read would consider him at all for any office in this society.

  3. BrianE says

    Mike,
    You should send that to SNL.

    On another thread Ozzie is concerned that:
    “Major Crisis + Relgious Right Congress + Relgious Fantatic as President = A Christian Nation”

    This is a more likely clear and present danger:
    Major Crisis + Democratic Congress + Marxist President=A Socialistic Nation

    I don’t expect our country to nationalize major industries in the next four years under an Obama reign, but efforts to nationalize the financial institutions or at least continue developing a “partnership” with government will gain momentum, especially since we opened the door by allowing the treasury department to trade bank stock for cash infusions.

    Even though all of Obama’s associates for the last 15 years have been committed marxists, I’m not sure Obama is necessarily wedded to that philosophy. But I can see a form of liberal facism developing. Most production will continue in private hands, though if the financial institutions are influenced by government edict, that would allow sufficient control of production for all practical purposes.

    Beginning in the 1970s, some historians and political scientists began to develop a broader definition of fascism, and by the 1990s many scholars had embraced this approach. This new approach emphasizes the ways in which fascist movements attempt revolutionary change and their central focus on popularizing myths of national or ethnic renewal. Seen from this perspective, all forms of fascism have three common features: anticonservatism, a myth of ethnic or national renewal, and a conception of a nation in crisis.

    If we accept this definition of facism, anticonservatism, myth of national renewal, and a conception of a nation in crisis we have all the ingredients in an Obama presidency to see the county radically shift in this direction.

    We are seeing a tide of anti-Republicanism, and leaving aside the argument that this is not conservatism, the media filters do not distinguish between Republican and conservative.
    We certainly have the conception of a crisis, and while real, once again the media filters are working diligently to create as much fear as can be extracted.
    That leaves national renewal– neatly brought to the American electorate in the form of Hope and Change. “This is the change we’ve been waiting for”. “Hope we can believe in.” The jingoism of the Obama campaign, the sheer hyperbole of the rhetoric and the public’s naive acceptance that Obama represents an empty slate upon which one can fill in dreams and turn them to reality should give every thinking American pause.

    I realize we must avoid getting hung up in our own conspiracies, but I think the old rivalries between the competing philosophies communism, socialism, facism have morphed into a single component– concentrated power by an elite group.

  4. Mike Devx says

    BrianE, I like your #3 a lot.

    Do you see any differences between your three-part definition of fascism and what Book is describing as “Statism” – where Statism replaces the old ‘ologies’ as a good word to use going forward to express the confict between “Statism” vs “Individualism”?

    Here’s a thought. Using existing crises to aggressively expand government power is one thing. Deliberately triggering crisis after crisis for the same purpose is a frightening idea.

    A frightened citizenry lose their will and become disoriented under crisis, become more pliable, less resistant.

  5. Mike Devx says

    >> Did you see this comment? Re your #4. It basically confirms both your statement and your concern… >>

    Yes, I saw it and the video a week or so back. I’m doubtful that the Communists/KGB have exerted that kind of direct influence since the 70’s, at the latest, myself. We have our own less effective agitators spreading our own ideas of free enterprise, individual responsibility and freedom, property and capitalism, through the world. FDR’s statists admired Stalin and the Communist model for its “effectiveness”, but I don’t think they were directly controlled. To me, it’s a battle of ideas in which right now the Statists are ascendant.

    My fear of deliberately triggered crisis after crisis has a whiff of black-helicopter ops around it. The fear is based on idealogues in control of our government, because idealogues always believe that the ends justifies the means, and *they* will deliberately harm us to advance whatever their cause is. And I am convinced that the primary description of Obama is “idealogue”.

  6. Ymarsakar says

    Obama will redistribute wealth to himself and his cronies. The problem is that many Americans buy the MSM propaganda that Obama will redistribute the money to the poor. Ain’t so.

  7. Ozzie says

    Obama will redistribute wealth to himself and his cronies- ymar

    What do you think occured durng the Bush/Cheney years? you don’t have to listen to the MSM, read a book. “American Dynsasty” is a great place to start.

