Barack Obama — Man of Mystery

Barack Obama has captured the imagination of the nation. He’s so wholesome, so sincere, so charismatic and charming, he almost comes off as naive. But underneath his ultra-smooth exterior, he’s obviously a very complex, and very conflicted, man.

The Chicago Tribune article, The Not-So-Simple Story of Barack Obama’s Youth tells the following story about his reinterpretation of a difficult period in his life, when he was attending a private boarding school in Hawaii.

In his best-selling autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” Obama describes having heated conversations about racism with another black student, “Ray.” The real Ray, Keith Kakugawa, is half black and half Japanese. In an interview with the Tribune on Saturday, Kakugawa said he always considered himself mixed race, like so many of his friends in Hawaii, and was not an angry young black man.

He said he does recall long, soulful talks with the young Obama and that his friend confided his longing and loneliness. But those talks, Kakugawa said, were not about race. “Not even close,” he said, adding that Obama was dealing with “some inner turmoil” in those days.

So, Obama sometimes reinterprets real life to better to suit the myth. He seems to see his life as a sort of parable, in which the message is more important than the actual facts. Don’t all politicians do that, though? Perhaps so. But Obama is supposed to be different. The very thing that appeals to his loyal following is that he represents a whole new breed of politician. — In short, a politician you can trust.

Another example of reinterpretation of reality is his reaction to the recent publicity about his pastor and spiritual advisor. Obama claims to have attended church every Sunday for the last 20+ years. Yet, he claims to have never heard his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, make any militant remarks about the evils of America, or of white people, or how we deserved 9/11. The videos of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the reactions of the congregation, would seem to indicate that these are familiar themes to his parishioners. Was Obama just not listening to the parts he didn’t want to hear? For over 20 years?

Barack Obama was raised without any religious affiliation. His mother had exposed him to a number of religions, including Christianity, when he was growing up, but she did not subscribe to any of them. Obama himself never felt drawn to any particular religion until he encountered the Trinity United Church of Christ in the 1980s. It was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright who inspired him to embrace the Church and become immersed in that particular brand of Christianity.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright preaches that Jesus was a poor black man, living under an oppressive white regime (the Romans). Much of the teachings of his church are about the oppression of the blacks, and the evil of the rich white people who run this country. He has a close personal relationship with the militant, anti-Semitic, black separatist leader, Louis Farakkhan. The angry, militant message of racial separatism spewed by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright seems antithetical to Obama’s message of unity and his calm insistence that his candidacy has nothing to do with race. If Obama is so race-agnostic, one can’t help but wonder why, of all the churches in the country, he would be exculsively drawn to one that’s so focused on such a racially charged message.

When I first heard some of the things Michelle Obama said about her feelings toward this country, they struck me as very peculiar. But now that we have some insight into the Obama family’s spiritual life, it all starts to make sense. Obama has tried to distance himself from the dire imprecations of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright against America and against white people, but how could he immerse himself and his family in this racially charged atmosphere every Sunday for over 20 years, and fail to notice it? Why would someone who feels race is not relevant want to expose his young daughters to such radical hate speech as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright habitually preaches? It just isn’t credible — unless he has one of those personality disorders that cause the sufferer to dissociate from experiences too disturbing to acknowledge, resulting in a bifurcated personality.

Obama is clearly a far more complex person than his public persona reveals. The glimpses we’re starting to see into the personal life of the man behind the public persona have vaguely disturbing undertones, like in a movie where you get subtle hints that the almost-too-perfect protagonist isn’t what he seems to be… It isn’t just a question of the indisputably poor judgment of someone in Obama’s position making someone so politically incorrect his spiritual advisor. The more ominous question is what are the deep undercurrents in Obama’s character that draw him to people like Wright and, for that matter, his wife, who are so outspoken in their distrust and seeming hatred for the very country of which Obama desires to become president.

Bookmark/Rate this post: Digg it Stumble It! add to

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is a well thought out and intelligently written piece. It demonstrates without a doubt that the typical dem has no choices today. Their only option is to cross part lines in voting Republican in our next election. There is no doubt in my mind, that this individual is a poor choice for President of this great country. Clinton’s business partner is no better in a choice. Hopefully, the coming and staying recession that will touch all of us over the next three years, will not totally destroy the financial fabric of our country and leave millions of lives destroyed in its wake. Those who have lived and planned their lives below their financial means will do well in this financial meltdown….those who lived today, without intelligent planning for tomorrow will be further members of the growing poor of our country.

