Friday, July 15, 2016

President Obama's Divisiveness: What Does He Mean?

My question about President Obama is this. Is his divisive rhetoric just his inner leftiness? Or is it cynical and strategic, based on a hard look at the polls?

I would have thought that his speech in Dallas at a service for the five slain Dallas cops would have been not just in bad taste, but bound to stir up feeling against the Democratic candidate for president in 2016. Why lecture his opponents as racists and haters at a funeral service?

But David Harsanyi writes that, "like most people on the left these days, [the president] no longer bothers to make a distinction between a policy position and a moral struggle."

But, of course, the left's collapse of politics into a moral struggle is not the whole story. Politics is violence, so the moral struggle can only be effected by a violent struggle. Thus it makes complete sense for the left to escalate the struggle for civil rights into an armed struggle, as in Black Lives Matter.

Scott McKay writes about Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson. After "rabble-rousing" in Ferguson, Missouri, he is how earning $165,000 a year as a community organizer for Baltimore's public schools, and living "in an 8,000 square foot house owned by board members of George Soros' Open Society Institute." Now he has been "feted for three hours at the White House."

See, I would have thought that Hillary Clinton, running for president, would want to damp down the lefty crazies for the duration of the campaign. I would have thought that she and Obama would have got together to keep the rowdies out of sight until after the glorious victory in November. After all, Hillary is the wife of the guy that ran as a New Democrat assuring us that there was nobody here except us moderates.

But maybe they have decided that the "we are all moderates strategy" can't win.

That leads to the other strategic idea, which would argue in favor of encouraging the thuggish Black Lives Matter. On this view you need to get 90 percent of blacks voting Democrat, and that means you need to get them frightened that Jim Crow is just around the corner and angry that the cops are killing their sons. If the Dems don't get 90 percent of the black vote and don't get a big turnout then they can't win a national election. As Steve Sailer puts it, the Dems need to "angry up" the various elements of their "Coalition of the Fringes" to keep them on the team.

I suppose the answer is: all of the above. The flaw in any conspiracy theory is to believe that the supposed conspirators really know what they are doing, and that the organizer of the conspiracy, the Mr. Big, also knows what he is doing. In reality Mr. Big is not as big as he seems. He is not master of all he surveys; he has to play politics with all the factions of his gang, and cannot just order them all into line for the good of the order. He has to temporize, and reward his hot-heads for their activism, and try to keep everyone happily fighting to bend the arc of history towards justice.

But there is a problem with the left's view of politics.

Let's think back to 1968. The New Deal wing of the Democratic Party just wanted to win the election on the old model of the New Deal coalition. But the New Left radicals and the peace faction would not agree to shut up, so they disrupted the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and represented that the police "rioted" against protesters in the park near the convention. In response the Republican Party became the party of "law and order" and won four of the next five presidential elections, and the Democratic Party had to claw back to the middle, using the astonishing political skills of Bill Clinton.

Stop press. Donald Trump just announced that he was the "law and order" candidate for president.

We racist sexist homophobes fail to understand that our liberal friends do not think like us. They really believe that their leftist politics is going to save the world, and they believe that the techniques of their politics, the division, the protests, the marches, the silencing of opponents are the right and proper thing to do. And above all they do not think that government is a necessary evil, on the idea that government is force and the point of social animals is to reduce the human and the material cost of force. They think that politics, emancipative and liberatory politics, is salvific.

So let's give President Obama the benefit of the doubt and accept that he actually believes the rubbish he spouts all the time. And the same for the rest of our liberal friends. What the president does not understand is that millions of Americans hate the continual division and hate the praise heaped upon low-rent community organizers. They just want to follow the rules, go to work, and obey the law.

And they want the government to protect them from enemies, foreign and domestic.

The only thing that will force the liberals to moderate their leftiness is defeat, repeated defeat, at the ballot box. That is all.

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