Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When the saints go marching in

Baldilocks argues that contstructing a religion on racist lines somehow makes the resulting faith less than a religion amd more like politics. And when you're dealing with Eternity, dates like 2008 seem awfully irrelevant. (Hat tip Gerard Vanderleun)

That’s his choice, but not mine and not that of those who focus on the Redemption offered by Christ instead of getting upon the Cross themselves. To quote myself, there is no “black church.” There is only the Church.

The issue Baldilocks raises is related to one of the more interesting concepts in theology: that of the "Communion of Saints". It's defined by Wikipedia as:

The Communion of Saints (in Latin, communio sanctorum) is the spiritual union of all Christians living and the dead, those on earth, in heaven and, in Catholic belief, in purgatory. ...

The earliest known use of this term to refer to the belief in a mystical bond uniting both the living and the dead in a confirmed hope and love is by Saint Nicetas of Remesiana (ca. 335–414); the term has since then played a central role in formulations of the Christian creed.

The term is included in the Apostles' Creed, a major profession of the Christian faith whose current form was settled in the eighth century, but which originated from not long after the year 100, the basic statement of the Church's faith.

The doctrine of the Communion of Saints is based on 1 Corinthians 12, where Paul compares Christians to a single body.

Who cares about these ideas in the 21st century? Well, apart from Christians who really do subscribe to the idea that all Creation somehow participates in a single communion, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright does, in a negative way. The interesting question is whether Wright's idea of a racially based church constitutes an Anti-Communion of Saints.

The Wright project is a difficult one. Things are naturally connected. And the problem of isolating the effect of one thing upon another is one of the hardest analytical challenges knowledge engineers face. Just the other night, at a presentation describing ways to link knowledge domains together in a "smart way", I was struck by the fundamental difficulty of weighting the links between one ontology and another.

Consider an intelligence analyst who is trying to link events, people, dates and places together in a purposeful way in order to discover a pattern of terrorist operations. His fundamental challenge is to find the meaningful links between these objects among the millions of relations that naturally exist between them. A supermarket manager has the same problem. What is the meaningful pattern which ties together shelf displays, customers and sales. There are lots of relationships. But which are the significant ones?

Thus, Jeremiah Wright's attempt to redescribe the world in terms of a racial template is an audacious one. In his ideology, race defines how we should weigh links. It is one true factor in assigning weights to relationships. His Communion of Saints is defined in a very narrow way.

Personally I doubt whether things are simple as the Rev. Wright imagines. I think John Donne was nearer the mark.

No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.

I believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting, forever and ever. Amen.

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Blogger Mike H. said...

Creed - Rich Mullins.

4/30/2008 01:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Roman Catholic...can always spot them from a hundred miles :P

4/30/2008 01:30:00 AM  
Blogger Quig said...

Could the faith of J. Wright and BHO inspire this kind of behavior?

4/30/2008 02:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Poisonous “Authenticity”
Jeremiah Wright draws on a long line of Afrocentric charlatans.

Approving of self-destructive behavior in school is just one part of the vast academic project to justify black underclass dysfunction. The academy has also singled out crime as authentically black, another poisonous idea that Wright appears to have embraced. In his NAACP speech, he mocked the tendency of “those of us who never got caught” to treat “those of us who are incarcerated” with disrespect. In other words, we all commit crime, but only some of us get nabbed for it.
In a widely reprinted California Law Review article from 1992, Austin asserted that the black community should embrace the criminals in its midst as a form of resistance to white oppression.

People of color should view “hustling” as a “good middle ground between straightness and more extreme forms of lawbreaking.”
Examples of hustling include “clerks in stores [who] cut their friends a break on merchandise, and pilfering employees [who] spread their contraband around the neighborhood.”

It never occurs to Austin that these black thieves may have black employers who suffer the effects of black crime—as do the larger neighborhoods of which they form the essential fabric.
Officially incorporating crime into the black identity, as Austin and Wright do, is a pathetic admission of defeat and marginalization.
The coverage of Wright’s speeches beyond the Times has been just as silent about their crackpot Afrocentric pedagogy, meekly following the agenda that Wright set by asking instead whether the black church, and not Wright, was under attack.

