Did you hear it yesterday? Even coming through the television couldn’t weaken the magic of The Voice as it worked its weirding way on all within earshot. It wasn’t the words themselves – vapid, cliche ridden, dog earred, 40 year old liberal pablum. And it wasn’t necessarily the way Obama delivered the words – the cadence and rythmn evoking the feeling you were listening to a combination of preacher and carnival huckster.
Obama’s gifts as an orator include his strong, melifulous voice – an instrument he plays beautifully using the full extent of the upper and lower registers, raising and lowering volume quite effectively. His phrasing is usually perfect. He never needs to stop mid sentence to take a breath or find his place on the teleprompter. There is little wasted motion as his body language and movement screams authority and confidence. No awkward hand motions. Everything is smooth as melted butter.
Above all, Obama has an extraordinary sense of his own performance – probably the result of hours and hours spent in front of a mirror. This has given his speeches a sense of the dramatic lacking in most political addresses. The guy could read the menu at a vegan restaurant and hold people spellbound.
All of these gifts, however, tend to obscure what he is actually saying rather than illuminate his ideas as Reagan’s or JFK’s oratory did. For JFK and his alter ego/wordsmith Teddy Sorenson, words were clay in their hands as they would carefully construct beautiful images while laying their ideas on top like captions to a photograph. Not a natural speaker like Obama and Reagan, Kennedy more than made up for that deficiency by never speaking down to his audience and inspiring people with, what at the time, was the boldness of his vision.
Reagan’s gifts were those of an actor. No modern speaker used the combination of body language and voice so perfectly. His sense of his own performance, like Obama’s, was pitch perfect. Reagan, much more than Obama, had an exact idea of what he looked like coming across on the small screen. He knew how his upper body was framed by the camera almost, it seemed, to the pixel. This allowed for a closer, more intimate look at the speaker. There was no wasted motion, no large moves of the hands or shoulders by Reagan. He and the camera were one which heightened the sense of drama that his words then completed.
Not surprisingly, Obama uses his gifts not to enlighten but to obscure the real ideas that lie beneath his rhetoric. Those ideas date back to the beginnings of the new left in the 1960’s and have not changed much in the intervening years. And there is no better example of this than his speech yesterday in Berlin.
A few examples will suffice:
Look at Berlin, where the bullet holes in the buildings and the somber stones and pillars near the Brandenburg Gate insist that we never forget our common humanity.
Constant references throughout the speech to the idea of “the brotherhood of man” – Lenin’s “new man” who was, as Obama identified himself, a “citizen of the world” who shared “common values” with all. Except those bullet holes – pot shots taken by East German gaurds at people fleeing tyranny – have nothing to do with “common humanity” and instead are reminders of the brutality of one system of government – communism. Until the left in this country and Europe come to grips with the evils perpetrated by that system, the chances of it happening again are probably better than 50-50.
People of the world—look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.
Obama loves rewriting history. Talk about hating America, we heard the same crap from the left about how hated we were all during the 1980’s right up until the time the wall fell. Even then, it was Gorbachev and not America who was responsible for that miracle according to liberals.
The fact is, the “world did not stand as one” against communism. Most of the world was against us. It was Thatcher, Reagan, and Pope John Paul II who freed Eastern Europe and anyone who was alive at the time knows it.
As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.
As even most responsible pro-global warming scientists will tell you, that is a crock of crap. It is impossible to prove cause and effect for droughts in the midwest being connected to a drought in Kenya. That is silly, stupid, and deliberately misleading. And Obama might want to make a note that there is more ice in the Arctic this summer than there has been in about 50 years.
That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.
More pie in the sky “brotherhood of man” crap especially because Obama fails to mention the reason why many of those walls are standing; if they came down, chances are a lot of those people would be at each other’s throats and no amount of magical speaking or wishful thinking will change that fact.
This is the moment when we must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
Not surprisingly, this old lefty dream received the most applause from the assembled masses. Like gun control, it is likely that if we take nukes out of the hands of nation states, the only ones who have them will be the terrorists.
And that’s a world I don’t want to live in.
This is the moment when every nation in Europe must have the chance to choose its own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday. In this century, we need a strong European Union that deepens the security and prosperity of this continent, while extending a hand abroad. In this century—in this city of all cities—we must reject the Cold War mind-set of the past, and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must, and to seek a partnership that extends across this entire continent.
Would someone please tell me why there has been this fascination, this love affair with Russia on the part of the left for 90 years? I am sure Putin is licking his chops as a wolf looking at a bunch of sheep if Obama becomes president. Putins idea of “partnership” might differ a bit from the messiah’s.
This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.
Confiscation anyone? Obama wants to extend this old leftist dream of robbing the rich and giving some of it to the poor (the rest going to government bureaucrats) from American rich to the rich of other countries. Why another nation’s system of wealth distribution should be anyone else’s business – least of all Barack Obama’s – is beyond me.
This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.
More global warming hysteria. Beg to differ with the messiah but the children of today will almost certainly miss the effects of catastrophic global warming – if it happens – since most responsible global warming advocates see a 100-200 year timeframe before the worst occurs (this despite recent “studies” showing differently). And at the moment, the world’s weather just isn’t cooperating as the earth has actually cooled over the last decade. But that won’t stop this gigantic con game from going forward to redistribute the wealth of the world while curbing if not destroying industrialized civilization.
Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words “never again” in Darfur?
Very nice words, Barack. Very pretty. But what are you going to DO about it? As a topper for recycled leftist pap, this is the keeper – the belief that if we all just “stand” with the dissident from Burma, he won’t have his head and hands chopped off. Or the bloger in Iran won’t be thrown in jail if we hold a concert. Or the voter in Zimbabwe won’t have their head bashed in if we all sit around in a circle and think good thoughts.
The utter stupidity and yes, uselessness of these ideas is dressed up in beautiful prose and delivered by a gifted charlatan who, I am coming to suspect, doesn’t have a clue what he will do once in office. End the Iraq war? Not hardly. The man says so himself. National health insurance? Whose plan? How’s he going to get it passed? Taxes up. Some people’s tax bill (like mine) doubling.
When is someone going to ask him what he’s going to do to bring down the price of gasoline? Nothing in his speech to the non-voting Germans made mention of that. The housing crisis? More regulation and bail outs, rewarding bad business practices and stupid consumers both.
Obama’s disguising his far left ideas in pretty language and excellent delivery of his speeches is exactly the opposite of what almost every great political orator in American history has sought to do. Due to his “weirding ways,” he has managed to fool a great number of people into believing he is something he is not; a politician that will transform America into some kind of utopia where we all get along and people are healthy, happy, and content.
Strip aside the rhetoric and the mesmerizing presence on the stump and you are left with a rather ordinary, rather inspid liberal with visions of a planet united and America a slavish partner to the goals and aspirations of the bureaucrats at the United Nations – the US an emasculated presence while our own vital interests take second place to those preaching the gospel of universal brotherhood.
This has been a dream of the new left for 60 years. And Obama, the word made flesh of that dream, is just the man to fulfill that destiny.