July 25, 2008
A Runaway Ego is Barack's Blind SpotBy James Lewis
Every political campaign has its weak spot. Every human being has his own blind spots. In politics and war, it's those blind spots that eventually make for victory or defeat. When an opponent discovers that weak spot, he just needs to hit it over and over again to win.
In Iraq, Al Qaida's blind spot was its penchant for bloody random killing of innocent civilians. It turned the tribes against AQ. Every time they car-bombed another peaceful marketplace they made more mortal enemies. That's why they lost.
For Barack and Michelle Obama, the biggest blind spot is Ego Tripping -- the temptations of boastful grandiosity. It's Obama's need to be seen as Jesus Christ Superstar. They have to "remake the world," "stop the rise of the oceans," "we are the change we've been waiting for." The Obamas keep getting drawn into that blind spot, even when it's not smart politically. Arrogance is their Achilles' heel.
That's why the PR rally in Berlin drew them so magnetically.
A Nuremberg-style mass rally in Germany is not exactly the natural stage for an American presidential candidate to strut his stuff. It's exactly the opposite of the usual politician's schtick in America. "I'm just a little ole country boy" assures the voters that you don't have the swelled head.
Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Jimmy Carter, even an egomaniac like LBJ knew that much. But the Obamas don't seem to care. The temptation of Ego Tripping overwhelms their common sense.
Amazingly, both Barack and Michelle seem to suffer from real feelings of inferiority. Michelle is a Princess of Privilege -- Princeton University, Harvard Law School and her 300K job today. And yet, she tells us that she spent years feeling bad about being black in America, as she told the world in her undergraduate thesis, at the very time when blacks are moving ahead faster than ever before in human history.
That is more than a little bit bizarre. It's completely out of touch with her own external reality. Ninety-nine percent of the American people would be thrilled to have Michelle's opportunities in life.
Obama's two (count 'em, two!) autobiographies are all about his sense of inferiority. "Dreams of My Father" really has to do with the ego crunch of being abandoned by one's idealized father; it's a tough thing for any kid. Obama's mother was also an intermittent presence, and abandonment is the overwhelming theme of his early life. "What's wrong with me that my parents aren't here?" That's what abandoned kids end up asking themselves.
Only Barack's grandparents and a series of father figures made up for that yawning gap, and that was never enough. So Obama discovered his (made-up) racial identity as a solution -- he would Save His People to fill that hole in his soul.
Obama is a mixed-race man who has no American slavery in his family past; growing up in Hawaii he never encountered Jim Crow segregation. But Obama chose the identity of American black victimhood in spite of his very favored life.
Obama's messianic persona, his need to Save His People, was his way of filling that childhood hole in his soul.
Barack's run for President is his big chance to make up for those haunting feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness. So for the Obama campaign, grandiose ego display is the answer to persistent feelings of being small and insignificant.
Barack is constantly trying to convince himself that he is OK. The outside world is just a crutch to prop up his self-esteem. But the US Constitution says nothing about the Presidency serving as psychotherapy.
All of us feel small at times -- certainly when we are little kids. We spend the first decade of our lives literally looking up at adults, and wondering about their amazing powers. So we all have the seeds of feeling small and weak. If we are lucky we outgrow those self-doubts in a healthy way. If we're not so lucky, those feelings of helplessness can haunt our adult lives.
One of the deep perversities of Leftist ideology is to seek out those sad and helpless feelings we all encounter and reinforce them, so that the worst emotions begin to dominate the lives of Leftists. That's what "Black Liberation Theology" is all about. It aims to take feelings of inferiority and redirect them into rage and hatred at the enemy, real or imagined. The new pastor of Obama's Trinity United Church, Rev. Otis Moss IV teaches his congregation that
Telling people that their natural skin is diseased, or is perceived to be diseased by the majority of Americans, is the essence of destructiveness. Talk to any teenager cursed with pimples, and you can see how it hurts. The Rev. Moss is the trained successor to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and this is standard BLT.
Hitler appealed to a defeated Germany, feeling immensely inferior after losing a generation in World War I, punished by the Versailles Treaty, aggravated by the Depression, hyperinflation and the breakdown of the German middle class. Hitler's slogan One Land, One People, One Fueher was a formula for fixing Germany's self-esteem. You drown your personal identity in those three supra-individual identities, and you'll end up feeling stronger and more confident.
But you have to give up personal autonomy and individual judgment in the process. That's the danger of substituting race-gender-class victimhood for one's own inner strength.
If you listen practically every single Sunday (as Obama once claimed he did) to Rev. Jeremiah Wright telling you how bad you really are, you end up having all your self-doubts reinforced. You are weak and helpless, and without your saviors you are nothing. It keeps the Revs. Jeremiah, Jesse, Otis and Al in business.
Feminist demagogues drum the same message into teenage girls, gay demagues do the same to gays, it's all standard Marxism 101. If you didn't start off feeling worthless, you'll end up feeling that way after 20 years of weekly sermons. That's around 2,000 sermons. And you'll know exactly who the enemy is that you need to beat and humiliate to recover your stolen self-esteem.
It's the most successful con-job in history. It's worked in one way or another throughout human history.
The question is: Will Obama's amazing arrogance be noticed by the American people?
I think that, very quietly, they know by now.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/