  8. Ozzie says

    The Watcher’s Council submissions are up! Obama wants the government to redistribute wealth – Bookworm Room looks at the recently uncovered talk given by Sen. Obama from 2001 in which he argues for government to be more dedicated to transferring wealt…Soccder Dad

    My husband is a Republican and he’s not voting this year becasue of this sort of nonsense.

    Now Sarah Plain is saying that Obamaa would rewrite the Constitition, and citing this interview from 2001 as proof.

    Legal bloggers/scholars have tried to set the record straight, but it’s doubtful that the masses read them.

    Luckily, ABC News covered this, too :

    ABC News’ Imtiyaz Delawala Reports: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin went beyond her running mate’s recent attack on Sen. Barack Obama — inaccurately claiming that Obama called the lack of “redistributive change” during the civil rights movement a “tragedy” — and used Obama’s 2001 interview to insinuate that he wants to re-write the U.S. Constitution and appoint radical Supreme Court justices and judges who would confiscate the property of American citizens.

    At two rallies in Western Pennsylvania last night, Palin referenced at the top of her remarks a 2001 public radio interview with Obama that surfaced this week, in which Obama discussed the role of the courts in the civil rights movement.

    “There he was talking about the need for quote ‘redistributive change,'” Palin said on the campus of Shippensburg University Tuesday night. “Sen. Obama said that he regretted that the Supreme Court hadn’t been more radical. And he described the Court’s refusal to take up the issues of redistribution of wealth as a tragedy. And he said he also regretted that the Supreme Court didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers there in the Constitution”

    Obama had in fact argued the opposite in the 2001 interview, saying that the civil rights movement had become too focused on making change through the judicial system, rather than from the ground up through community organizations.

    But Palin used Obama’s words to follow an argument Sen. John McCain has made this week that Obama has long-advocated for “spreading the wealth.” “Obama says that he wants to spread the wealth,” Palin said to boos from the crowd. “In other words he thinks that it’s your job to earn the wealth and it’s his job to spread it.”

    But Palin then went beyond any argument McCain has made, using the 2001 interview to insinuate that Obama wants to re-write the U.S. Constitution and appoint radical Supreme Court justices, while also suggesting that under Obama, judges would confiscate the property of American citizens.

    Referencing the interview, Palin said, “So you have to ask, is this a suggestion that’s he’d want to re-write the founding document of our great nation to accomplish his goals. And what does that say about his ideas on future Supreme Court justices?”

    “Let me remind Barack Obama of something else. When judges don’t confiscate your property and your hard-earned — all of your hard-earned money and then re-distribute that, he may call that a tragedy. But I call it fairness and adherence to our U.S. Constitution,” Palin added later in her remarks.

    In the interview, Obama described one of the “tragedies of the civil rights movement” was that “the civil rights movement became so court-focused”.

    “I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways, we still suffer from that,” Obama said in the interview.

    When a caller asked whether economic redistribution should come through the courts or the legislative process, Obama replied, “I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn’t structured that way.”

    Obama’s 2001 interview made no mention of judges confiscating property. The Palin campaign did not provide clarification on what Palin was referring to with the remark.

    Palin said the 2001 interview revealed Obama’s “real ideology” and that his goal to “spread your wealth around” would only spread “scarcity and poverty and bureaucracy” and would stifle the country’s entrepreneurial spirit. She asked those in the crowd to support the Republican ticket to preserve the “uniquely American system that our founding fathers created.”

    “Sometimes in politics it’s those candid little moments that give us the whole picture,” Palin said at a second rally on the Penn State campus in State College, PA last night. “But our opponent’s ideological commitment to spread your wealth around has been tried in other societies, and the only thing it ever spreads is scarcity and poverty and bureaucracy, and it stifles the entrepreneurial spirit that made this country the greatest country on Earth.”

    The comments were similar to remarks Palin made at rallies this weekend in Iowa, where the Republican vice presidential nominee seemed to move from accusing Obama’s economic plans of having elements of socialism to also allude to the problems faced by communist systems.