  2. Well, you’ve convinced me!!! Now that he is the most thoroughly vetted candidate out there, you failed to mention he was editor of the Harvard Law Review, where he graduated Magna cum Laude and that he lectured in Constitutional Law at one of the most conservative schools in the nation,

    “one which developed academic foundations for many positions of the Reagan administration, (of all places), and in addition is by far the most conservative of the great American law schools”:**

    The University of Chicago Law School.

    He lectured there for for 10 years.

    All the rest of this guilt by association, race baiting and general Fox news slime is REALLY below your generally excellent standard, Nacho. This man is the smartest, most capable individual to come down the pike in a generation, and we as a country are complete idiots if we don’t elect him and then wear him out.

    I want the next president to be a LITTLE smarter than my brother in law.

    **The Chicago Tribune
    Still off the web, mostly…

  3. Graduating from Harvard does not say much about one’s knowledge of civics, history, or constitutional law. Ivory league graduates know relatively nothing about the liberal arts.

    Editing the law review, I’ll admit, that is a prestigious accomplishment. So he has some experience editing a journal? Just point me towards his public policy and his foreign relations policy experience and then we can all elect him president. Sound like a plan?

  4. Scumby, had I been writing a comprehensive biography of Senator Obama, it would certainly have been a glaring omission to neglect to mention that he attended Harvard and edited the Harvard Law Review. But it’s totally irrelevant to the point I was making, which has nothing to do with his educational or intellectual qualifications.

    I’ve never mentioned where McCain or Mrs. Clinton went to school when I’ve posted about them, yet you’ve never complained about that. Why do you feel it necessary that, whenever one writes anything about Senator Obama, that one must mention that he attended Harvard?

  5. I’m sorry, but I think the Wright thing is a smokescreen planted by Obama (Notice this thing was on left leaning ABC) to obscure the fact that he is actually a Muslim. For a few weeks everybody will attack this nut job preacher and then the democrats will bring up Hagee and some of the other preachers that the dums…I mean dems find so hard to stomach. Then when this blows over everybody is sure Obama is Christian. Its actually really clever when you think about it.

  6. Well…….I think you’re concerns about Obama are tempests in a teacup and are in reality buttresses for the underlying fear I think you have for him. You really have shown NO substantive argument for the level of distrust your post tries to engender.

    I DO love the way you couch your fear in terms like “…he’s obviously a very complex, and very conflicted, man….” and…
    “The glimpses we’re starting to see into the personal life of the man behind the public persona have vaguely disturbing undertones…..”

    “Vaguely disturbing”….which means you never have to identify or actually define what is vaguely disturbing….

    What’s vaguely disturbing is the idea that he is going to be slimed for his association with some dipshit pastor…Read up on McCain’s ‘spiritual advisor” Rod Parsley – I used to watch him when I was still drinking, at around dawn on the public service channels – He is crazier than Wright ever has been, and more dangerous. And what about Falwell? 911 being God’s Wrath over fags?? Billary has some nutcase religionist sewing circle she goofs off with, too, just as crappy as the ones I just listed, but I am too tired to look it up.

    A couple weeks ago in the right wing dipshit circuit it was claiming that Obama was a sleeper Ter’rist: “He’s really a MUSLIM!!!! (OMFG!!!)”…..

    Now, he’s the WRONG KIND of Christian. Why don’t you guys make up your mind??

    Oh, yeah, and Publius? When you get a handle on what it actually MEANS to edit the Harvard Law Review, then you can dismiss it any way you want. Here’s a challenge: Read any recent piece in the Review, and then explain it to the class, why don’t you? I’m waiting. To minimize it into “Editing some Journal” is pretty telling.

    I mention his education, Natcho, because you specifically attempted to engender that same subtle fear of an unknown quantity, the ‘vaguely disturbing’ aspect to Obama that the right wing windbags are…..The reality IS, he’s a vaguely disturbing dark skinned man who happens to be a Constitutional Law professor at a conservative law school. To claim ‘fair and balanced’ is specious without going the distance.

    Here’s what is going to happen: I am making a donation for the first time in my life to a political campaign. When I get done with the family business I am attending to now, I’m going to volunteer to get this man elected. I went to sleep 7 years ago and let the reetard currently in the white house run my beloved country into the ditch.

    Conservatism is dead. What passes for it in THIS country is retardation in action. Just look at the corporate welfare coming down the pike to save us from a worldwide financial collapse. All begun when ‘the great communicator’ deregulated the banks, with Clinton adding to that fire with de-reg gasoline of his own. Rotten to the core.
    While good working people are being thrown into the streets over predatory loans. They will get no help.

    Sorry -I got off track….

    JUST BECAUSE the right wing hates this man to the point they do I will do everything in my power to ensure he gets elected.

