Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Politics of Victimization and Grievance

Some quotes from a column by Thomas Sowell:

Like everyone else, I have also been hearing a lot lately about Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of the church that Barack Obama has belonged to for 20 years.

Both men, in their different ways, have for decades been promoting the far left vision of victimization and grievances-- Wright from his pulpit and Obama as a community organizer for the radical group ACORN, as a collaborator with former Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, and as the member of the U.S. Senate with the farthest left voting record.

Later, when the ultimate political prize-- the White House-- loomed on the horizon, Obama did a complete makeover, now portraying himself as a healer of divisions.

The difference between Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright is that they are addressing different audiences, using different styles adapted to those audiences.

It is a difference between upscale demagoguery and ghetto demagoguery, playing the audience for suckers in both cases.

People on the far left like to flatter themselves that they are for the poor and the downtrodden. But what is most likely to lift people out of poverty-- telling them that the world has done them wrong or promoting the work ethic.......

When young people go out into the world, what will they have to offer that can gain them the rewards they seek from others and the achievements they need for themselves?

Will they have the skills of science, technology or medicine?

Or will they have only the resentments that have been whipped up by the likes of Jeremiah Wright or the sense of entitlement from the government that has been Barack Obama's stock in trade?

In the real world, a sense of grievance or entitlement, as a result of the mistreatment of your ancestors, is not likely to get you very far with people who are too busy dealing with current economic realities to spend much time thinking about their own ancestors, much less other people's ancestors.......

We don't need people like either Jeremiah Wright or Barack Obama to take us backward.

The time is long overdue to stop gullibly accepting the left's vision of itself as idealistic, rather than self-aggrandizing.

To read the rest of Mr Sowell's column click on the tite for a link.