Thursday, October 21, 2010

Barack Obama: Our "Adversary President"

Nancy Pearcey has figured out what everybody's been asking for two years; namely, what is Barack Obama really after? A great column here.

...The category Obama fits best is what scholars call the “adversary culture.” Coined by literary critic Lionel Trilling, the term describes intellectuals and artists who feel alienated from Western society and hostile to its fundamental features.

The adversary culture took root in the 19th century when an avant-garde began to define themselves by defiance of established norms. They castigated the bourgeoisie as philistines caring only about material profit. They denounced the growing capitalist class as vulgar money-grubbers.

They latched onto philosophies like Marxism that gave them a platform of moral superiority from which to castigate the West. And Christianity -- well, whatever was popular among the uncultivated masses warranted only contempt.

These attitudes soon congealed into a class consciousness. Sidney Hook, in the foreword to The Survival of the Adversary Culture, describes many intellectuals' “hostility to American institutional values and practices.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan notes that “the cultural elite have pretty generally rejected the values and activities of the larger society.”...

The adversary culture explains Obama’s self-declared desire to fundamentally change America. It explains the constant apologizing for his own country, the Washington take-over of key industries, the move toward socialized medicine, the 20 year’s acceptance of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s black liberation theology, with its Marxist rewrite of Christianity.

These are not idiosyncratic views that require psychological explanations involving a father he barely knew (pacĂ© D’Souza). As John Kelly writes in American Thinker, Obama’s philosophy is held by the majority of university faculty members: “He promotes, with near perfect predictability, their left-wing, collectivist, counter-American viewpoint. There are thousands and thousands of academics out there gripping a similar playbook.”

The sobering implication is that even when Obama is no longer in office, there are thousands of others ready to jump in with the same playbook...

The Tea Party represents a grassroots resistance to the adversary culture in both parties. It has mobilized millions who recognize that the ruling class is imposing a regime contrary to the liberating ideals of the American Founders.

To be intellectual does not require one to be alienated and oppositional. After all, America was “founded by intellectuals,” notes historian Richard Hofstadter. The Founders were “sages, scientists, and men of broad cultivation.” To recover their vision is to revive a genuinely American intellectual tradition.

November 2 is an opportunity to oust members of the adversary culture from power—and the first step to voting out the adversary president in 2012.

The White House should always be a friend to American freedom.