Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Madiba, Si; Thatcher, No

The comparison is striking, even telling.

When Nelson Mandela died the Obama administration accorded him all of the proper honors. The president and first lady headed a high level delegation at his funeral.

It was a bipartisan delegation. Republican and Democratic former presidents attended, accompanied by high level members of the administration and representatives of both parties in Congress.

Delivering the ceremony's most important eulogy Obama referred to Mandela by his clan name,“Madiba.” It felt like our president was talking about a fellow comrade in arms, someone for whom he felt a special affinity.

Compare it to the administration’s failure to honor Margaret Thatcher when she died.

True enough, Mandela helped end the evil of apartheid, but Thatcher helped end the evil of Communism. Considering the historical link between American and Great Britain, and considering that the two nations have together led the world, politically, economically and militarily for the past few centuries, Margaret Thatcher deserved more than she received.

Then again, perhaps Obama refused to attend her funeral because she was a woman!

Victor Keith drew the comparison:

Four U.S. Presidents, current and former, will attend the funeral of Nelson Mandela. Upon his death, flags were ordered flown at half mast. Nelson Mandela, no matter what one's opinion of him, was indeed a historical figure who sacrificed much to end a morally evil system of government that denied rights to citizens based upon their race….

Margaret Thatcher, on the other hand, was not only a historical figure in British history but she was also a tremendous ally of the United States during the Cold War. She stood side by side with the U.S. during a time when it was not domestically popular to do so. Both her economic and foreign polices helped to maintain Great Britain as a serious player in the world affairs.

Upon the death of the Iron Lady, however, this administration did not bother to fly the flags at half mast. Not only did the president not attend her funeral, but no member of his cabinet deemed it worth their while either.

Keith explained the disparity by saying that many Americans, especially those who belong to the radical academic left, no longer identify as Americans. They see themselves as citizens of the world, members of an international in-crowd.

There’s truth to what he says, but there is more to it. It is true that the current American president has disparaged and insulted Great Britain. He has shown contempt for the prime minister of the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

Yet, he shakes the hand of Raul Castro and is hard at work ensuring that Iran acquires nuclear weapons. He supports the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and turns a blind eye to al Qaeda in Libya.

There’s more to it than wanting to belong to the in-crowd.

It feels closer to what David Goldman describes as Barack Obama’s visceral identification with the so-called victims of colonialism and imperialism. Obama feels more at home with “Madiba” than he would have with Margaret Thatcher.

Goldman wrote:

He [Obama] deeply identifies with the fragile, unraveling cultures of the Third World against the depredations of the globalizing Metropole.… It goes beyond the post-colonial theory of liberal academia. For Obama, it is a matter of personal experience. His father and stepfather were Third World Muslims, his mother was an anthropologist who dedicated her life to protecting the traditional culture of Indonesia against the scourge of globalization, and four years of his childhood were spent at an Indonesian school.…

We are witnessing something quite extraordinary. Barack Obama is producing a cultural realignment. It involves foreign policy, but it’s about more than foreign policy.

Obama does not seem to identify with America’s great achievements. He seems more to be afflicted with the leftist guilt over America’s successes.

Yet, his is not the opinion of a single individual. The symbolism of Obama’s gestures must have a direct effect on the nation’s psyche.

Obama does not identify with the America that was a beacon of freedom and a great practitioner of free enterprise capitalism. He feels close to those who are supposedly the victims of America’s success. He sees life as a zero-sum game. America’s success could only have come about at the expense of other people.

It’s of a piece with the radical left's hatred of Israel. It believes that the Jewish state could only have succeeded at the expense of the Palestinian people. Anti-Semitism lives!

In the same way Obama believes that rich Americans became rich because they stole from America’s poor. Social justice tells him that he must steal from the rich and give to the poor, even if the policy does nothing to help the poor to overcome their condition.

Obama’s America is not going to strive to succeed or to work harder to pull itself out of its crisis. It is going to do penance for the sins of its fathers.

Don’t expect to see too much initiative, too much effort, too much pride or too much confidence in Obama’s America.


Unknown said...

"Then again, perhaps Obama refused to attend her funeral because she was a woman!"

Apparently he's not against taking a selfie with a woman - Barack Obama selfie with Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Anonymous said...

Ideologues don't recognize people who don't share their ideology. Those who do not follow the prevailing Leftist orthodoxy are called enemies.