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/10/palin-suggests.html

  9. BrianE says

    One of the criticisms of John McCains proposal to write down the mortgages of people in foreclosure to keep them in their homes is the seeming “unfairness” of the idea. I suspect it is conservatives themselves that are having issues with its fairness.
    It pits those who bought houses they could afford, making their payments on time against people who bought more house than they could afford, and for whatever reason have failed to make their payments. Whether this is a valid comparison or not, it’s perception that we are dealing with.
    Arguments of “we’re all in this together”, also don’t resonate with conservatives. The case is made that stabilizing foreclosures would lead to stabilizing home prices that would help everyone. But once again, the argument only resonates with those who might need to sell their house in the next few years. No one would argue that over time house prices will appreciate to pre-bubble values.
    McCain should make it clear that not everyone would qualify for the program, and there would be stipulations attached to the reduced mortgage.
    I would propose:
    Only primary residences, where the mortgage holder lives, would be eligible.
    The person must agree to live in the home for at least five years. If they sell before that time, any appreciated value of the home is returned to the government.
    A lien would be placed on the home that when the home was sold, any appreciation up to 50% of the original value of the mortgage would go to the government. Any appreciation above that amount would go to the seller.

    These requirements would answer the fairness questions, and meet the immediate goal of keeping people in their homes, with the expectation that the government would recoup some of the costs of administering the program.

  10. BrianE says

    “Obama will redistribute wealth to himself and his cronies. The problem is that many Americans buy the MSM propaganda that Obama will redistribute the money to the poor. Ain’t so.”- Y

    Mike re #4,
    I remember BW writing about statism vs individualism, but in my mind, many Republicans are statists, if that merely means accumulating power in the central government.
    The corollary would be corporatism. The government can continue to accumulate power through regulation without actually seizing the industry. Since tax policy determines economic policy (taxes either encourage a certain action or discourage it), with control of the financial industry, the government would for all practical purposes control the economy, since they would decide which industry gets money for expansion and which don’t.
    The only way a company could survive without government edict would be through private capital, but even that would tend to flow to portions of the economy that the government has blessed through financial edict.
    At some level corporations don’t care what form of government they operate in, so long as there is sufficient profit to reward investors. If the government becomes the investor, and doesn’t require a profit, it’s moot whether the company is state owned or private.
    To a committed socialist or marxist, controlling the means of production is non-negotiable.
    In the case of China, private ownership of business is allowed, including the buildings and equipment, but the state owns the land, and can be confiscated through eminent domain.
    I’m kind of rambling here, but to finish up, what Y said is true. The government will reward those who are part of the ruling class. What Ozzie misunderstands, or refuses to recognize is that the economy benefits when policies encourage capital expansion which obviously benefits the wealthy along with other segments of society. What Obama is proposing is the exact opposite, and certain groups will indeed benefit under his redistributorship principals, but it will be to the detriment of the economy.
    I found the quote during his Charlie Gibson, when he was challenged that raising capital gains taxes would hurt the economy.
    He said capital gains taxes should be raised regardless, because it was the “fair thing to do”. That certainly smacks of an ideologue, where class envy is so strong that the decision will have the effect of harming everyone, even those he claims to want to help, all in the name of fairness.
    Can facism include the sort of wealth redistribution that Obama contemplates?

  11. Ymarsakar says

    What do you think occured durng the Bush/Cheney years?

    Is that what your excuse is going to be when you vote for Obama? That just because Bush isn’t going for a third term, you need an Obama to match Bush’s cronyism. Not exactly pro-American.

    One of the sole things the government should do and get more power in is foreign defense. This requires a professional or large citizen army. When you have US military organizations able to help people in Katrina better than their state and federal agencies, this means that the government’s proper segments of power, military defense, is operating at such a high efficiency compared to the “domestic tranquility” branch that they are in essence engaged in a land war between each other.