4/30/2008 03:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carried forward from the previous thread, Mike H said, "the association between Wright and Obama has been too close and too long for Obama to dust him like this. It smells of collusion."

This is the moonbattery of the Right. Obama has brought down the towering issues of Reverend Wright's racist hatred, and his decades of support for him, in a controlled implosion. In this post 4-29 era, neither Hillary nor McCain will ever able to bring up the issue again, because their thinking will come across as so 4-28.

4/30/2008 04:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

More accurately, he stammered and jive-talked about it.
Jive-Talk Express

At first, Obama downplayed Wright’s public appearances. But Obama now tells us he had to wait 24 hours to convene a press conference to denounce Wright’s National Press Club speech because he “hadn’t seen it.”
After all this time on the campaign trail, we’re back to the Obama-as-clueless-naif narrative again. When he finally did view the Washington speech, Obama explained, he was “shocked” and “outraged” and “saddened” because “the person I saw was not the person that I’d come to know over 20 years.”

What a load of pure unadulterated horse manure. Anyone with eyes can see that Wright’s performances are finely honed, time-tested acts. His anti-white, anti-American, “imperialist”-bashing shtick was not developed overnight or over the past few years.
He’s been peddling AIDS conspiracies for decades.
He’s been grievance-mongering about slavery for decades. He’s been flirting with the Nation of Islam, which provided security for his speeches, for decades. He’s been a shouting left-wing radical for decades.

Obama’s best-selling Audacity of Hope is named after the first sermon of Wright’s that he heard — decades ago — in which the pastor of racial resentment inveighed against an environment “where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere.”
Yet, only now has Obama concluded that Wright’s sermons are “a bunch of rants that aren’t grounded in truth.”

Welcome to the Jive-Talk Express.
As those of us with non-European brains might put it:
You be trippin’, Barry.

4/30/2008 04:27:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

I don't think what you're talking about is so difficult, Wretchard. I do it all the time. Them out to get me right now get one weight. Them who've been out to get me in the past, but ain't out there getting me now, get a lesser weight. Them that don't get me at all, and never have gotten me, get lesser yet. And so on. Up and down the scale of my regard. Then there is the matter of attention span, which I'll get to later.

I ran into some "white working class" Democrats yesterday (yes, they are not just a concept, they live). They asked me, these living concepts, what I thought of Rev Wright/Sen. Obama affair (if that is the right word). Well, I wanted to draw them out and not contaminate their political perceptions with my own genius (even though they've shown resistance in that past), so I said, "Apparently the good Reverend has decided to be a light unto the nation."

Well, they said the Good Reverend had sunk Sen. Obama. They said Barry was going to lose in the fall and when he did "they" would blame it on racism. Not them, mind you, but "they." Hmm. Who's they? Well, I forgot to ask on account of I know who they are.

Well, here's the political problem for Obama. He needs primary voters to think that when they vote for Sen. Clinton they are voting for her and not against him. Because once they decided that they voted against him once, it is easy to do the second time. And I think that is the point he has arrived at. Along with the entire Democratic Party.

4/30/2008 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Obama is shocked - shocked! at the racist drivel from Wright.

And I'm Princess Teresita of Timbuktoo.

4/30/2008 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

The Boston Globe
Now, after Obama's uncategorical repudiation yesterday of the man who presided at his wedding and the baptism of his daughters, voters and other political observers will inevitably wonder what took so long - and how Obama could have misjudged someone to whom he was very close.

After all, politicians are constantly confronted with these kinds of controversies. Obama initially chose to offer only a relatively mild condemnation of Wright, and to portray all the hubbub about his comments as an example of the kinds of distractions that mar political life.

Wright, with his defiance in three consecutive appearances over the weekend, made Obama look foolish. And not least because it took him so long to face Wright down.

"Every political strategist says if you have to take your medicine, better to take it sooner than later," said Linda Fowler, a Dartmouth College political scientist.

