No He Can't By Anne Wortham
Please know: I am black; I grew up in
the segregated South. I did not vote for Barack Obama; I wrote in Ron
Paul's name as my choice for president. Most importantly, I am not race
conscious. I do not require a black president to know that I am a person
of worth, and that life is worth living. I do not require a black
president to love the ideal of America .
I cannot join you in your celebration.
I feel no elation. There is no smile on my face. I am not jumping with
joy. There are no tears of triumph in my eyes. For such emotions and
behavior to come from me, I would have to deny all that I know about the
requirements of human flourishing and survival - all that I know about
the history of the United States of America , all that I know about
American race relations, and all that I know about Barack Obama as a
politician. I would have to deny the nature of the "change" that Obama
asserts has come to America . Most importantly, I would have to abnegate
my certain understanding that you have chosen to sprint down the road to
serfdom that we have been on for over a century. I would have to pretend
that individual liberty has no value for the success of a human life. I
would have to evade your rejection of the slender reed of capitalism on
which your success and mine depend. I would have to think it somehow
rational that 94 percent of the 12 million blacks in this country voted
for a man because he looks like them (that blacks are permitted to play
the race card), and that they were joined by self-declared "progressive"
whites who voted for him because he doesn't look like them. I would have
to be wipe my mind clean of all that I know about the kind of people who
have advised and taught Barack Obama and will fill posts in his
administration - political intellectuals like my former colleagues at
the Harvard University 's Kennedy School of Government.
I would have to believe that
"fairness" is the equivalent of justice. I would have to believe that
man who asks me to "go forward in a new spirit of service, in a new
service of sacrifice" is speaking in my interest. I would have to accept
the premise of a man that economic prosperity comes from the "bottom
up," and who arrogantly believes that he can will it into existence by
the use of government force. I would have to admire a man who thinks the
standard of living of the masses can be improved by destroying the most
productive and the generators of wealth.
Finally, Americans, I would have to
erase from my consciousness the scene of 125,000 screaming, crying,
cheering people in Grant Park, Chicago irrationally chanting "Yes We
Can!" Finally, I would have to wipe all memory of all the times I have
heard politicians, pundits, journalists, editorialists, bloggers and
intellectuals declare that capitalism is dead - and no one, including
especially Alan Greenspan, objected to their assumption that the
particular version of the anti-capitalistic mentality that they want to
replace with their own version of anti-capitalism is anything remotely
equivalent to capitalism.
So you have made history, Americans.
You and your children have elected a black man to the office of the
president of the United States , the wounded giant of the world. The
battle between John Wayne and Jane Fonda is over - and that Fonda won.
Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern must be very happy men. Jimmie
Carter, too. And the Kennedys have at last gotten their Kennedy
look-a-like. The self-righteous welfare statists in the suburbs can feel
warm moments of satisfaction for having elected a black person. So,
toast yourselves: 60s countercultural radicals, 80s yuppies and 90s
bourgeois bohemians. Toast yourselves, Black America. Shout your glee
Harvard, Princeton , Yale, Duke, Stanford, and Berkeley. You have
elected not an individual who is qualified to be president, but a black
man who, like the pragmatist Franklin Roosevelt, promises to - Do
Something! You now have someone who has picked up the baton of Lyndon
Johnson's Great Society. But you have also foolishly traded your freedom
and mine - what little there is left - for the chance to feel good.
There is nothing in me that can share your happy obliviousness.