    I used to love John McCain. Now, not so much. And I wouldn’t vote for Hillary to save my life.

  7. Scumby, you’re all over the board. I thought we agreed you were going to put down the pipe when you visit…

    My “vague concerns” have to do with the fact that the public persona is so diametrically opposed to some of the choices he has made in his personal life. I take him at his word when he says his religion is very important to him. Do you have a spiritual advisor? I don’t. But, if I did, it would be somebody I trusted with my soul. Isn’t that what a spiritual advisor is for?

    I would expect that the two people who have the greatest influence over a truly religious man would be the person he chooses as his spiritual advisor, and the person he chooses as his soul mate to share his life here on earth. Barack Obama has made very interesting choices in both of these individuals. The fact that they both seem to share the same negative attitudes toward this country, and the same feelings of being eternally oppressed by white people (even though she’s led a very privileged life) has to be more than a mere coincidence.

    Assuming that Barack Obama himself does not consciously share the attitudes of his wife and his spiritual advisor, what is it deep within hime that draws him to people with such a militant outlook? I’m very curious, from a psychological perspective. Who is the true Barack Obama?

  8. WRT your comments about right-wingers having claimed Obama was a Muslim, please note that I have never said nor implied any such thing. When I heard those allegations, I looked them up to find out if there was any evidence to support them. I have no interest in publishing baseless slander. It serves no constructive purpose and I condemn it in all cases.

    When I heard the allegations about Senator Obama’s pastor and spiritual advisor, I greeted them with similar skepticism, and looked them up as well. Not only did I find universal corroboration, there are videotapes of numerous sermons by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright that I found quite shocking. This is not rumor. This is substantiated fact.

    My father is a Presbyterian minister. When I was growing up, I attended church every Sunday. Never did he say anything even remotely similar to “God damn America!” (In fact, I’ve never heard my father use the word “damn,” either in or out of church.) To hear any “man of God” spewing such vile invective from the pulpit (and against his own country!) is appalling to me. Apparently, it is not appalling to Senator Obama. Apparently, he even thinks it acceptable to subject his little daughters to that language and those sentiments. I think that’s disgraceful. What do you think?

  9. When I was 8 years old I learned “The knife you use cut a ‘n*gger’s’ throat is a hawkbill knife, like this one”. He then showed us his knife. I learned this in a Southern Baptist Sunday school classroom, on Easter Sunday, from the deacon teaching the class.

    “God Damn America” somehow doesn’t ring so bad for me, in context.

    Religion is a poison that is going to kill us all.

    (Stress has me all over the board. Sorry. The pipe might help, but I haven’t tasted it in 22 years, next week.)

  10. […] presents Barack Obama — Man of Mystery posted at Government is not your Daddy., saying, “Obama sometimes reinterprets real life to […]

  11. There seems to be a great deal of spin about the Obama-Wright relationship as being a matter of guilt by association. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    This is not a relationship of association. The relationship is one of teacher/pupil or apostle/disciple.

    Preachers preach. They may preach a gospel of love or a gospel of hate. This particular gospel is one of hate, justified or not. The disciple is a twenty year scholar. He is a remarkably opague candidate showing not much more about himself than a toothy smile. It follows that any insight into his makeup is important.

    Just as Plato drew from Socrates, Obama will extrapolate Wright.

    If you can’t figure that out, you deserve what he will do to/for you.

  12. “If you can’t figure that out, you deserve what he will do to/for you.”

    Better him than you, big guy.

  13. “Better him than you, big guy.”


  14. Dear Scumbie…I don’t know what Southern baptist Church YOU went to, (not even sure you ever really did, but it sure helps you make your “point” that somehow Republicans/Religeous Right are evil war-mongering racists…), but if your parents let you go to a church like that, don’t paint religion with such a broad negative brush…You should be painting your parents with one for exposing you to this obviously hateful “off-shoot” of the real Southern Baptist Church…When I was a little guy, age 6 to about 9 or 10 (1960’s) I visited my grandparents in Mountain City, TN…On Sundays, we went to church, I ended up in Sunday School Class…We learned about David and Goliath, the story of Moses, and all of that sort of thing…Racism toward African Americans was not part of the repitoire and certainly not what to use to cut their throats…SO, I personally think you either are a liar who needed to spew that crap about what you “learned” or your parents are/were twisted.

  15. Why should we buy into the crocodile tears of the right wing over the “God damn America” comment when THEY sing songs with lyrics like this, from the official opening song for the “Values Voter Debate” attended by the (then) top four GOP presidential candidates last fall?

    Why should God bless America?
    She’s forgotten he exists
    And has turned her back on everything
    That made her what she is

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: