They are clinging desperately to their liberal dreams, without recognizing that Barack Obama incarnates those dreams.
Yesterday, conservative commentator James Poulos presented a compelling analysis of Obama’s failed presidency.
Strikingly, Poulos observed: “Obama is not really a product of the black experience. He is not really a product of the white experience. An optimist would say he is a product of the American experience, but the emotionally neutral judgment is that— politically, at a minimum— he is a man from nowhere.”
To liberals Obama shone forth for being what they call cosmopolitan. He embodied the great liberal dream: he was a citizen of the world. Seemingly rootless, he was unconstrained by national pieties. He had transcended patriotism because he did not draw his identity from the nation.
Obama was the man from everywhere. He would not just bring the nation together; he would bring the world together.
National loyalties and rivalries would vanish. People would recognize that they are share a common humanity. There would be no more wars. A new day of international cooperation would dawn.
It would not be because of anything Obama would do. Just his being there, the perfect incarnation of the liberal dream, would cause the people of America and the peoples of the world to change their ways.
Poulos writes: “Republicans have their cherished fantasies, but conservatives do not run on dreams the way liberals do.”
If you are from everywhere you are really from nowhere. And if you are from nowhere, Poulos suggests, you are not going to be able to connect with people who are from somewhere.
When a nation embraces someone who comes from nowhere, his anomie will define the nation. Poulos grasps the point well: “… his character has colored his country. Increasingly, America seems like it is going nowhere. Increasingly, America seems like nowhere. Much of this is a consequence of the brittleness, drift and rot of our most powerful institutions. But the significant part that matters to Obama is the result of Obama himself—his attitude, his words and the style and substance of his response as a president to the protracted crisis.”
Obama had a singular moment of greatness, his election campaign. He was a grand illusion, funny money that the nation accepted as legal tender.
Poulos says: “No, the only truly bold and inspirational thing that Barack Obama has ever done is run for president. It is a trick he has already proven himself incapable of repeating.”
It would not be for lack of trying. If running for office is the only thing that Obama knows how to do, it is not surprising that he has turned the presidency into a permanent campaign.