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Posted in: Culture Wars & Censorship

Published on Oct 03, 2008 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

The Genial Warrior Versus The Ivy League Messiah


I’m your average iconoclast. I try to think for myself, I am no party loyalist, I care deeply about seemingly opposite issues and about very diverse kinds of people, I’ve been burned by ideolologues and am wary of party lines, both left and right.

Thus, there are things I like and dislike about both Presidential tickets. I do not like it one bit that Senator McCain voted not once but twice against the Violence Against Women Act; I despair over this and over his party’s opposition to abortion. I find Sarah Palin bright, zesty, charming, and admirably tough–and yet her anti-abortion stance and deep silence, at least so far, about other equality-for-women issues pains me as does her lack of experience on the national and international stage.

On the other hand: I do not like the people whom Senator Obama has chosen to work with and who his supporters, well hidden by the mainstream media, really are: the Chicago political machine, Tony Rezko, Weatherman-turned-educational philanthropist, Bill Ayers, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the Nation of Islam, alleged Saudi funders, George Soros, lawyers who represent CAIR, etc. I don’t like it when Obama denies his connections, pretends he is a Cosmic Change Artist, when he is merely… an exceptionally charismatic and hard-working politician, very much in touch with the media, music, and internet of his generation.

I like the idea of electing an African-American President. As a proud veteran of the 1960s civil rights movement, it thrills me. Obama certainly looks African-American and in one way he is more of an African-American than most. But, now you see it, now you don’t. Obama is the biological son of a Kenyan national and the adoptive son of an Indonesian national, both of whom were Muslims. This ancestry is no crime, it is, rather, quite timely and very interesting, and Obama could have talked about how great America is, compared to the Islamic world, in terms of giving its’ citizens freedom of religious choice. But he didn’t do that.

Instead, he presented himself as a very solid “black” Christian, (no nuance here), thus downplaying the fact that his biological father did not come over in chains on a slave ship four hundred+ years ago but left Africa in the mid-twentieth century for a brief American sojourn and then returned home for good. Obama is not an African-American in the usual sense–he is really bi-racial. Obama’s mother was a white American woman. He has not lied about this or hidden it but it sure has gotten lost. Obama is not running as a bi-racial American (that too would be interesting, a mind-stretcher), but as an African-American.

But, in a sense, Obama’s whole African-American “shtik” is also somewhat deceptive. Obama is truly his mother’s son. Like her, he is an anthropologist in the Ivy Leagues, peering in, fitting in, being hoisted on Ivy League liberal shoulders because, as it turns out, the stranger who came to dinner is really one of them, a first-class member of this super-elite tribe. Obama turned out to be their leader and he has used his Chicago political machine and his Kenyan genes to maximum advantage.

Yeah, and even though he struts his stuff like Denzel Washington and has excited a scary base of True Believers, Obama’s cute as hell and I can’t help but like his anti-sexist, anti-racist language, his soaring rhetoric and dreams which, now that I’ve lived long enough, fear can never put into practice, at least not right away, not all at once. (He may not know this yet). His VP choice, insider Joe Biden, did sponsor the Violence Against Women Act and remains staunchly pro-abortion. As I said: I care about these issues.

Now, as for Senator John McCain: I find him one amazingly genial warrior. He comes across as likable, experienced, heroic. I like how he sounds about Israel–and about Iran and Al-Qaeda. He and Palin “get” the jihadic-terrorist-nuclear threat better than their opponents do. I admit it, I’ve had it with those who believe that we can and must sit down, lie down, get down with intractable enemies, that there is still time to do so.

I think we’re running out of time. And I don’t think that we can use traditional diplomacy with groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, or Al-Qaeda. It won’t work. And, just as Europe has been Islamified, (and in a bad way), so, too, does civilian America stand at risk of being attacked again….and again; seeing its intelligentsia and its mainstream media turn more and more people against their own country, so much so that they don’t notice being taken over by “soft jihad.” Saudi funded pro-Islamist conferences are proliferating at our universities. American publishers, including Random House, are refusing to publish the truth about Islam lest their offices be bombed and their staffs attacked. Horrifyingly, they are not wrong. The potential London publisher of The Jewel of Medina, whose publication Random house canceled, has just had his London home fire-bombed; he himself is now under police protection. He has temporarily suspended publication.

Just as I like the idea of having an African-American president–well, I would have liked the idea of having a female President too. Obama refused to offer even the Vice Presidential spot to Senator Clinton. McCain, improbably, offered it to a firecracker of a newcomer, an outdoorswoman, and sometime athlete. Palin is the living embodiment of what some feminists once yearned for, (”Having it All”), but pronounced an impossible dream for most women, for mothers especially, and for the mothers of young children–even more so. But here’s Sarah, a living legend.

No, I do not think that Palin is really Dick Cheney or that she and McCain will usher in a new Dark Atwoodian Dystopia. And no, I do not think that Obama is a Manchurian candidate who will usher in the Islamic Kingdom of the United States.

But who will I vote for? Who will you vote for? In this most important election, we cannot afford to throw our votes away. Whatever will we do?

NEWSFLASH! First, I just looked at my copy of The Weekly Standard and discovered–to my amazement and pleasure–that there is an article in it by none other than Fred Barnes titled “The Warrior and the Priest.” Let us say that we are on a wave-length but have not written the same article.

Second, please read the Comment by MJEquality which I posted because in it she argues that Biden is not all that pro-abortion. Thus, in addition to the fourteen misstatements or “lies” that Biden told during the Great Vice Presidential Debte (the blogosphere is recycling this list like crazy), add to that his position on abortion. See how easily we, the people are fooled by an authoritative, highly respected, clearly qualified and experienced man.


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