||Barack Obama: The Human Rorschach Blot
by Mac Johnson [writer,
Obama is like a small, shiny object. The easily fascinated can
stare deeply into his blank sheen and see...their own
reflections. He can be anything to anyone because he is nothing
in particular. Yet listening to the leftstream media, one would
have to conclude that the man is a multifaceted miracle.
moderate. He's a third way. He's demographic fusion
cuisine. He's a floor wax. He's a desert topping.
He’s everything you'd hoped for and whatever you need. That's the
beauty of being unknown.
Johnson is a freelance writer and biologist in Cambridge,
Mass. Mr. Johnson holds a Doctorate in Molecular and
Cellular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine. He
is a frequent opinion contributor to Human
Events Online. His website can be found at macjohnson.com [go
to Johnson index]
He's like that girl way over there at
the other end of the bar -- perfect, unknown, perfectly unknown, and
improved mightily by distance and pent-up desire. Mentally,
you're in love and three weeks into the relationship before you even
make it halfway over to meet her.
Then you notice her
eyes and think, "Man, which one do I look at when I speak, because they
don’t point in the same direction. And what's with the Adam's
apple?" But at that point it's too late to turn around, because
one of those eyes has seen you already. I think that's the way a
lot of folks are going to feel about their Obamaphilia after a few
months of campaigning have removed the gauze filter from his carefully
If any of the fawning were asked to name his greatest accomplishment, could they name an accomplishment? Other than being elected to the Senate just two
and a half years ago, and being simultaneously black and yet likeable
to white folks, I mean.
For emphasis, let's examine a list of Obama’s major accomplishments (so far):
Simultaneously black and yet likeable to white folks
Made the initials "B.O." cool again
Good oral hygiene
it. He's the Wayne Brady of politics -- everything white folks
had been hoping for in at least one black person, the big payoff for
all that tolerance and diversity babble. That may not be the
politically correct thing to say, but it is an honest assessment of
exactly what pent-up desire is fueling Obamamania among his white,
liberal fan base.
Obama's resume and record (even just a record
of firm opinions on important issues) are so thin that I really
believed that early media talk of his running for President was an
affectionate nicety -- like a manager saying of a favored intern,
"You'll be running this corporation before the summer's over!"
here we are, just a year after such talk began, and the intern has
announced that he’s putting his resume in for the position. Well,
I'll alert human resources.
Allegedly, his appeal rests with his
"inspiring" story. Lord knows he's told his story enough: in two
books, uncounted speeches and interviews and occasionally in
explanations of why the story in the books seems to differ from the
facts. (Obama was telling the "literary" truth, rather than
getting bogged down in the literal truth.) Come to think of it, I
should add a fourth bullet point to my list of Obama's major
accomplishments (so far):
4. Telling his own story
man's Jesus and John the Baptist all rolled into one -- the messiah
that foretells his own coming. But what, really, is so inspiring
about his story? He is alleged to have overcome the odds -- to
have succeeded in the face of oppression. But to see "black" as a
synonym for "oppressed" is just a stereotype (oh, and the rationale
behind affirmative action laws). And we all know that stereotypes
are wrong. I keep waiting for some real tale of the adversity
he’s faced and I have yet to hear it.
As far as I can tell, this is his inspiring story of success despite oppression:
overcame the oppression of being born to a well-off middle class white
woman and a Harvard Ph.D. father, then he overcame the oppression of
attending private schools his entire life. His story took a dark
turn toward further oppression when he was admitted to Columbia
University and then -- gasp -- Harvard Law School -- where he was
practically lynched into the position of President of the Law Review by
an overwhelming majority. Nay, an oppressive majority. From
there, his life has just been a Hell of accolade and accomplishment.
The Boston Globe this week cited as an example of his oppression that children at his
private school sometimes made fun of his unusual name. Please
excuse me if I don't rush off to a sit-in on his behalf. As a
child named "Mac”"entering elementary school right about the time of
McDonald's famous "Big Mac Attack" campaign and "Big Mac" jingle ("two
all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on
a sesame seed bun" as I seem to recall), and who soon learned that Mac
rhymes with "Quack!" and "Whack!" I would now like to announce my
candidacy for the presidency of the United States based on my inspiring
story. I still can’t hear a quip about "special sauce" without
thinking of the oppression of my fathers...or at least the Clinton
administration. Get in line, crybaby.
The only real
adversity I can find in his life is that his mother couldn’t seem to
stay married to the same man for much time and his father couldn't seem
to marry just one woman at a time. And, again, if having a
screwed up family is a primary political asset, we'll need to form
a really long line. The only thing weirder than the average family would be a normal family.
the CNN.com poll question for Saturday was "Does Barack Obama's life
story inspire you?" (Surprisingly, most respondents said "No." So
I am not alone in my underwhelming enthusiasm for the media
darling.) If stories like Barack's are inspiring, then the field
is plainly crowded with inspirational tales:
Mitt Romney: An
eloquent son of a former governor of Michigan. Like Barack, he
overcame his privileged background to become a successful
politician. Although, if it’s triumph over real adversity and
prejudice that you want, consider that young Romney spent 30 months as
a Mormon missionary in France! Now this is a man that has known struggle against the odds.
Biden: Born to a used car salesman, he somehow found a talent for
politics. He later overcame a devastating battle with congenital
dihydrotestosterone-induced alopecia. Despite its ravages, Biden
has bravely kept "plugging away" at politics ever since, chairing
numerous televised hairings. Uh, I mean "hearings."
Tancredo: Actually did come from a humble background, went to a humble
school, became a public school teacher, married a public school teacher
and yet went on to engineer a national political career. People
don't like that story though, so let's focus on the fact that he was
involved in public education and still became an unabashed
conservative. Talk about overcoming oppression.
Edwards: The son of a textile worker and a postal employee, grew up
working class in rural North Carolina. He overcame this humble
background to become a primping effete metrosexual millionaire trial
lawyer. Perhaps picking leaders based on humble beginnings is not
a foolproof system.
Dennis Kucinich: The son of an Ohio truck
driver and a stay-at-home mom, Kucinich went on to overcome his obvious
mental illness and the malnutrition of a vegetarian diet to become the
member of Congress voted "most detached from world reality."
Again, perhaps choosing leaders based on humble beginnings is not a
I could go on and on (and often do), but you
get the idea. Barack Obama called his political aspirations "The
Audacity of Hope," but really they're nothing so much as the audacity
Obama is just a human Rorschach Blot -- a figure so
devoid of definition and meaning that what his devotees see in him is
more an insight into them than into him. CRO
First appeared at Human Events Online
2007 Mac Johnson