Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama and Restoration of What?

The Democrats are now the partisan home of the upper crust of the American meritocracy, of the credentialled classes, the classes that believe every endeavour is some variety of IQ test. USA Today did a review of fund-raising data and discovered that Obama dominates fundraising among the leaders of ‘finance, insurance, real estate, health, communications and law’. His campaign has run through hundreds of millions more than McCain’s, and will spend a quarter of a billion dollars on television alone before this election is over. Obama has far more than twice as many ads up in Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. In Florida, he has run 18,909 ads to McCain’s 5,702. The Democratic party is the vehicle through which, after a populist interlude, the governing classes are proposing to take their country back. Obama is a restoration candidate but that doesn’t mean he has a plan....Obama is On Course for Victory, But He Isn't Ready for the White House, Christopher Caldwell, UK Telegraph, 10/31/2008

Restoration can mean a good thing. After the Oliver Cromwell disaster in 17th century Brtain, restoration meant the return of a stable, predictable state. It was no longer absolutist as, say, Elizabeth the First's regime was, but the new monarchy wasn't an unending parade of wars, rump parliaments, and revolutionary zeal either. There was a restoration in France after Napoleon, which was very good news for most of Europe, overrun and battered for decades. Another restoration came under Konrad Adenauer in postwar western Germany; no one would doubt the importance to all of humanity of that.

But in the case of the Democrats, restoration means the end of values at odds with their own; it means a crushing victory over the essential American idea that individual choice is fundamental, the state a limited necessity, and that success or failure is more dependent on personal will and integrity than on a handout or a social program. The constituencies for statism, a political perception at permanent odds with that idea, have now turned to a man who is a cipher to those unexposed to alternate views of his past, his Marxist mentors, his associations with radicalism as a community organizer, and his allies, domestic and foreign, as a rising politician. To be blunt, in the Democrats' hysterical attacks on Obama's opponents for office, in their disavowal of any alternative view of facts, in their turning to him as a secular savior, combined with astonishingly little consideration of consequences, these elites bear a passing resemblance to those German industrialists who thought a little bit of Hitler wouldn't be such a bad thing. After all, Adolf had smiled charmingly and benevolently upon the burgermeisters and the factory owners. Hitler made such marvelous presentations of hope and joy for the New Germany at enormous political rallies. What matter if his associates had ideas and plans aimed at a completely different objective than the restoration of the old Germany? What had to be ended was the indecency of democracy.


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