Irenic. Adj: favoring, conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, or conciliation. Notes from a Politics and Economics undergraduate just back from somewhere in the MidWest. "You said you were going to Ohio? Where the Hell's that?"

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Obama and the politics of bitterness

I'm sure you will have heard of Barack Obama's flash of honesty to some bigwig donors in California last weekend:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations

Obama was a devotee of Nietzsche at Columbia. Perhaps this is at the root of the utter lack of compassion evident in these remarks. See how yet again he himself clings to elitist liberal explanations of ordinary voters' concerns when he's around the people he feels most comfortable with. We know he's no good making nice in rural Pennsylvanian diners. We know he can't bowl to save his life. But these things are mere distractions from the great truth of Obama's old-fashioned elitism.

Most people seem pretty convinced that Obama doesn't share the racist views of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright but the question I would still like an answer to concerns Barack's sincerity. Conscious of the influence of black churches on the electorate in Chicago, did Barack cynically plan his career via the Social Gospel?

It's said you can never get Nietzsche out of your system. Hopefully the next few months will be a very painful expurgation for Mr Obama, for his good and the good of all America.

NB Exhibit A (for this blog) in the trial of the biased BBC. Compassionate BBC News Online editors put Obama's amended remarks in the quotation box for the story.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Diversity Dictionary

I stumbled across Ohio State's Diversity Dictionary today. Perhaps an occasional peep at its contents might cheer you up, dear reader? Among such gems as heterosexism and essentialism (Er...), I found this:

(adj) - Relating to or deriving from the language, traditions, or cultures of the peoples of Asian nations in the region designated as "the Orient," or "the East," by Europeans. This term is conspicuously eurocentric as "the East" is constructed as being opposed to a fixed reference point, "the West," or western Europe.

I'm just off to the Geography department to start taking down all those chauvinist world maps that put Asia on the right and the Americas on the left...

Thanks to David Kupelian.