Saturday, June 07, 2008

Yet More Feedback From The British Press

This is taken from The Daily Mail:

Charismatic, yes. But I fear Obama's not a new JFK

Last updated at 10:54 PM on 06th June 2008

Before we get carried away on a tidal wave of Obama-mania, let's look behind the extraordinary charisma of America's first black Presidential candidate.

Undoubtedly, Barack Obama is an inspirational figure. But for all his sheer magnetism and his huge gifts as an orator, there are some uncomfortable truths about the man whom many have dubbed 'the new JFK.'

Obama has the second most liberal voting record in the Senate. He plans to raise capital gains and corporate taxes, hitting the professional and middle classes who are the engine of enterprise.

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Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama

He wants every American to have the same healthcare as congressmen - a nice idea in theory but, hopelessly naive in reality, I suspect.

Equally misguided are his plans to meet - in person, if necessary - the leaders of Iran, Cuba and North Korea, who do not deserve to be dignified with a place at any negotiating table.

And then there's his support for an amnesty for the U.S.'s 11 million illegal immigrants - although a similar scheme in the Eighties showed it only encourages greater illegal immigration.

Finally, there is his unflinching support for the U.S.'s abortion laws, which allow terminations up to 26 weeks - despite the wealth of evidence which shows that babies born at 20 weeks stand a good chance of survival.

Far from heralding progress, I fear that Obama is the very embodiment of the same failed Leftish experiment that has blighted Britain throughout ten years of Labour rule.

Beneath the magic - and the man has oddles of it - Obama is an East Coast cosmopolitan bien pensant. He is as ideologically distanced from Middle America as he is from the Moon.

And that has grave implications not just for the U.S., but for all those of us who look to America to be united and strong, the last remaining Western superpower and the proud standardbearer for free market democracy.

And then, of course, there's the race issue. In an ideal world, the colour of a presidential candidate's skin ought not to matter. But this is not an ideal world - and the fact is, for understandable reasons, Obama has played up his ethnic heritage to an uncomfortable degree.

Will that come back to haunt him as he seeks to extend his appeal beyond committed Democrat voters?

Obama will need to be a truly great leader if he does win the White House, for he will need to assuage the anxiety of that minority of the U.S. public who, openly or not, remain deeply uneasy about a non-white running their country.

Equally, if he doesn't win, his supporters will claim that racism was to blame, leading to spiralling tensions among the U.S.'s ethnic communities.

It is not impossible that far from being the 'new JFK' heralding a fresh age of optimism, Obama may yet prove the most divisive U.S. president in history. I just hope I'm wrong.

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