Obama, who has tried to separate himself from "politics as usual," didn't follow this nostrum. His first attempt to respond to Wright's comments - in his closely watched speech on race last month - aimed to place the offensive comments in the context of America's racial divide.

"It was an important speech for a black man who wants to be president, but it didn't directly address the difficult situation with Reverend Wright," Fowler said.

By maintaining his association with Wright while the controversy percolated, Obama gave his political enemies a chance to tie him to Wright's statements. While his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, fanned the flames by declaring that she would have walked out of Wright's church, there is little doubt that this is a controversy that would have erupted whether or not Clinton was in the race.

Long ago, Obama had tacitly acknowledged that Wright was destined to become a potential flashpoint by disinviting him to his campaign kickoff in early 2007. But while Obama may have anticipated that the political spotlight would one day focus on some of Wright's fiery sermons - though Obama says he didn't know of the most controversial statements - he surely didn't envision the damage inflicted by Wright himself.

4/30/2008 06:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wright, Jefferson and the Wrath of God

Jefferson in 1781's Notes on the State of Virginia... "(Can) the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever."

The wrath of God brought down on a country that permits slavery? A nation damned by its original sin? God damn America?

4/30/2008 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Mastiff said...


The obvious difference that you seem to be willfully neglecting is that in Jefferson's time, slavery was still legitimate and slaves were still imported.

Since then, we had a bit of a tussle in the 1860s that got a few men knocked about (indeed, that was doubtless God's punishment for the country), and now we don't allow slavery anymore.

4/30/2008 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

that 1860s tussle cost 650,000 lives in a combatant population one tenth of USA's current. so that war today would've cost 6,500,000 lives. Over 2% of the entire population died more or less willingly to enshrine the ideal of equality before the law. that's about as far as government can go into folks' hearts -- the rest is up to individuals. if you want to be loved, be loveable.

4/30/2008 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

"A thousand pities cannot undo one thoughtless act."

Sorry, Barack. Too little, too late.

"There are times when verbal ingenuity is not enough."

4/30/2008 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger always right said...

But it examplified BHO followers' mindset.

'IT is over WHEN I say is over.'

The same attitute toward the effort against GWoT. "The WAR will be over when we withdraw all troops (from foreign lands)."

The OTHER side does not matter one bit. Your enemy don't enter into their equations.

4/30/2008 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

A caller to Rush Limbaugh the other day said that since Wright had served in the US military and that neither Rush nor Dick Cheny had done so, then you had to judge Wright in the totality of his life rather than just a few selected statements. Or at least I think that was his argument.

Of course this approach has an enormous fallacy. No one gives a rat’s rump about judging Wright in the totality of his life, as good or bad. The issue is whether the philosophy espoused by Wright – and apparently accepted by Sen Obama, among others – is correct, effective, moral and appropriate.

But it has made me wonder. Does the Left really judge the worth of a person’s ideas based on the totality of his life? Perhaps they do; that would explain a lot.

But if you did judge the ideas based on the man’s life, then in 1940 you would have had to have been a Nazi. Adolph Hitler had far more accomplishments in his life than did Churchill and Roosevelt. Hitler won the Iron cross in WWII, was noted then for his tendency to “run toward the sound of the guns”, had built a political party from scratch and led his nation from almost total ruin to a position of immense power. Roosevelt and Churchill were far less accomplished, being at best Hitler’s equal in oratory and inferior in most every other way in terms of achievements.

But Hitler’s ideas were pure racist poison that deserved total eradication no matter how many people were killed in order to do so. Roosevelt and Churchill were perhaps not genius on the order of the founders of the U.S., but they were immensely better at ideas than Hitler.

So what do y’all think? Does the Cult of Personality define the Left or is it merely one of their favorite toys?

4/30/2008 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

Of course this approach has an enormous fallacy. No one gives a rat’s rump about judging Wright in the totality of his life, as good or bad. The issue is whether the philosophy espoused by Wright – and apparently accepted by Sen Obama, among others – is correct, effective, moral and appropriate.

