Who Is Obama?
Ex-President Barack Obama is the mystery man of American politics. Given the absence of a viable paper trail, nobody can say for sure who he is. He manifests for us as a figure of multiple identities: a Christian, a Muslim, a secularist, a socialist, a humanist, an intellectual, a man of the people. His lack of definable substance, his inner absence, has been an important political advantage. As Obama himself confessed (or boasted) in The Audacity of Hope, this layering of anonymities enabled him to “serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”
Obama’s enigmatic personae and antecedents are an issue most people are reluctant to pursue, whether out of mere indifference, partisan allegiance or fear of ridicule. Even though he represents one of the most pivotal moments in American history, which saw a polarizing cipher with a neo-Marxist blueprint reduce the country to a social, political and economic shambles, Obama doesn’t get much traction in the news these days. Few wish to investigate his shadowy heritage, to confront the ongoing implications of the debacle he was instrumental in causing or to pursue its resolution. The unwillingness to grapple with what Obama signifies -- in fact, personifies -- is a sign of the failure of political will, a tendency to allow a crucial feature of national existence to subside beneath the welter of current events. “Nothing to see here,” seems to be the consensus, “time to move on.”
But there is more to see than meets the eye. The question that may exercise future historians is how a man so obviously unfit for the presidency and so patently inimical to the well-being of the nation could have been elected—twice. Was the race card in itself sufficiently instrumental to persuade a nation to embrace eight years of mayhem? Could a voting majority have been swept up in an access of reparation euphoria? Did John Dewey’s “progressivist” education gradually work to dumb down a significant portion of the electorate, rendering it ultimately susceptible to socialist manipulation? Was the influence of the Frankfurt School and its leftist agenda powerful enough to subvert the academy, the press, the entertainment industry and the culture at large, and thus to transform a free democratic society into a nascent authoritarian state? All these elements were certainly in play, but likely could not have borne their tainted fruit had Obama not appeared on the scene, like a diabolus ex machina. He acted as both catalyst and embodiment of a looming catastrophe.
The fact that there was little in the way of reliable biographical and formative data -- vital records were (and are) either disputed or inaccessible -- was not the liability one might have imagined. Rather, it may have been the critical factor in determining Obama’s electoral triumphs and the malign consequences that inevitably followed.
Indeed, Obama’s very emptiness holds the key to the ease with which he has managed to deceive and exploit his way to the presidency. His blankness reflects “elite” America’s loss of self-identity, its conviction that its own historical birth doesn’t really matter any longer, that it is a cultural shape-shifter, and that the Constitution is a “living” document, a kind of digital facsimile, i.e., its origins and principles are immaterial to the present time and can be made up as we go along. The election of Obama, his current standing among the left and the basilisk glare of the Alinskyite media would seem to imply this America’s total loss of confidence in its own laws, customs and traditions, reflecting a country that no longer believes in itself, its “exceptionalism,” or its “manifest destiny.”
America is, for the revanchist liberal/left, a “blank screen,” a fluid scrim on which it can project whatever character or identity it desires, in this case, as it happens, not a laudatory but pejorative one—a slavocracy, an imperial aggressor, a fascist monstrosity, Louis Farrakhan’s “most rotten nation on earth,” a nation that must be apologized for and that must undergo a fundamental transformation -- anything that might spring from an ideologically twisted imagination or a vehement and umbrageous political philosophy. It is a country populated by a great number of people and an institutional entrenchment for whom truth, historical origin, clear identity, middle-class prosperity and traditional continuity are of no account or interest. Why not, then, a president like Obama without an observable track record or universally accepted genetic certainty? Why not a president whose presumptive father was a foreign national? Why not a president who, like Pontius Pilate, can wash away truth as if he were washing his hands?
Who is Obama? It is a question that must be asked and that deserves an answer. Obama is not a footnote but the explanatory text that needs to be understood. He is not a thing of the past but a function of the present and the harbinger of a problematic future. The book of the American left could well be titled Dreams from My President. For Obama represents the “new America,” the America of the Democratic and much of the Republican Parties, of the so-called “Deep State,” the coastal elites, the SJWs and Antifa thugs, the decadent academy, the feminist mafia and the “fake news” media, a country intent on shedding its ancestral values.
Although the man himself may remain a conundrum, the public avatar is no mystery. As such, Obama should not be permitted to roister in Polynesia as a figure no longer especially newsworthy or deserving of public concern. He was and persists as the major story of the historical drama in which America has been embroiled. In effect, he is the fractal version of the progressivist blank screen on which hallucinatory images can be projected. He is the face of Obamerica.