Barack Hussein Obama is the First Postmodern Candidate

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Barack Hussein Obama is the First Postmodern Candidate
 
                          Dennis A. Wright, D. Min.
 
Barack Hussein Obama has finally earned his place in history: He is the first postmodern candidate for President of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />United States of America.  He most assuredly belongs to the deconstructionist school of thought.
Deconstruction is a term used in contemporary literary criticism, philosophy, and the social sciences, and was coined by Jacques Derrida in the 1960s.[1]  The Oxford English Dictionary defines deconstruction as "A strategy of critical analysis . . . directed towards exposing unquestioned metaphysical assumptions and internal contradictions in philosophical and literary language."[2]
Central to deconstruction is the idea of binary opposition [a pair of theoretical opposites] and a text's "undecidability."  Every term has a binary opposite, for example, something can be either "good" or "bad" but not both.  Derrida undermines this, arguing that because the two opposites are inextricably bound, a text can mean the opposite of what it apparently attempts to.[3]  An example is the sentence "Socrates was a good person."  In reading this text the reader cannot help but question in what way Socrates was good, and why this needed stating.  "Badness" as well as "goodness" is brought to mind, and in this sense, the text becomes "undecidable."
It is becoming increasingly obvious that Obama's "texts" have no fixed meaning.  He is able to take varying positions and claim consistency.  For example, Obama-the junior Senator from Illinois-gave a lengthy interview on July 21 to ABC News in which he gave further details about his ever-evolving position on the troop surge in Iraq. 
Some background is in order before we examine what he said in this interview.  Here is a inventory of Obama's previous statements on the topic:
 
January 10, 2007, on MSNBC:
 
"I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse."
 
Also from January 2007:
 
"We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war.  And until we acknowledge that reality, uh, we can send 15,000 more troops; 20,000 more troops; 30,000 more troops.  Uh, I don't know any, uh, expert on the region or any military officer that I've spoken to, uh, privately that believes that that is gonna make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground."
 
May 25, 2007:
 
"And what I know is that what our troops deserve is not just rhetoric, they deserve a new plan. Governor Romney and Senator McCain clearly believe that the course that we're on in Iraq is working, I do not."
 
July, 2007:
 
"Here's what we know.  The surge has not worked.  And they said today, 'Well, even in September, we're going to need more time.'  So we're going to kick this can all the way down to the next president, under the president's plan."
 
September 13, 2007:
 
"After putting an additional 30,000 troops in, far longer & more troops than the president had initially said, we have gone from a horrendous situation   of violence in Iraq to the same intolerable levels of violence that we had back in June of 2006.  So, essentially, after all this we're back where we were 15 months ago.  And what has not happened is any movement with respect to the sort of political accommodations among the various factions, the Shia, the Sunni, and Kurds that were the rationale for surge and that ultimately is going to be what stabilizes Iraq.  So, I think it is fair to say that the president has simply tried to gain another six months to continue on the same course that he's been on for several years now.  It is a course that will not succeed."
 
November 11, 2007:
 
"Finally, in 2006-2007, we started to see that, even after an election, George Bush continued to want to pursue a course that didn't withdraw troops from Iraq but actually doubled them and initiated a surge and at that stage I said very clearly, not only have we not seen improvements, but we're actually worsening, potentially, a situation there."
 
 
However, by early 2008, as statistical proof of The Surge's astonishing success became incontrovertible, Obama abruptly reverses his assessment of the state of affairs and his recollection of his own recent history:
 
January 5, 2008:
 
"I had no doubt, and I said when I opposed the surge, that given how wonderfully our troops perform, if we place 30,000 more troops in there, then we would see an improvement in the security situation and we would see a reduction in the violence."
 
And now Obama has morphed to this:
 
July 21, 2008:
 
When asked if-knowing what he knows now-would he support the Troop Surge?  Obama replied, "No."  When asked to articulate he added:
 
"These kinds of hypotheticals are very difficult," he said. "Hindsight is 20/20.  But I think that what I am absolutely convinced of is, at that time, we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with, and one that I continue to disagree with-is to look narrowly at Iraq and not focus on these broader issues."
 
 
We should be cognizant that a few things are unmistakable from this examination of the [Manchurian?] Candidate's own words:
 
 
Obama has only a superficial and quite shallow acquaintance with the concept of "truth."
 
It appears that everything Obama says and does must be viewed "in context" and that the framing of that context is the sole province of Barack Hussein Obama.  Consider the whole miserable Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright question for example.  Over the course of just six weeks we were told that:
·        he had no idea these things were said;
·        he had a vague idea they were said;
·        he knew they were said but could no more disown them than his occasionally racist grandmother;
·        he had been personally disrespected and was through with Jeremiah A. Wright. 
 
Now that is quite a bit of "context" to get from his initial statements to the end point a mere forty days later!
 
 
Obama is entirely disinclined to admit he is ever wrong about anything. 
 
Once again, the wild ride with Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ is highly educational.  Absent from this extended public discussion was any admission that he had:
·        exercised poor reasoning,
·        reached faulty conclusions,
·        learned a lesson, or
·        perhaps made an error in judgment.
 
As we discovered when he washed his hands of the very man that "he could no more disown" Barack Hussein Obama lives in the eternal now, and at this point in time, this is what he thinks.  End of story, end of discussion.  Period!
 
 
Obama will shamelessly and audaciously say just about anything required to get elected. 
 
Acknowledged above.
 
 
The Old Media are at best useless, and at worse, complicit. 
 
This variety of post-modern, contextual concept of truth-although horrifying to many of us-is actually quite trendy with the Liberal Left.  A deconstructed, evolving narrative-far from being seen as evasive or dissembling-is actually seen as a "higher truth" that the flyover folks-who are "still clinging to their guns and their religion"-in Middle America obviously just don't get.  Finally, the fact that Barack Hussein Obama blatantly contradicts his own factual declarations is immaterial to the fact that he "gets it".
 
 
This late in the election cycle, no one really knows where Obama stands on anything. 
 
The obvious beauty of cheekily appropriating all sides of an issue is that one is never really wrong.  The problem is, should Obama get elected-God help us!-he will have to pick one side or the other:
·        He cannot simultaneously support and abandon Iraq. 
·        He cannot prohibit the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons but refuse to consider using force to stop them. 
·        He cannot have it both ways-ask George W. Bush-he could give you an earful on the topic of hard choices. 
 
Should Barack Hussein Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States there will abruptly come a day when he finally comprehends that, although his cronies in media and academia really love this postmodern journey he is on, the rest of world looks to the President of the United States for fixed principles, clear convictions, and a well-grounded view of reality.  Given what the American electorate has seen to date it is far from clear that Obama is intellectually or psychologically qualified to meet the challenge.  Barack Hussein Obama may be just another radical, liberal dim bulb that has had its voltage cranked up higher than the manufacturer intended.  He may be burning brightly right now, but for how long?
 
 


[1] One of the first times Derrida uses the term can be found here: Derrida, J., 1976. Of Grammatology. Translated with an introduction by Gayatri C. Spivak. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 10. This book is a translation from the original French edition first published in 1967.

[2] http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50058910, accessed July 26, 2008.

[3] Collins, J and Mayblin, B, Introducing Derrida, (Icon Books, 2000), 33.

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