. . .accepted by Sen Obama until it became apparent it was hurting his campaign.

What bothers me most, is a hypothetical situation where it somehow didn't appear that Wright's outrageous racism and hate was going to hurt Obama's chances at the Oval Office. Would he then have distanced himself from Wright? I can't say for sure. I want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. . .but I strongly suspect he would've continued his association of Wright without batting an eye over it.

4/30/2008 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Does the Cult of Personality define the Left or is it merely one of their favorite toys?

One of the characteristics of undemocratic leadership is it's enormous longevity. The Castros, the Kims, the Assads, etc. Domestically names like Nader, Jackson, Sharpton, etc. come to mind. The fact they've been around for so long suggests some very undemocratic process is taking place under the veneer of "unity".

Obama too presides over a subtle cult of personality. When it is argued that Obama's associates are irrelevant, and only Obama himself matters it is a perversion of the the representative party system. In a democratic party politics, it is the individual candidate who is less relevant; who he represents is what is all important.

A functioning and dynamic democracy is insensitive to personal leadership because the man in office reflects a popular sentiment. The man changes. The polity remains.

What is really scary about modern politics, with its emphasis on appearance, oratory, symbolism, is that it suggests a certain emptiness. Candidates are what we have in place of parties.

4/30/2008 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Private 1 said...

Buddy Larsen: you're right about the enormity of the Civil War, a standard part of the history taught in American schools, but the enormity of it is usually not really understood. But the same is true for Jim Crow: we hear about it, but we don't really grasp it. The Confederacy didn't give up; blacks were more or less re-enslaved for a long time. The standard teaching of American history underplays this. A recent book, "The Bloody Shirt", would surprise a lot of people (I thought I knew, but I didn't). We don't like to admit it, but the KKK and all it represents was American terrorism, and for a long time, it won. Its eventual defeat, as described in another recent book, "Wrong On Race", was arguably due to the political change in the north resulting from many blacks moving to states where they could vote. There's a natural tension between the mess of history and the value-giving meaning that we want to give it. What really matters is where we've arrived. The U.S. is a pretty good model of ethnic groups learning to get along. In most of the world, there's far worse ethnic and religious tribalism than here. Unfortunately, here like everywhere else, human nature often provides people like Wright with a chance to profit from hate. History of Sri Lanka is a good example: tribalism got a lot worse when politicians realized it could help them get elected. To what extent will people have enough sense to "forgot" the past & get on? The black reaction to Wright will be a good measure.

4/30/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 04/30/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

4/30/2008 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

“Candidates are what we have in place of parties.”

Now, doesn’t that say a mouthful? Or rather, a bookfull. You should write one.

I think that this was the logical result of the process that the modern left started back in the 60’s. They opened the borders of their accepted beliefs wider and wider and finally said “the hell with it!” and decided that the only limits on beliefs was the very idea that there could be limits on beliefs. The Big Tent got so big they finally took it down (actually, it fell down) and asked people to imagine that they were in a tent; and pretend that the rain, wind and sun is not hitting you in the face, please.

Left with no beliefs, with what essentially is the acceptance of a non-philosophy, they look to Great Men to let them know what to do next.

It has taken me years to understand it, but when John Kerry made his incredible statement that Conservatives were after “controlling every aspect of your lives” what he meant was that Conservatives thought that YOU should control your life. The Left does not even wish to admit that much.

But I think this non-philosophy has not merely adopted a Cult of Personality as a necessity. I think that now the tail is wagging the dog.

4/30/2008 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Buckets said...

Catholic! A co-religionist! It's been long suspected. I feel I have to mention these are tough times to be an American Catholic. Benedict is rising in my esteem, however. His speech about the abuse was long overdue, but welcome. One wonders if the Church in the United States will ever fully recover.

4/30/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rwe: So what do y’all think? Does the Cult of Personality define the Left or is it merely one of their favorite toys?

