In an era of symbolic identity politics, only one kind of candidate can trump Obama’s credentials.
President Obama’s election is due, in part, to the desire among many American liberals and leftists to be seen as “atoning” for the sin of racism and the crimes of slavery. The fact that Obama is bi-racial—his mother was white—matters little since he looks like an African-American. Indeed, the President’s own writing focuses on his African, Muslim roots, especially because his Kenyan father abandoned both him and his mother.
In an era of symbolic identity politics and affirmative action, only one kind of candidate could trump Obama’s credentials and that would be an African-American woman. Only such a candidate could symbolically address the sin and crime of sexism as well as that of racism. Ironically, the first woman who ever ran in a major party primary for the American Presidency did so in 1972. That was Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, whose parents immigrated from British Guiana and Barbados. In 2004, Senator Carol Moseley Braun, also an African-American woman, ran in a major party primary for the American Presidency. Both women failed in their bids.
Currently there are 31 African American men and 13 African-American women in Congress; there are no African-Americans in the Senate. In the past there have been only six such senators in American history. Currently, there are 18 women in the Senate. In all of American history a total of 39 women of all races, including the current 18, have served as Senators.
Given how many Americans confuse voting for the Presidency with voting for an American Idol; given how good so many Americans feel that we have “overcome” and have elected an African-American as our President; given how deep, high, and wide emotions are running in terms of racism (which trumps sexism as an issue even among establishment feminists), clearly, obviously, the next election is ripe for an African-American woman candidate. Obviously, she can be as inexperienced as President Obama was as long as she is charismatic, charming, eloquent, glamorous, and well connected to Hollywood, the media, and the academy. .
Maybe Oprah should run.
She will never run against her “guy.” Not a chance in Hell. (And I would never vote for her). But she represents the zeitgeist, what’s popular in America right now. And Obama has all the African-American hip-hop and rap artists and Hollywood stars sewn up tight. We can’t turn to them. Obama’s their “guy” too.
Am I kidding? Have I fallen into some identity politics trap of my own? Not really. But I am half-serious, half-sardonic, and utterly heartbroken. The world is getting ready to slaughter the Jews again. Free speech and true dissent are being storm-troopered into silence and shame in the American halls of academe. Gays in NYC are demanding the right to meet as “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid,” even while they remain utterly silent about Islamic gender and religious apartheid. (More about this later).
Thus, I am dreaming about what kind of candidate could possibly defeat Obama.
Ideally, my candidate would have to share my foreign policy views. She would have to cherish America and the West. She would have to understand that Islam has a long, long history of colonialism, imperialism, racism, and slavery and that America, while not perfect, is much more evolved in terms of an active anti-racist consciousness than is any Muslim country.
President Obama deeply dislikes, possibly even hates the Jewish state. His dislike is visceral and frightening.
My ideal African-American candidate would have to understand that the survival of Jewish Israel is paramount, that it is the world’s symbol of Western democracy and human rights, women’s rights, gay rights, etc. American ethics and laws, as embodied in our Constitution and legal concepts are derived from the Old Testament, not from the Koran.
She would have understand that the Jews are and were the original and indigenous “Palestinians”—dubbed so by the victorious ancient Romans--and that those who now claim to be “Palestinians” are merely Arabs who once identified themselves entirely in terms of their religion, tribe, clan, and ethnicity. Like the Jews, they were also once Turkish subjects or British subjects. Some grew up in Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, or lived there and elsewhere after 1948. The concept of a “Palestinian” state is a relatively new one and has been developed as a genocidal weapon against the Jewish state.
Above all, my ideal candidate would have to understand that America is the best country in the world; and that barbarian jihadists and American leftists mean to destroy it. She would have to defend America in a coming time of great peril.
Why in God’s name am I thinking along these lines?
Given the extraordinary pathology of Bush Derangement Syndrome, and short of Armeggedon, I do not believe that enough Americans will, without doubt, elect another white male Republican. No matter what his politics may be, he himself will be seen as retrograde, anti-woman, anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion, pro-racism, pro-war and as both dull and evil. The media, combined with Soros and Saudi monies and our intelligentsia have poisoned the minds of millions.
Hence, I offer a desperate but interesting idea for a desperate and interesting time.