What If Obama Doesn't Have America's Best Interests at Heart?

I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. I've said to myself and to others more than once: "While it is true that Democrats are seriously misguided, at least they believe they're doing what is right for the country." And by that I have meant that their motives are far less insidious than is our wont to portray them.

Whenever I hear a Democrat equating President Bush with Adolf Hitler, I am reminded to resist the urge to retaliate by applying to the opposition party abject maliciousness. It's easier to believe that liberals are more delusional than pernicious. Surely the average Democrat at least imagines his way of thinking-a way that resists thinking things through-serves his country well. Can I assume that most Democrats are not actually trying to undermine America?

Very rarely do I run across a Democrat that makes me question this assessment. I have good friends who, still under the spell of unions, would vote Democrat even if an actual ass were braying at the teleprompter (Al Gore is as close as it gets). These friends, who are devout Catholics, are conservative on just about every issue, but convincing them to vote Republican would be tantamount to having them go Shinto. They are truly good people, but fuzzy-headed enough to still believe that Republicans are for The Man and Democrats are for working stiffs. Never does the idea of interdependence or commensalism between the two cross their minds.

For people like this, Barack Obama's economic message, that he will focus on "fairness" and the middle class above all else, is every bit as effective as the Marxist rhetoric used to win over half of Europe in the last century. To any struggling, unmindful person who just wants to protect his mousy family from all the fat cats living at his expense, the party that asks, "Why him? Why not you?" sounds very vote-worthy.

But here's the thing: While I continue to use this idea of "populistic ignorance" to describe Democrats, including most of their leaders (Joe Biden might serve as their poster child), I'm not so sure about Obama. When I compare him to other prominent Democrats, I come away with a very different appraisal, one in which my own fear becomes nearly as pronounced as the admiration felt by his followers.

In thinking of Hillary Clinton, for example, I don't sense in Obama Hillary's obsessive drive for historical significance. In thinking of Hillary's husband, I don't see an Obama lusting for narcissistic fulfillment (not to mention just plain lusting). In thinking of Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, I don't find in Obama fecklessness or stupidity. In thinking of Ted Kennedy, I can't imagine an Obama of old money entrenchment built upon the encouragement of class warfare (not yet, anyway).

It is probably very true that we will find in Obama all these things and more, but the point is, if they are in there, he hides them very well. And that's what frightens me about him.

I have known many "players" in my life, notably in big corporations, who might have easily written, as Obama has, that they "serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." All of them turned out to be the ones who truly did have malicious intent. They were the ones who were survival-of-the-fittest professionals, ready to adapt to any circumstance and say whatever had to be said in order to win the game. They were the ones who built careers on the backs of people of more substance but less savvy, people who were either forced or were willing to lie face-down and be walked on. They were the ones whose artful dishonesty came with eloquence and a smile, concealing designs that were, in the end, hardly conceivable as virtuous. Often -- very often -- they were completely unqualified to lead. Always they found majorities who loved them.

The reaction to Obama by the people of America is disturbing, to say the least. I have not seen anything quite like it in America. Ronald Reagan, for example, was also very popular, but his name evoked enthusiasm and, at his death, reverence. But never the sort of idolatry inspired by Obama. Even Obama's detractors do not seem to loathe him, at least not in the way that they have loathed the Clintons or Gore or Kerry. I have heard more than one Republican say, "Well, if I have to put up with him for four or more years, at least he's tolerable." Obama's mass appeal is uncommon and frightening.

So, I am now imagining a very real scenario -- similar to what I have seen on a smaller scale in the corporate world -- about to be played out on a national, and possibly global, level. Our country seems to be ready to put into the seat of power a man -- good-looking, charismatic, silver-tongued, to be sure -- who has almost no experience, has never served in an executive capacity, has barely held a real job, and has no record of success other than his remarkable campaign.

This is a man who in less than two years has arisen as a political messiah. He has mesmerized an emergent block of college-age voters (whose chief sources of information, by the way, are comedians). He has inspired "Obama youth" corps and Maoist-style choirs of praise. He has been dubbed "the One" by his Matrix-saturated worshippers. He has captured the hearts and minds of half of America, nearly all of the media, and most of the world itself.

This is also a man whose voting record (meager as it is) puts him in the "far left" category. He brazenly proposes heavy taxation in the face of a tax-hating citizenry. He is unapologetic about his support of entitlements and has consistently voted for bills laden with pork and earmarks. He believes redistribution of wealth is moral, not immoral, despite his supposed biblical roots. He supports every form of abortion, including infanticide. He has alarming ties to extremists, criminals, radicals, and foreign thugs. He started out as a lawyer who learned, and eventually taught, shakedown tactics. He is not afraid to use the race card even as he touts his biracialism as proof that he is "beyond" race. And his idea of defending our country from enemies is to first understand them.

If Obama is just another bumbling Democrat, who, armed with a lot of really bad policies, simply wants to do America proud, well, then, if elected, he will muddle through the next four to eight years trying to implement change, will be hindered by the American political system, will enervate liberals and thus energize conservatives, and, eventually, the tide will turn. Like the aftermath of a very disagreeable season, we will have weathered the storm, will survey the damage, and will send in the rescue teams to rebuild.

But then again: What if Obama doesn't have America's best interest at heart? What if his candidacy has to do with the willful and radical recreation of the country, one that embraces Marxist ideals, i.e., socialism in some form or another? What if the "change we can believe in" -- the central theme of his campaign -- is directed subversion of the Republic in favor of the sort of Utopian, collectivist state that radicals like Bill Ayers have been dreaming of since the Sixties?

Who needs revolution when one can use evolution? If Congress turns decidedly left, Obama will have a good chance to help the Supreme Court do the same. At that point, the Left's idea of a "living" Constitution, which allows interpretation to supplant the process of amendment, will be used to make us all believers.
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