Peter Schweizer asks a question:
We now are down to two presidential candidates. One went to the Ivy League and Harvard Law School as a young man. The other spent years of his youth in a Vietnam Prisoner of War camp and suffered lifelong injuries. Guess which one whines more about his hardships?
That arugula-eating Barack Obama, that’s who! says Schweizer.
He compiles an impressively lightweight brief against him (and his wife). And concludes:
Many observers believe that Barack Obama secured the liberal base of the Democratic party because he was antiwar from the beginning. But I think it’s because he mastered the art of complaining and won over the Whine Caucus. Today the Democratic party is dominated by groups making claims of victim status — blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, unwed mothers, artists, pampered academics, environmental activists, the poor, the unemployed, animal rights activists, women, homosexuals. As Michael Crowley openly admits on Slate: “What does define and unify the [Democratic] party is a sense of victimhood.”
True to a point. Schweizer then goes on to cite several studies that show liberals hate their jobs, their homelives and their hobbies. Liberals blame “the man” for their misery.
But conservatives buy into the cult of victimhood just as much as liberals. It was the eggheads and the liberal establishment diagnosing conservatives as defective authoritarians in the 50s. In the Vietnam era, the nattering nabobs and assorted love-creeps were oppressing Nixon’s silent majority. Today’s conservatives are taught to shriek at the sight of an elitist – whether its their liberal professors, the liberal media, or liberal clouds and sky hanging over what they –in their happy aggrieved state–call “flyover country.” Plenty of victimhood to go around.
I also noticed that Schweizer’s article could easily be turned around:
We have two candidates for the presidency. One married an heiress. The other is the son of a single mother. One has given heroic service to his country, the other spent 20 years as a member of a church that preached solidarity among the poor and agitated for the expansion of government programs. Guess which one feels more entitled to the presidency?
After all, who is the candidate who tried to shame voters into choosing the guy who did it “not for profit, but for patriotism”? Who reminds us that he suffered while the peace-kids played with body-paint and defecated in a rural New York field to the wailing of Janis Joplin? Who tells us, in his melodramatic campaign ads that he has “sacrificed” for “a cause greater than self-interest?” John Sidney McCain, of course.
Partly out of patriotism, partly out of post-Vietnam post-draft shame, Americans now romanticize our fighting men. McCain will exploit these feelings just as cynically as Obama will exploit our shame over America’s history of slavery. Both are moral blackmail (which might be a synonym for modern democracy).
By November 4, after months of these two campaigning and hectoring me, I will also feel like a victim.