The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men." --Samuel Adams
On the official White House website, the bio for Barack Hussein Obama (a.k.a. "Barry Soetoro") begins, "His story is the American story -- values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family..."
McCain was a well-known political commodity with a long-established record, but who the heck is Barack Obama, this charismatic populist who 18 months ago was not a household brand?
Of course, diehard Leftists became sycophantic Obamanites after his 2004 Demo Convention keynote speech. They, and Obama's primary promoters, Jean-Francois Kerry and Teddy Kennedy, have been grooming him for this campaign since his Senate election in 2004.
Obama's selection as the Demos' 2004 keynote ensured his successful bid for the U.S. Senate, and a $1.9-million book deal to boot. The grooming exercise paid off for his true believers, though Obama is not much more than a lapdog for Kerry, who is, himself, just a lapdog for Kennedy.
This cadre of "useful idiots" comprised the sum total of those who took Obama seriously when he announced his candidacy last February.
How arrogant, Clintonistas thought, that this freshman senator from Illinois, whose credentials were little more than "community organizer" and state senator (oh, and "African-American"), would dare challenge the former co-president of the United States.
Asked about his qualifications to be president, Kerry said, "Because he's African-American. Because he's a black man, who has come from a place of oppression and repression through the years in our own country. ... President Obama [would be] a symbol of empowerment [who has] the ability to help us bridge the divide of religious extremism, to maybe even give power to moderate Islam ... an important lesson for America to show Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, other places in the world where disenfranchised people don't get anything."
Of course, from Kerry's "limo-liberal" perspective, I suppose that a black guy who lives in a $2-million Georgian mansion on Chicago's South Side (with a little help from Tony Rezko) appears to have been "oppressed and repressed through the years."
Kerry's cosmological assessment notwithstanding, the real Obama is not quite so benign.
Like so many Leftists, his roots are shallow and broken, and are in now way a reflection of "values from the heartland."
"Barry," as he was called when a youngster, was born in 1961 in Hawaii. His mother, Stanley "Ann" Dunham (whose father wanted a boy and so named her Stanley) was an anthropologist from Kansas, known to her friends as "the original feminist." According to Maxine Box, Dunham's best friend, "She touted herself as an atheist, and it was something she'd read about and could argue."
His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Muslim from the Luo tribe in Kenya. Barack's parents met in a Russian language class (somehow fitting) while students at the University of Hawaii.
When Obama was two, his parents separated and later divorced. His father had two children by a first marriage to a woman in Kenya whom he had never divorced, and after leaving Barack's mother he returned to his former wife and had two more children, accounting for four of the candidate's half-siblings.
Obama's mother then married another Muslim, Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian national. Barack took his stepfather's name and he and his mother moved with Lolo to Jakarta, where he spent four years in local Islamic schools. Soetoro and Dunham had a daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Barack's fifth half-sibling. They would later divorce. Then Obama moved back to Hawaii to reside with his maternal grandparents and attend the exclusive Punahou School until his graduation in 1979.
After high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles and studied for two years at Occidental College, transferring to Columbia University and graduating with a BA in political science in 1983. In 1985, he moved to Chicago to become a "community organizer."
In 1988, prior to entering Harvard Law School, Obama met another Chicago lawyer, Michelle Robinson. They dated through law school and were married in 1992, a year after Obama's graduation, by Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the now-infamous "black liberation" heaver of hate rhetoric under the banner of "social justice." They have remained active in Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ for 20 years, and their two daughters were baptized by Wright. (More on Obama's racist mentors in Part 2).
Michelle Obama attended elementary and high school in Chicago and then went to Princeton to major in African-American studies. After completing her senior thesis, "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community," she went on to Harvard Law School, where she received her J.D. in 1988.
Barack became an associate attorney with a law firm, and between 1993 and 2002 he represented mostly community organizers and discrimination claims. In 1996, he ran successfully for the Illinois State Senate and continued to work summers for his law firm. In 2000, he made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. House, but in 2004, buoyed by his stardom at the Democrat Convention, he won his Senate bid.