  12. Ozzie says

    What Ozzie misunderstands, or refuses to recognize is that the economy benefits when policies encourage capital expansion which obviously benefits the wealthy along with other segments of society- Brian

    The past 8 years have involved crony capitalism at its worst and while Exxon/Mobile had the highest profits ever, Americans everywhere are suffering. And if you havent watched the 60 Minutes segment on the deregulaton legislation that was pushed through during the final day of the lame duck Congress in 2000, it’s worth your time.

    And while you may say that I dont understand, non-Murdoch owned entities such as the Financial Times and the Economist have backed Obama (with Sarah Palin, once again, being cited as a liability).

    This was from today’s Economist:

    The presidential election

    It’s time
    Oct 30th 2008
    From The Economist print edition

    America should take a chance and make Barack Obama the next leader of the free world

    “. . . [John McCain]The fiscal conservative who once tackled Mr Bush over his unaffordable tax cuts now proposes not just to keep the cuts, but to deepen them. The man who denounced the religious right as “agents of intolerance” now embraces theocratic culture warriors. The campaigner against ethanol subsidies (who had a better record on global warming than most Democrats) came out in favour of a petrol-tax holiday. It has not all disappeared: his support for free trade has never wavered. Yet rather than heading towards the centre after he won the nomination, Mr McCain moved to the right.

    Meanwhile his temperament, always perhaps his weak spot, has been found wanting. Sometimes the seat-of-the-pants method still works: his gut reaction over Georgia—to warn Russia off immediately—was the right one. Yet on the great issue of the campaign, the financial crisis, he has seemed all at sea, emitting panic and indecision. Mr McCain has never been particularly interested in economics, but, unlike Mr Obama, he has made little effort to catch up or to bring in good advisers (Doug Holtz-Eakin being the impressive exception).

    The choice of Sarah Palin epitomised the sloppiness. It is not just that she is an unconvincing stand-in, nor even that she seems to have been chosen partly for her views on divisive social issues, notably abortion. Mr McCain made his most important appointment having met her just twice.. . ”

    http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12516666&source=features_box1

  13. Ymarsakar says

    The past 8 years have involved crony capitalism at its worst and while Exxon/Mobile had the highest profits ever, Americans everywhere are suffering

    Were you a supporter of the relief provided by the National Guard, that waste of government spending you called them, provided in Katrina in the face of government corruption or did you refuse to make a decision one way or another?

  14. suek says

    >>The past 8 years have involved crony capitalism at its worst and while Exxon/Mobile had the highest profits ever, >>

    That may be true, but for every dollar Exxon acquired as profit, the US Government benefitted by 3 dollars. THREE! And the government never produced _anything_ for those dollars. Just raked them off the top.

    >>Americans everywhere are suffering.>>

    And that’s Exxon’s problem … how???

    Suffering … how? Unemployment rate is about the lowest it’s been throughout the last 30 years or so. Wages are up in real terms. In fact, it’s so good here, that we’re swamped with illegal immigrants in low skill jobs who see that even as illegals they can benefit more here than in their own native country. Obesity is one of our leading problems. So – how are we suffering??

  15. says

    During the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, any time blacks got too ambitious and made the establishment (old white men) nervous, the old white men cried “socialist” or “communist.” What they meant was, I’m loosing my privileged status. Martin Luther King Jr. was called a “communist” many times. This charge was investigated by the FBI and proven untrue.

    Have none of you read King’s “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” In 1964, King explained that while white people were satisfied with “progress,” blacks were seeking “equality.” The marches changed the laws, and whites were okay with that. But King said the fight for “equality” would not be won so easily. White people would resist because “equality” would cost more than they were willing to pay; it would cost them their status and their wealth. It might also mean costs for their children. So why are you shocked now that a black man is running for POTUS that he wants to “share the wealth”?

    This election is more about race than most people know. It is not about “socialism” or about “communism”; it”s about economic equality for blacks and other poor people (for King identified racism, poverty, and militarism as the “triple evils” that must be fought together). White people know that “equality” will require a loss of “their money,” and they won’t have that privilege and power, so they scream “socialist,” because they don’t want to see themselves as racists.

