September 15, 2010
Obama, the Academic ZombieBy John Kelly
For those who've struggled to find out what makes Obama tick, the mystery is over. It's simple. His beliefs and values fully embody the same philosophy in which the vast majority of American university faculty members are fully invested. He promotes, with near perfect predictability, their left-wing, collectivist, counter-American viewpoint. There are thousands and thousands of academics out there gripping a similar playbook.
Those observers who missed this point early on either went to college long ago or dutifully studied a narrow curriculum and failed to scrutinize the cultural inclinations and revolutionary intentions of their Oz-like academic surroundings. Only now are some waking up to find that "we're not in America anymore."
Obama is the child of two Ph.D.'s, and other than having been a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, he has no appreciable practical work experience. Given his upbringing's remote fatherly attention and his rejection of his mother's native culture, it may be safe to say that Obama is more truly a progeny of academia than he is of either of his natural parents.
One writer currently claims Obama is channeling his father's Kenyan anti-colonialism. More accurately, it is the groupthink of academia to which Obama is fully assimilated and loyally patriotic, not America or Kenya. Academia is the foster parent of the entire Woodstock generation, culturally orphaned from their WWII-fighting parents whose shoes they never could fill.
There is a natural tendency for those of any given profession to encourage the technique and culture of same. The militarist will support a chain of command and promote defensive readiness. The religious leader will prescribe faith and offer guidance. The athlete will promote physical exercise and a daily routine.
Accordingly, the academic will replicate the domineering teacher-student relationship and reject out of hand all notions not academically, and these days, politically, correct. Today's dominant academic culture promotes large government, wealth redistribution, and a stylishly green and globally socialist point of view. To them, American borders and culture are irrelevant.
Simply put, Obama is and wants almost everything that regular, self-reliant, non-academic Americans aren't and don't want.
Webster's provides a definition of "academic" as "merely theoretical; having no direct practical application." Since there are few social or economic theories that have proven as unworkable and impractical as leftist collectivism, it is fitting that it is currently academia's most widely ascribed-to theory. Obama's dogged fidelity to left-wing ideology makes him the model president for today's academia.
The left did not always dominate academia. Before the 1960s, its culture was less a student of its own conclusions. The "me" generation of Viet Nam war-protesters come to infest and then dominate the academy, enforcing a cultural litmus test. The academic credential itself has come to overshadow experience, individual merit, and character as a prerequisite to success. While the academic vision once saw the university as a fountainhead of scholastic truth, it now sees itself as the force of human correction.
Obama has carefully sought out and surrounded himself with advisors whose professional lives are nearly void of practical experience. Considerations that are patriotic, Judeo-Christian, militaristic, capitalistic, or free market-oriented are unquestionably irrelevant to Obama's bloated administration of arrogant, academic social planners.
Obama's personal characteristics make him today‘s quintessentially desirable academic. Being biracial makes him a diversity model. Being youthfully slight and unmarked makes him appear metrosexual and pacifistic. His (occasionally black) verbal cadence and lawyerly delivery give him a popular and assuring listenability. Obama's marbled religious background is as multi-denominational as a university hospital chapel. The curious confiscation of so much of his personal documentation coupled with his untouchable minority status produces in him the unassailable air needed in the leader of a stealth revolution.
Obama's legislative centerpieces are constructed to be like huge mythical tomes of the Ivory Tower -- books which we are to revere and obey, yet are too vast for us to fully decipher. Rather than sell the country on one of several carefully considered solutions, he seems to issue directives based on preordained doctrine. When Obama must compromise, it is a slow and torturous process. There is a sense with Obama and his academic cadre that Americans have fallen into Wonderland's rabbit hole and are whirling, unstable and uncertain, while being forcefully attended to by blind visionaries bent on dictating the madness of a hellish and impossible utopia.
It is doubtful that history's great movers could have included leaders like our modern academics. Teaching has been long regarded as secondary in importance to actually doing. Most of us whose parents were too old for Woodstock grew up with the saying, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." Had Thomas Edison forsworn business, joined academia, and spent his life teaching the theories of batteries and conductivity to the world's young, he might never had developed the light bulb. His less commercial career would have been more politically correct, though his students would have had substantially less light by which to read books after sundown.
Obama is spooning out a "hope and change" medicine, and the American public is rushing to the back of the line to receive it. This isn't a first for academic prescriptions. If art imitates life, then consider the literature, music, painting, and films of academic favorites like Alice Walker, John Cage, Agnes Martin, and Stan Brackhage. If you are drawn instead to the artistic output of Willa Cather, Aaron Copeland, Andrew Wyeth, and John Ford, you won't be alone, unless you're at a fine arts faculty meeting. The fact that communism, along with whiny lesbian literature, dehumanized atonal music, paintings consisting only of 112 almost identical paintbrush-strokes, and abstract movies of grass stuck in peanut butter have failed to be great popular successes is, according to leading academics, a sign of American's domination by ignorant and unsophisticated Tea Party types.
As America's professor in chief, Obama considers American citizens mere students who can be easily chided and condemned as disruptive if they dare to ask a confounding or disruptive question. This is why he likes to say "the time for talk is over" and that arguments against his policies are products of a "network of misinformation."
Obama's Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, says he wants to "coerce people out of their cars." Speaking about how Americans generally don't like Obamacare, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius insidiously stated, "We have a lot of reeducation to do." Maybe instead of building reeducation camps with money borrowed from China, we can just ship Tea Party Americans directly to Chinese reeducation camps.
Academia, via government, has become so aggrandized that it assumes the right to direct all human arguments. Citizens are to become the obedient students of a more knowing and politically correct class of elites. Washington's adversarial lawyer-politicians, like neo-monarchists of a new American Royal Academy, have been deployed as warring vassals to seize power and wealth with legislative, judicial, and now presidential authority.
When will mature adults and true Americans -- those who learned life's real lessons, lived in a practical world, and developed beyond their whimsical school days -- stand up and assume the responsibility of mature leadership?