Since that time, Obama has continued to burnish his extreme-Leftist credentials, having recently been listed by the non-partisan National Journal as the Senate's most liberal member. Think about it: Obama's voting record is to the left of every other senator, even that of Vermont Socialist Bernie Sanders.
All this may constitute Obama's background but it is not who he is. To get at the real question of "Barack who?" one has to look beyond his bio.
Barack Hussein Obama is an archetypal liberal case study. Obama, William Jefferson Clinton, Albert Arnold Gore, John F. Kerry and, of course, Edward "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy, all share a common ailment -- what I have aptly described in some detail as the Pathology of the Left.
Leftists are uniformly defined by their hypocrisy and dissociation from reality. They speak of unity, but they foment division, appealing to the worst in human nature by separating Americans into dependent constituencies. They support freedom of thought, unless those thoughts don't comport with theirs. They feign tolerance while practicing intolerance. They resist open discussion and debate of their views, yet seek to silence dissenters. They protest for natural order while advocating for homosexuality and abortion. They assert their First Amendment rights, except, of course, when it comes to religion, whence they impose the doctrines of secular atheism on everyone else. They decry SUVs, except those that they own. They advocate mass transit but commute on private jets. They believe trial lawyers save lives and doctors kill people. They believe the solution to racism is to treat people differently on the basis of the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. They deride moral clarity because they can't survive its scrutiny.
Why do most liberals believe what they believe -- and act the way they act?
Psychopathology dictates and frames worldview, and worldview manifests in such things as political affiliation.
Leftists politicos tend to be chronic overachievers because they have suffered significant loss -- often the result of the disconnect with (absence of) their fathers, and the absence of any surrogate father figure in their life. They subscribe to rigid doctrines and "nanny state" regimes to satiate their persistent insecurity, the result of low self-esteem and arrested emotional development associated, predominantly, with fatherless households or critically dysfunctional families in which they were not adequately affirmed.
Obama manifests all of these characteristics, and clinically speaking, there is a diagnosis. He and many of his colleagues are pathological case studies of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- the standard reference used for psychiatric evaluation.
Of course, there are many conservatives who were raised by a single parent or in critically dysfunctional or impoverished homes. However, somewhere along the way, they were lifted out of their misery by the grace of God -- often in the form of a significant mentor who modeled individual responsibility and character. As a result, they have the courage to internalize their locus of responsibility.
Leftists, on the other hand, externalize responsibility for problems and solutions by holding others (read: conservatives) to blame for their ills, and by bestowing upon the state the duty for arbitrating proper conduct -- even proper thought.
The defining differences between conservatives and liberals is that Conservatives subscribe to something bigger than themselves, God and Country, and objective authorities like the Bible and our Constitution.
Liberals, on the other hand, are driven primarily by self interest. Though they feign concern for the less fortunate and the primacy of individual liberty, their support statism and socialism.
A footnote: It's no coincidence that conservative political bases tend to be suburban or rural, while liberal political bases tend to be urban. The social, cultural and economic blight in many urban settings are Leftist breeding grounds for legions of the disenfranchised, those who are largely dependent on the state for all manner of their welfare, protection and sustenance.
These legions identify with Barack Obama. That is the substance, the essence of Obama.
To be sure, all good-hearted Americans should feel a degree of compassion for Barack Obama, whose formative years were marked by complete familial disintegration. But that is not a reason to elect him president.
Quote of the week
"Barack Obama always was a larger-than-life candidate with a healthy ego. Now he's turning into the A-Rod of politics. It's all about him. He's giving his opponent something other than issues to attack him on: narcissism. A convention hall isn't good enough for the presumptive Democratic nominee. He plans to deliver his acceptance speech in the 75,000-seat stadium where the Denver Broncos play. Before a vote is cast, he's embarking on a foreign-policy tour that will use cheering Europeans -- and America's top news anchors -- as extras in his campaign. . . . There's no such thing as a humble politician. But when Obama looks into the mirror, he doesn't just see a president; he sees JFK" -- Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi