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Archive for the ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ Category

Now that it’s convenient–in this case, the eve of a diplomacy tour to the Middle East–Obama talks far more candidly about his background, his Muslim dad, the Muslim country he was raised in, and his Muslim roots.

I don’t think he’s a secret Muslim, a Manchurian Candidate who will soon institute sharia law. If anything, many of his writings suggest an extremely self-absorbed agnostic. But I do think he has a great deal of sympathy and fellow feeling with Muslims because of his background and friendships (such as his many Pakistani friends from college) and also identifies as a black person with the Third World criticism of America as arrogant and oppressive. This all matters because Obama portrayed himself as American as Apple Pie during the campaign, highlighting his white relatives from Kansas, even though his whole life has been spent in strange locales (Hawaii, Indonesia, Pakistan), in the company of his mom’s strange succession of Third World men and then her eventual abandonment of Barack, and his public life has consisted of a fight for the “oppressed” against America’s traditional elites and traditional institutions.

This all matters because people that don’t obsess about politics and policy tend to vote for people that they think share their values and experiences. His “official” background–ambitious, American, sensitive to the marginalized, by the bootstraps, explicitly Christian, patriotic, even-handed and open-minded–was something many could relate to and about which they could find something to admire. But it deviated greatly from reality and concealed his very exotic past and his Muslim connections in particular.

His criticisms of Guantanamo Bay or the War on Terror take on a very different cast when one must ask if they merely appear to be from a patriotic American concerned about imperial overreach but are in fact expressions of a sense of brotherhood with the groups–seething Muslim extremists and their supporters–most Americans cannot relate to and consider to be the enemy.

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