Not merely the Left. Remember when George Bush nominated Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court? And can anyone say Alberto Gonzales was a shining star of a pick for AG? Bush rewards loyalty over merit. He elevates people based on how much he likes them, rather than how effective they would be at the job. This too is a cult of personality.

4/30/2008 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Barack Obama could still win the presidential election in November. Let’s not live in a sealed balloon where we all think he necessarily needs “white working class voters”. He doesn’t. That’s because the power of Madison Avenue is at his beck and call.

Barack Obama’s rejection by “white working class voters” actually increases his allure to the most powerful corporations. He is a “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” for racists. He is a “Green Ticket” for polluters. Contributing to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has become a classic indulgence absolving sinners of the stain of political incorrectness.

Barack Obama will have the power of organization behind him. K Street will take Obama’s side because the Democrats control Congress and most of the Democrats in Congress support him. Big labor, big business, big academe, and the big media will take his side precisely because he represents the power of elitism in America. As long as he antagonizes non-black working class people, he will gain the votes of the very rural elites his campaign relies on. Far from being an average Joe, Barack Obama’s appeal is based upon his cultural elitism. His allure comes precisely from the fact that he isn’t normal.

Barack Obama loves to be underestimated. If the minds of voters are concentrated upon the prospect of an Obama presidency, he will not win. Yet, if voters are convinced that he can’t possibly win in November, his supporters will turn out while his opponents will be complacent. Whenever Barack Obama’s opponents delude themselves with the myth of the omnipotence of the “white working class voter”, they play into his game of assuming that he could never win. But he does win. Early and often.

4/30/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger watimebeing said...

"Does the Cult of Personality define the Left or is it merely one of their favorite toys?"

Not entirely, but it comes closer to defining the left than any other single notion. But I am not entirely certain that it is the left that is being defined. Democrats took the same tact in following Gen. Mac, in 1865. Obviously, it wasn't a southern thing, but indeed it was descriptive of a segment of northern behavior.

As a Cult of Personality, Custer also comes to mind as having quite a following. In fact any good looking well spoken and half believable alternative to being responsible has garnered a democrat following over the years, no matter how incredible or incredulous. I imagine conservatives have similar tendencies but to an ideal rather than a personality.

4/30/2008 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Science Equals Murder [John Derbyshire]

In an interview with the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Ben Stein said the following amazing thing in an interview with Paul Crouch, Jr.

Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers [i.e. biologist P.Z. Myers], talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion, this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.
Crouch: That’s right.

Stein: …Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.
Crouch: Good word, good word.

You can see the whole shameful thing here. It's a pity Crouch didn't invite the Rev. Jeremiah Wright into the studio for a three-way conversation. It would have elevated the tone.

Meanwhile, the Blood Libel character of what Stein is saying is beginning to dawn on thoughtful Jews. The Anti-Defamation League has issued a statement deploring Stein's Darwin-inspired-the Holocaust thesis.
And there are NRO readers who are on board with this dreck? I need a drink.

4/30/2008 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

It's a pity Crouch didn't invite the Rev. Jeremiah Wright into the studio for a three-way conversation.

I'm not sure Wright would've showed. It's my impression he has a thing about folks with last names like "Stein".

4/30/2008 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I guess none of Stein's family was cruelly exposed to the deadly vaccine produced by the Evil Joo, Dr Jonas Salk.

4/30/2008 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Barack Hussein Obama, if he's not dumped by thoughtful Dems, will not only get trounced by McCain, but lead the Democratic Party into a cul-de-sac with no exit.

Alexis, yes Barack Hussein Obama is beloved by Billionaires and Blacks. That's not a winning coalition, any more than crowded Apple stores can disguise the fact that Apple has only 6% of sales yearly. White blue collar males are still the biggest demo slice by a large margin. White working class and middle class together account for around 75% of voters. As they are pressed and lose dominance (down from something like 85% twenty years ago) they are less willing to accommodate others.