    When Obama has said, “power concedes nothing,” he is quoting Frederick Douglass. Obama knows his history. Do you? Black history is American history. Has America given equal power (and money) to her black citizens? Should She?

    If you believe in equality, vote for Obama. If you don’t think there’s a black America and a white America, if you don’t think there’s a rich America and a poor America, if you don’t think there’s an educated America and an uneducated America, You just think, there’s the United States of America, vote for Obama. If you think these divisions exist but shouldn’t, vote for Obama. It’s time for a change.

    If you like white privilege and the status quo (and more of the same), vote otherwise. If you enjoy pretending it’s okay to have poor people in a rich nation and if you want to blame that on someone who hasn’t had the capital (only they call it “money”) to start a business or get and education, if you enjoy calling such people “lazy” because that means you aren’t, then vote otherwise. In this country, you can vote as you will and should be able to do so. But don’t be so foolish as to pretend this isn’t about white greed and racism. Don’t look the other way and pretend God likes you better.

    From my blog http://helenl.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/hes-a-socialist/

  16. Ozzie says

    Suffering … how?- suek

    Hard Times Have Tent Cities Rising Across the Country

    “. . . It’s clear that poverty and homelessness have increased,” said Michael Stoops, acting executive director of the coalition. “The economy is in chaos, we’re in an unofficial recession and Americans are worried, from the homeless to the middle class, about their future.”

    The phenomenon of encampments has caught advocacy groups somewhat by surprise, largely because of how quickly they have sprung up.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,424881,00.html

  17. Deana says

    Helen –

    You say, “White people know that “equality” will require a loss of “their money . . .”

    So when I meet upper-middle class and wealthy black people in the America we have now (you know, the terrible America that treats non-whites so terribly and doesn’t permit them social mobility, and so on), how did they manage to come into the money they own?

    I mean, if white people have kept black people from being “equal” by refusing to share their money, then how did all of these black families and individuals come into money?

    You appear to think that achieving equality depends on money. If that is the case, then I am not equal to Obama. I don’t have the kind of money he has and never will.

    Deana

    One other thing, Helen. You claim that whites are afraid of being called racists. Well, I am one white person who no longer cares about that. You want to call me a racist? Go ahead. It no longer carries a sting.

    Obama and his campaign folks made it that way. They made it so that we cannot ask the big “O” a policy question or criticize his stance on issues without being portrayed as a racist.

    I value the ability to ask politicians questions so much that being called a racist for doing just that is a tiny, tiny price to pay . . . one that I’m more than willing to pay for that freedom and right.

  18. BrianE says

    “White people know that “equality” will require a loss of “their money,” and they won’t have that privilege and power, so they scream “socialist,” because they don’t want to see themselves as racists.”- Helen

    Actually, we scream marxist. As it was explained to me socialists want the government to control the means of production. But the socialist mantra is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his work”. A maxist takes it one step further, “To each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” In pure communism the state disappears and we have something akin to heaven on earth, where all operates in harmony.

    You make an assumption that equality=money. Does happiness=money? Does self-worth=money? What type of equality are you working for Helen? Equality of opportunity, or equality of outcomes. The latter of course is an impossibility, since each human is unique.
    Do you agree we can be equal without having the same amount of wealth? In fact, in the Bible James warns against people in the church holding someone with wealth in higher regard than someone obviously poor.

    A second fallacy in your statement is the assumption of a closed loop system. Wealth CAN be created. I don’t have to become poorer for someone else to become richer. This, of course, is a basic tenet of capitalism.

    So if Obama, or yourself, claims that I have to become poorer so that someone else can become richer, you and he are marxists. It has nothing to do with racism, it is a description of a person’s philosophy of economics.

  19. Ymarsakar says

    You make an assumption that equality=money. Does happiness=money? Does self-worth=money?

    Nice Catch Brian. People should check this out on Sarah Palin.

