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No Left Turns

Obama: Right Symbol for the Wrong Party?

Daniel Henninger makes some thoughtful observations in today’s WSJ about what Obama’s widespread appeal really means. He’s not buying--too much--the argument that white guilt is leading people to pour their hopes into Obama. Too easy to be good--and, as Thomas Sowell has noted--Obama doesn’t appeal to white guilt (at least, not yet). But there is a common thread between Obama and a group of up-and-coming black politicians with a message (or at least a symbol) that may have some interesting cross-cultural appeal. The question, Henninger notes at the end, is whether the Democrats can countenance this message. Sadly, the Republicans haven’t given any indication that they can do it better.

Discussions - 9 Comments


There is nothing interesting about this man. He is a black McGovernite with the polish of JFK. To talk about Obama as there is something substantive -- and to call him "interesting" does suggest substance, not just style -- is misleading. It is also the kind of psychology that will lead us right into the tank on Election Day. The Dems will have no problem "countenancing" Obamaesque spin. They already get votes from millions of Americans who buy their rhetoric and fail to understand how far to the left they are. Obama makes the problem worse, not better. As for the Republicans' alleged failure at "cross-cultural appeal," perhaps the problem is that Republicans tend to believe in one American culture, not multiculturalism. I believe the same can be said for No Left Turns. What, pray tell, is -- or should be -- its "cross-cultural appeal"?

What, pray tell, is -- or should be -- its "cross-cultural appeal"?

The kind of appeal that actually cares to make an argument on behalf of the common American culture you're talking about to people who have (or who think they have) good reason to be suspicious of it. I suppose you think it's better to scoff at them and that this is going to help us on election day?

Your original comment appeared to call for an Obamaesque appeal on the part of the Republican party. It is impossible for a Republican party with any integrity -- and yes, I think it does have some integrity -- to make an Obamaesque appeal. The spirit of Obamaism and the spirit of American principles are contradictory. Most of the people who are attracted to Obama aren't particularly interested in American principles, but in other things. Of course there should be a Republican effective appeal to as many Americans as is ethically possible. The Republican party generally does appeal to the common good, I would argue, though how effectively is a fair question. That many people can't see it is at least as much their fault as the Republican party's. The customer is not ALWAYS right, nor are minorities always right.

Most of the people who are attracted to Obama aren't particularly interested in American principles, but in other things. Like what? Look we agree that the guy's selling snake oil, but there must be something ailing them (or that they think ails them) if they're looking to buy a cure. Address it then. Find out what it is. Explain why Obama's not going to help them. Tell them (or, rather, re-tell them) about the principles that will make a difference in their lives. Make an argument to them instead of shouting slogans.

The customer is not ALWAYS right, nor are minorities always right. No, they're not. But they are right about this much . . . that you're not going to get their attention or their interest or their votes by pretending that their concerns are not important or real to you. You can't deny the reality that they don't like you. Don't you want to find out why? Don't you wonder if there's not some common thread between us that could change their minds? Part of Obama's appeal is that he seems to be above confrontation. I'm not asking for pandering or a pretended move away from confrontation or a Republican version of "Obamaism" . . . again, I'm asking for persuasion.

There is no common American culture.

The customer is always right. A free society is founded upon the principle of free exchange. If you wish to sell me something you must convince me that what you wish to sell me is worth what I must give up in order to obtain it. Mutual exchange for mutual benefit is an american principle. Minorities have the right to exist, because the principle that the customer is always right is true. You can sell it, I don't have to buy it. I may be a minority because the rest of american culture buys into it but because the customer is always right, I have the right to minority status.

The idea that the customer is always right is as american culture as apple pie...

Just to be clear, you don't have to like apple pie to be american...nor if you like apple pie do you have to like it at the price of $5 a slice...Even if you happen to be indifferent towards apple pie, you can still choose to buy it for .50 cents a slice. I suppose if you were rich enough you could find yourself in a situation where you dislike apple pie but are willing to buy it for $5 a slice just to make sure you dislike it. It is a free country....The customer is always right doesn't mean that you can force someone to sell you the apple pie for 10 cents a slice...since both sides of any transaction are customers. Of course if you are a customer that is selling apple pie and you sell all your slices at $2 a slice and someone comes along that is willing to pay you $5...you loose out...in this sense you were wrong to sell so cheaply...the customer is always right, doesn't mean that the customer has to be right in hindsight. There is no guarantee that as a customer all your transactions will be "right", but this does not negate the principle that the customer is always right.

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Nowadays we have new improved Ugg boots for sale.You can get them for anybody.We have women boots,children boots,slippers and casuals.

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