Friday, October 10, 2008

Character Counts!

It's crunch-time in the electoral process now and folks need to take a hard, level-headed look at the candidates from not only the standpoint of the issues but – and perhaps more importantly – from the standpoint of character, or, at least, background. Senator McCain's background is virtually an open book, with very little left to the imagination. Liberals like to poke fun at his fifth-from-the-bottom standing in his Naval Academy graduating class, but only the naïve take such things as bedrock proof of anything. Neither U.S. Grant nor Dwight Eisenhower were anywhere near the top of their respective classes, yet they are among the five most noted generals in the nation's history. Eisenhower also conducted an 8-year presidency, while McCain has been in Congress since Senator Obama was 22 years old, or more than half of Obama's life.

This is not the case with Obama, at least with respect to his early-adult years, when friendships and associations probably made lasting impressions that could be bellwethers with regard to his approach to governance and government structure. Specifically, his years at Columbia, especially, but also his years in law school at Harvard might have been marked with behaviors and associations that he would just as soon not be public knowledge. Since his years at Columbia, particularly, are shrouded in mystery apparently by design, one can only conjecture as to his activities, friendships, and philosophies.

Much has been made of his association with University of Chicago Professor of Education William Ayers, the self-admitted domestic terrorist operating in the hippy-dippy Weather Underground gaggle of societal misfits of the 1960s-70s. Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, were forced underground themselves in the 70s, taking it on the lam because of their bombings of government buildings. Unrepentant to this day, Ayers has claimed publicly that he wished his gang of hoodlums had done more damage. They escaped prison when they surfaced in the early 80s because of legal technicalities, specifically prosecutorial errors. They were guilty as sin and in their twisted ignorance boasted such.

The effort has been made to brush off the rather extensive connections between Obama and Ayers, the notion that they were mere acquaintances being operative. Most of the "facts" presented have to do with connections established in the 90s. It's instructive, however, to note that Obama attended Columbia in the early 80s (graduated 1983) at perhaps about the time Ayers was attending Bank Street College, next-door to Columbia. Could this have been when the two actually met? Obama could answer this question in a heartbeat, but has offered little, not even his academic thesis, about the Columbia years. Ayers went on to get his doctorate at Columbia Teachers College in 1987. Now, he teaches at U of C, where someone with his sleazy background seems to fit right in. Dohrn is a law-school professor at Northwestern, despite the fact that both of them should probably still be in some federal penitentiary. This is indicative of the sorry state of university campuses these days.

This is what Ayers said in a 2006 speech in Venezuela in the presence of Bush-hater Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez: “Teaching invites transformations, it urges revolutions small and large." In other words, the U of C allows a two-bit rabble-rouser like Ayers to spread this manure on its students, but, more importantly, how might this manure affect Barack Hussein Obama, whose Illinois legislative career Ayers personally helped launch?

Ayers and Obama in tandem spread millions of dollars around Chicago in the last decade or so, mostly foundation money and supposedly in the interest of education. What kind of education? In whose hands did the money wind-up? Assuming some of it actually went for instruction and remarking Ayers' nutcase statement in Venezuela, what kind of instruction? Thousands of dollars were also spread into the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright's church, where Obama spent 20 years in attendance but by his own account not hearing the obscene preaching of anti-American Wright, through whose raucous performances one could hardly sleep. Does Obama share Wright's "liberation theology," a primary component of which is the demand for reparations?

It's instructive that Mohamed Atta, pilot of one of the planes connected to 9/11, possessed a valid driver license (Florida). So did 13 of the other participants, and eight even registered to vote, using those licenses, as hard as that is to believe. Most citizens are dead-set against illegal/transient immigrants having driver licenses, but not Senator Obama. He's in favor of these licenses. So was Senator Clinton until she saw the light during the campaign and backed away from her high-profile support. What does this indicate about Obama? Does he actually believe that illegals should be allowed this kind of identification, which is about all that's needed to make any transaction or provide evidence of legality for any reason? Or…is he in favor of them solely for the purpose of garnering the Hispanic vote, in which case he would put citizens at risk and at the mercy of people like Atta and the 18 other murderers who pulled off 9/11? If so, he presents a character-flaw of immense proportions.

The issues are important in this election, but despite all the yelling and screaming that "It's the economy, stupid," it's not the economy that's most important. The vital issue has to do with national security, without which the economy would be of little if any consequence. Obama has graphically indicated his naïve approach to this vital area of governance. His overseas swing just prior to the democrat convention was pure theater, nothing more. Ostensibly, the trip was to be a "learning experience" to prepare him in a week's time to understand the world situation and the answers to all the problems connected to it. Instead, it was a celebrity effort made to somehow snow the American public into believing that he is something special, acclaim almost guaranteed in Europe, where socialist governments are the norm.

In other words, it was the "messiah effect" he was after…the great deliverer from the Great Satan, as Iranian president Ahmadinejad would have it…the prince of peace from the most powerful military machine in the world…come to turn the dreaded U.S. swords into plowshares and pruning-hooks. Herein lies Obama's greatest character-flaw, notwithstanding his statements to the contrary. Never has the nation been in greater need of a leader with a military mindset, and McCain, notwithstanding all his anathema-components vis-a-vis conservatives, is that leader. The economy, with the nation's leaders dangerously tilting it toward socialism as the result of their sheer incompetence and/or greed, will make its way, but not if the country is at the mercy of its enemies, as it well could be with Obama at the helm.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

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