    But, I started out this post saying that Sarah Palin had inspired me personally. It is her personal story along with her political views and the drive to “do something about it”. She started out in the PTA, went to the city council, became mayor, voted in as governor and now on the national stage as the VP candidate. People can quibble about how and why she ended up on the national level, but I think she would have ended up there eventually. That last part is just icing on the cake. The important part of the story is that she was just a regular citizen with few political connections and little monetary backing who got into politics because she wanted to change things.

    And she did. That inspires me.

    Now, here she is, called out of near obscurity (accept for those of us on the blogs that had started talking about her almost six months before) to become the Vice Presidential Candidate. That is pretty inspiring. But, more than that, she has had every sort of terrible accusation thrown at her, challenges to her intelligence (though she has obviously been a capable administrator for a town and a state), attacks on her family, on her looks, on everything but her true beliefs and those only because all the other stories seemed to drown out any other conversation. Having been attacked, she still goes out on the trail, has determined to change her image and speak more clearly on the things she believes in. And, she seems happy and excited to be on the campaign trail talking to people about our elections and about ideas that seemed like they were old and dead. That inspires me.

    Like liberty and responsibilities are not burdens to be “relieved” by the government. The idea that your average American citizen, someone who hasn’t played politics for decades on end, who doesn’t have the support of big money backers (like the $1 billion Obama juggernaut) or party insiders, who hasn’t played the Washington game for decades, can actually become the vice president or president of the United States. Can be part of our political process that seemed closed off from normal folks. Something that, in fact, is a really terrible prospect in a Democatic Republic where the government is supposed to be “for the people, of the people and by the people.”

    People, including me, are cynical about our politics for a reason. We have created the thing that our founders feared most: an aristocracy out of monied politicians with high powered backers. As if those were the only people capable of leading our nation. People have been feeling disconnected for quite sometime. They feel like the government has been run by a limited number of people who have been happily raiding the bank for everybody but the general citizenry. The bailout is just one more example. That’s why so many are willing to vote for somebody like Obama who is promising to give them what they suspect everybody else has been getting.

    But, along comes Sarah and she actually speaks a near dead language: individual freedom and responsibility is not a tragic burden, but something to celebrate. Life is something to celebrate. Citizen participation in our elections and political processes is not a dead concept. The state does not owe us a lack of burdens and responsibilities anymore than we derive any of our freedoms from the power of the state. To pretend otherwise is to admit the eventual destruction of a free and Democratic Republic and potential slavery. Those beliefs inspire me.

    Peggy Noonan referred to Palin as a “vulgarization” of our politics. Multiple other elitist Conservative pundits followed suit along with a huge number of liberal opinionators. I say “elitist” because their views are the very views that our nation rejected over 200 years ago. The idea that only a certain kind of person with a certain education and background could possibly be capable of running our country. They cannot comprehend why thousands of people would show up to see her. Is it the novelty of a woman running for office? That she is “good looking” as Parker ascerts? Maybe its her overly happy, slightly jingoistic attitude towards the “serious” business of national elections?

    Well, it is because Palin is a novelty. She represents one of the first times in a long time that “We the People” actually have a candidate in any national slot who is from “We the People” as opposed to a candidate from “Some of the People”. That inspires me.

    As a member of the “vulgar” hoi poloi, if Sarah Palin is the “vulgarization” of our politics, let me just say…I LIKE IT!

    Link

  20. Ymarsakar says

    I am one white person who no longer cares about that. You want to call me a racist? Go ahead. It no longer carries a sting.

    Human beings cannot live under perpetual terror. One either submits to it eventually by breaking down and obeying that fear to get rid of it or one builds up a tolerance to fear and can start ignoring it.

  21. says

    Helen: I get the feeling that, while you have a great love for blacks, you don’t respect them very much. You’re quite certain that, given the same opportunities as whites (there’s you equality) they won’t make it. You’ve imposed a handicap on them, and as far as I can see, it’s color related.

    I know a little about the handicaps people come with, having grown up in the SF Bay Area. I saw the people who escaped from Cambodian death camps, and from Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” and Cultural Revolution. They arrived here starving, not speaking the language, foreign to the culture, and the victims of both gross and subtle discrimination.

