OT: No he can't


No He Can't

by Anne Wortham

Fellow Americans,

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 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

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.

November 6, 2008