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7/28/2004

National Review: Buying its Own Caricatures of the Democratic Party

Roger Clegg, one of the National Review minions, writes this about Barack Obama's moving 7/27 keynote address:

Barack Obama gave a fine speech, but it was not a speech that reflects the current Democratic Party. It celebrated America as "a magical place"; it did not bemoan our racism and imperialism. It professed that this black man "owe[d] a debt to those who came before" him; it did not call for reparations. It spoke of an "awesome God"; it did not banish Him from public discourse. It admitted that black parents, and black culture, need to change the way black children are raised; it did not blame or even mention racism. It quoted "E pluribus unum" and translated it correctly as "Out of many, one"; it did not misquote it, as Al Gore infamously did, as "Many out of one." Most of all, the speech celebrated one America, "one people," and rejected the notion of a black America, a white America, a Latino America, and an Asian America--a notion completely foreign to the multiculturalism that now dominates the Democratic Party.
In a way, this gives me a little hope. I can never tell if Republicans are simply lying about Democrats or if they actually believe the stories they tell. Do they honestly believe that Democrats hate America, or are they just a bunch of cynical machiavellians manipulating the "rubes." I waver as to which explanation I would prefer, but today, I prefer the "honest" misunderstanding - they are incompetent, not evil. Clegg clearly believes the National Review distortions of the Democratic Party. If he thinks that what Obama said is meritorious, then there may be hope for him yet.

America is a "magical place." Racism and imperialism don't do it justice: that is the Democratic argument. Obama owes a debt to those who came before him, as we all do. Hence the need to ensure that everyone receives that credit: that is the Democratic argument. "God" in public discourse is great; in the public coffers, not so great: that is the Democratic argument. Black parents and culture needs to change; we need to ensure that efforts are rewarded and helped along the way. Multiculturalism is e pluribus unum; Black Americans are Americans. Asian Americans are Americans. Latino Americans are Americans. Arab Americans are Americans. White Americans are Americans. We are all Americans, and all equally so.

Obama's speech summed up the core of the modern Democratic Party. We are all hurt when one of us hurts, we all succeed when one of us succeeds. Republicans tend to focus on the latter and forget the former.

 

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