The blogosphere continues to be afire with commentary on Sen. Obama's recent statements. Some of the commentary defending Sen. Obama's comments are pretty revelatory in their own right.
My two cents -- the problem with what Obama and his supporters believe is two-fold. First, there's the cultural condescension on display. There's nothing new in that. While it's remarkable to have the notions that Obama put forth being stated so plainly, anyone who has paid attention to politics in the last 40 years understands that this is part of the game.
The larger issue is the one that goes to the real conceit of certain liberals. It's this -- because liberals intend to use the apparatus of government to make your life better, the citizenry should let them do it. That's why today we're hearing the following message from Obama and his acolytes: well, of course people are bitter, because the government in Washington hasn't made people's lives better in the last 25-30 years. Those nasty Bushes and Clintons aren't listening to people's concerns. And that nasty McCain is the same. Again, apparently the last president who was listening was Jimmy Carter.
And here's the problem with that particular conceit; in my experience, people understand that the federal government isn't particularly well-equipped to deal with what are individual concerns. And people learn that is true irrespective of the party that happens to hold power in Washington, D.C.
The reason people "cling" to religion, or guns, or other traditions is really pretty simple; it's because those things matter more to people's lives than government does. I don't expect Barack Obama to make my life better; it is beyond his ken. He can complicate my life if he becomes president, but he won't hire me or fire me, nor will he ultimately have much say in how the next 8 years of my life proceed, whether he is president or not. My own faith and my own efforts will matter much more than anything he and his minions do, as will the relationships I have with family, friends, colleagues and others in my immediate community.
Maybe I'm wrong about all this. Maybe I'm a victim of false consciousness and don't understand that I am merely a pawn in a larger game. But I doubt it. The federal government certainly has a role to play in our lives, but it is necessarily secondary to the role that other people and institutions play in our lives. Sen. Obama doesn't see things that way. That is his right and he can certainly try to become president and then attempt to assume a pivotal role in my life. But I am duty-bound to push back against his efforts in that regard. And as more people come to understand the conceits by which Sen. Obama and his campaign operate, he's going to find more and more opposition. We cling to what we value and I value many things more than I value Sen. Obama's heartfelt offers to improve my life.