The Campaign Spot

“He thinks he can go into a roomful of skinheads and come out with all their votes.”

While we’re on the topic of Obama’s father, back when I was reading Dreams From My Father, I noted one early anecdote of Barack Obama Sr. performing a near-miracle, persuading a racist who was offended by the presence of an “n-word” in his bar to change his ways in one conversation, and wondered if this influenced the way Obama saw himself:

And if you believed that your father could lecture racists into converting their ways – and then giving a hefty sum of money to people they had hated a short while earlier! – maybe you too would believe that you could end partisanship, inspire hope in all people, heal America’s soul, and all of these other grandiose world-changing promises that make some of us cynics roll our eyes…
I hope it’s a true story; it’s nice to think that Barack Obama Sr. could talk a man out of his racism. But most people who have hateful attitudes won’t give them up in the face of a lecture. It generally takes more than that to get them to rethink their preconceived notions, and some folks will never give them up.
But if you believed that your father had an almost-hypnotic capacity to calm the most troubled soul with the right words… might you also believe that you yourself could bring someone like Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to see reason?

I thought of that when I encountered the following anecdote in Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell’s Obama: From Promise To Power:

Running across [senate race rival Alan] Keyes at a parade in the North Side of the city one weekend, Obama rushed over and tried to talk with him. Obama is someone who loathes conflict, and thought he could have a reasonable discussion with this man who had been hurling hateful invective at him. “Barack thinks he can win over anyone,” [Obama Senate campaign manager] Jim Cauley observed. “He thinks he can go into a roomful of skinheads and come out with all their votes.”

Most Popular

PC Culture

Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness

On January 29, tabloid news site TMZ broke the shocking story that Jussie Smollett, a gay black entertainer and progressive activist, had been viciously attacked in Chicago. Two racist white men had fractured his rib, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. As they were leaving, they shouted ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Strange Paradoxes of Our Age

Modern prophets often say one thing and do another. Worse, they often advocate in the abstract as a way of justifying their doing the opposite in the concrete. The result is that contemporary culture abounds with the inexplicable — mostly because modern progressivism makes all sorts of race, class, and ... Read More
PC Culture

Fake Newspeople

This week, the story of the Jussie Smollett hoax gripped the national media. The story, for those who missed it, went something like this: The Empire actor, who is both black and gay, stated that on a freezing January night in Chicago, in the middle of the polar vortex, he went to a local Subway store to buy a ... Read More
Elections

One Last Grift for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the antique Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, is not quite ready to retire to his lakeside dacha and so once again is running for the presidential nomination of a party to which he does not belong with an agenda about which he cannot be quite entirely ... Read More
Film & TV

A Sublime Christian Masterpiece of a Film

‘There are two ways through life -- the way of nature and the way of grace,” remarks the saintly mother at the outset of The Tree of Life, one of the most awe-inspiring films of the 21st century. She continues: Grace doesn’t try please itself. It accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked, accepts insults ... Read More
PC Culture

Changing Reality with Words

The reinvention of vocabulary can often be more effective than any social protest movement. Malarial swamps can become healthy “wetlands.” Fetid “dumps” are often rebranded as green “landfills.” Global warming was once a worry about too much heat. It implied that man-made carbon emissions had so ... Read More