    Despite those handicaps, they and their children have done spectacularly well. I think they were rather lucky that cultural do-gooders and community activists ignored them and let them succeed without being oppressed by the implicit disdain in automatic and continuing government handouts.

  22. Deana says

    Want a good laugh? Take a look at Jules Crittenden’s latest on why he’s voting for Obama:

    http://www.julescrittenden.com/2008/10/30/why-im-voting-for-obama/#comment-76832

    The part that relates to the discussion we are having in this post is quite good:

    “Unfortunately, America is still a fetid swamp of frothing racism, as the New York Times, the AP and even many credible media outlets have taken pains to point out.

    So maybe it is time for America to take the next step. Some people might say, yeah, OK, Obama’s black, but he’s not experienced enough. Community organizer, state senator, showed up on the national scene five minutes ago, no executive experience. I think you have to ask yourself, does that really matter?

    The issue, when you’re trying to end racism, isn’t whether he’s up to running the country and the world or not, or whether all his friends are left-wing wackjobs, or whether his ideas make any sense, or even whether he actually believes anything he says. It’s whether he’s black or not, and that’s pretty well been established. OK, biracial, same difference. What do you think the last 40 years of affirmative action have been all about?

    Anyway, Obama has a stodgy old white geezer in the jump seat to make sure he doesn’t do anything too radical or, I dunno, too young or too black, I guess. At least I think that’s why he picked Old Hairplugs.”

    That’s so excellent.

    Deana

  23. BrianE says

    Deana,
    That should be required reading.

    “You know what Mom always said, if everyone else was jumping off a cliff …. But maybe it is time, right now, in 2008, to do what everyone else is doing. Shrug, say what the heck, get on the Bush-bashing wagon … you have to admit, that does look like fun … and finally acknowledge what the deep booming voice from that opening in the clouds with all the blinding rays of light has been telling us. Obama is the Anointed One.”

  24. says

    Bookworm,

    Actually I respect black people a lot. And I do think that given the same opportunities as whites, they will make it. I can’t imagine what made you think I thought otherwise. They’ve made a life with less. Why should I think they can’t make a better life with more?

  25. Deana says

    Helen –

    Why in your view do black Americans have to be given more than all other Americans in order to ensure that they “make it?”

    How have all of these other immigrants, many from Africa, make it if America is so greedy and racist?

    Deana

  26. says

    Deanna beat me to it, Helen. That’s precisely what I would have said. Your words indicate that you want to treat African-Americans as a special class, which implies that you view them as a special needs group.

  27. Mike Devx says

    Brian said,
    >> To a committed socialist or marxist, controlling the means of production is non-negotiable. In the case of China, private ownership of business is allowed, including the buildings and equipment, but the state owns the land, and can be confiscated through eminent domain. >>

    Brian, well, if the means of production must be *explicitly* controlled, then Obama would not be a socialist nor marxist. His ilk are perfectly content to rely on taxation, regulation, and pure government power (and its threats) to exert all the control they need. If you want to call this “corporatism”, go right ahead. Whatever we call it, it is the State in control of every aspect of production in the nation; gathering in every and all forms of taxation that they *wish*, and which will inevitably grow ever larger as the economy degrades and then collapses. All of this is inevitable because it is what these kinds of people *do*. They cannot help themselves. A worker works and cannot help it. A Statist steals and cannot help it.

    It’s the pious justifications for the theft that turn the stomach.

  28. suek says

    Deana…

    There’s a problem with the Black and right link.

    Not your problem, I suspect – I tried to get there from the search page, went to “zo.black and right” page where it was on the blogroll, and that didn’t work either. Then tried directly from the search page, and got the same error page (error notice 500, whatever that is!)

Trackbacks

  1. Submitted 10/29/08…

    The Watcher’s Council submissions are up! Obama wants the government to redistribute wealth – Bookworm Room looks at the recently uncovered talk given by Sen. Obama from 2001 in which he argues for government to be more dedicated to transferring wealt…

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