Margaret Thatcher did not follow the orthodoxy of her time. She stood firm against socialism because socialism doesn't work and leads to slow decay.

Mandela was amazing because he stood tall in the face of true racism and grew throughout the process. He could've turned South Africa into a blood bath, and the world (including Bono) would've just shook their heads in sadness… but understood the rage. This is also aligned with the victimology propagated by the Left: only the oppressed are allowed to have rage. Well, the consequence of unmitigated rage is death… death of the individual soul or the death of another at his hands. Mandela took the high road, the road of reconciliation. Not in words or platitudes, but in action and commitment. He was a George Washington-like figure. He could've taken it to "the man," but didn't. He could've been president for life, but decided to leave on his own volition. That is the mark of greatness.

Obama doesn't know such things because he doesn't have a code or core philosophy that values anything but power. Hence the opportunistic spectacle he and other world leaders made at an event that was supposed to be about someone else. WIth Barack Obama, that's not possible.

Mandela had true strength and guts. Thatcher had true strength and guts. Obama likes being president.


sestamibi said...

He believes in these things with pride because a huge portion of those occupying what (for the time being) is still known as the "United States of America" feel the same way.

As our population becomes more and more non-white, such things as our Constitution will be jettisoned as they are deemed too white and too male.

Either much blood will flow before the issue is settled, or it will be settled peacefully as whites become extinct due to their own embrace of feminism and gay rights.

Sam L. said...

It was because she was conservative, and anti-Communist, and a woman stronger and smarter and more accomplished than MO.

Or, sestamibi, we have to kill enough to show them backing down is smart.

Mark said...

Some scattered thoughts:
1. The problem isn't Obama, it's the depraved electorate. This is the road that one man one vote leads to if the constitution is gerrymandered to allow bribing enough of the electorate with other people's money. If OMOV is to continue then a balanced budget amendment is essential, else the vote should be confined to taxpayers - i.e. rights come with responsibilities.
2. As a frequent visitor to SA before and after apartheid, I deny that the country was anywhere near civil war. Apartheid was one of the lesser evils inflicted by Africans on Africans and the Afrikaners have much to be proud of, as do the very different Anglos, Jews and Indians who constructed the most developed society on that ultra-tribal continent.
3. The real hero of the transition was FW De Klerk.
4. De mortuis nil nisi bunkum applied to Mandela even before he was dead. He was a communist fellow-traveller who helped run a terrorist group that murdered non-combatants in public places. Their bomb-makers were trained by the IRA. Mandela was lucky not to have been hanged.
5. After apartheid Mandela behaved relatively decently. So did many others. They however were not palling around with terrorists like Arafat, Gadaffi and Mugabe.
6. Mandela's happy face turns on liberals who thirst for revolutionary black saints who are otherwise in short supply. Conservatives should apply a more astringent critique.
7. Thank God Obama was absent from the funeral of a genuine hero, Margaret Thatcher.

Larry Sheldon said...

I expect "woman" was no better than second place behind she was "British".

Larry Sheldon said...

I should have said "no better than third"
behind "British" and "white". I have trouble being racist and forget.

Lastango said...

"7. Thank God Obama was absent from the funeral of a genuine hero, Margaret Thatcher."

+1, Mark... the nauseating efforts of the Clinton camp to compare their Empty Pantsuit to Margaret Thatcher were bad enough.

Dennis said...

Ever wonder why Hillary went on AF 1 instead of with her husband to SA? It couldn't be that they are trying make her look presidential. Interesting that, I am lead to believe, she came back with "Slick."
Here one has a real woman of substance like Margret Thatcher with a large resume of accomplishments and Hillary Clinton where corruption, Rose Law firm and futures, and a record of incompetence. Now it should be easy to discern why Obama did not go to Margret Thatcher's funeral. The juxtaposition of Hillary and Obama in the same room would have been to illustrative.
Just an aside here. Ever notice that most of the women of real substance are more likely to be conservative, generally not feminist in outlook and horrors they actually like men and know how to work with them? They are more likely to be better looking and unashamed to be women with a feminine flair.
Another thought. It is far better to make friends and become allies with women and minorities that believe as we do than to write off all of them just because they are women or a minority. That is why the Left is constantly winning with such a small number of like minded people. Divide and conquer. We win together.

LordSomber said...

You don't hear much about Thatcher's efforts against apartheid, but she was involved:

Glengarry said...

Perhaps it's as easy as this: Mandela makes Obama feel large, while Thatcher makes him feel small.