Obama: The Post-National Candidate

Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Times has a particularly incisive op-ed in today's edition focusing on Obama's standing as a "post national" candidate for president.

In effect, Obama would be the first president ever elected who has championed the idea of subsuming American interests to the will of the international community - specifically, the Europeans who themselves are seeking to wipe out national boundaries in favor of a continental super state:

The European Union aims to eradicate national identity and state sovereignty in favor of a Continental federation. The EU seeks to forge a new world order based on multilateralism, the dominance of international institutions such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, and the projection of soft power. This leftist globalist worldview underlines European hostility to President Bush.

He is everything they despise: a unilateralist, a cowboy and a patriot. In the eyes of most Europeans, Mr. Bush is a dangerous right-winger because he puts America´s national interest first and foremost.

The liberal media are trying to portray Mr. Obama´s warm reception abroad as a powerful sign he is capable of being a world leader. As usual, they are wrong. Europe´s socialists love Mr. Obama because he is one of them.

Indeed, Obama makes no bones about his agenda:

Mr. Obama would transform the United States into a North American France. He champions a redistributionist, soak-the-rich economic philosophy. He would raise income and Social Security taxes on those making more than $250,000 per annum. He wants to increase tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

Mr. Obama seeks to nationalize health care, expand government with nearly a trillion dollars in new spending, and impose burdensome regulations on corporations and businesses. He is also a protectionist, who vows to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and has opposed free-trade deals with Colombia, South Korea and Central America. Mr. Obama´s class-warfare policies would result in economic sclerosis, lower productivity and higher unemployment - exactly what the French (and the Germans) have today.

In foreign affairs, Obama would take what Kuhner terms "a Brussells approach" - withdrawal from Iraq, engaging Iran, and perhaps most importantly, turning the War on Terror into a criminal matter.

Europe loves Obama because "he is one of them" who believes in the end of the nation state and of American dominance. And what of the people back home?

Mr. Obama repeatedly says on the campaign trail that he embodies a "new kind of politics." Instead of being post-racial and post-partisan, however, he is really post-national. His cosmopolitan liberalism plays well with effete, multicultural elites on college campuses and in Manhattan and Hollywood. But it won´t resonate in the heartland, where patriotism and American exceptionalism are still not dirty words.

I don't think there is any doubt that Kuhner is correct about Heartland voters. But will they put aside their disappointment in Bush and the Republicans to prevent an Obama victory?

That is the question of the campaign.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky
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