Criminality, anti-Semitism, and other dysfunctional cultural junk have been made "Black" by well, Blacks themselves. No one else did this too them. The NAACP's LA Head, Rev. Lee, giving an anti-Semitic speech to the recipient of an award by a Black Fraternity (for her charity work in South Central) because she was Jewish, is indicative of the widespread anti-Semitism that pollutes all Black life. Not a single Black person objected to Rev. Lee. Only media reports later caused him to give a meaningless apology that meant nothing.

Just as Obama's words mean nothing. He was there for twenty years. Hearing the same stuff. Of course Obama is: anti-Semitic, anti-White, believing criminality is "authentically Black" and a billion other culturally garbage-led idiot ideas. Wright was correct: Obama believes the same things Wright does. He just does not want to say it.

Which is the danger of identity politics. It encourages racial strife, and can only work in luxury. When times are tough, the tolerance of the majority for this sort of extortion and hatred of the majority vanishes.

Dems being "Authentically Black" will be seen as the enemy of the White working/middle class. Taking money from white voters to give to people like Wright in an endless apology by Whites (with no connection to slavery or segregation and thus no guilt). While giving nothing in return (except social status to really rich people).

This is the logical outcome of 1968. Yes the Press will be in the tank for this sort of thing and Obama. But so what, they're in free-fall too.

4/30/2008 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Tamquam Leo Rugiens said...

Wretchard said: "It has taken me years to understand it, but when John Kerry made his incredible statement that Conservatives were after “controlling every aspect of your lives” what he meant was that Conservatives thought that YOU should control your life."

I don't quite agree there. What we see here is the Left projecting their own unacknowledged agenda on their enemies. When John Kerry said that Conservatives were after "controlling every aspect of your lives," what he meant was, "We are after controlling every aspect of your lives." When I see the Left making baseless accusations against their foes I know that they have revealed their secret agenda.

It reminds me of the process of acting out an addiction. Seldom does the addict simply say, "I'm going to indulge my habit." No, he says, "Well, it won't hurt to just kind of glance at my habit." Then it's "It won't hurt anything to just go stand next to it for a minute." Then, "Just a little taste is all." Then he's done. But at no point does he directly acknowledge that he is plunging into an addictive spiral that can only end in a full blown debauch. All the while he staunchly denies that he has the problem, but, by God, that guy over there has a problem!

Nothing infuriates us like seeing, or suspecting, that the other fellow is committing the sin we most fear in ourselves and to which we most long to surrender ourselves.

4/30/2008 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" The Projection of Alienated Self-Potential "

4/30/2008 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whiskey_199: Obama believes the same things Wright does. He just does not want to say it.

From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. If Obama truly believes the same thing Wright does, why does this not slip out from time to time? If Obama's control is that airtight, that itself is an admirable quality, especially juxtaposed next to John McCainiac's legendary temper.

4/30/2008 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Please adhere to the three comment rule. I am adhering to it.

4/30/2008 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

If 30% of 75% of the population votes, and 95% of other 25% of the population votes, the result is a 51.35% majority of votes that brings control to the minority population.

Apathy and complacency matter in politics; politically energized minorities can punch far above their weight if they are well organized.

And let's say, for the sake of argument, that ten percent of "typical white people" in America are black wannabes (like Nasal from the cartoon "Kudzu"). And let's assume that another thirtieth of "typical white people" are poorly paid local schoolteachers (like Mr. Goodvibes from “Kudzu”) whose political correctness and cultural elitism run counter to their own economic interests. That would mean people like Nasal would be about 7.5 percent of the population, and people like Mr. Goodvibes would be about 2.5 percent of the population.

Okay, let's assume that 95% of everybody other than the white working class and middle class votes, as well as an energized 95% of people like Nasal and Mr. Goodvibes. And now, let's assume that 51% of the remaining “white working class and middle class voters” (65% of the entire population) is polarized enough to vote. The result? 50.075% of the vote goes to the minority-led coalition -- a razor thin margin perhaps, but still a majority of the votes and a victory at the ballot box.

My point? Even a 75% majority can lose an election if it doesn't get out there and vote. Besides, talking about 75% of the electorate as if it were one thousand pound gorilla is rather like a handful of Saudis claiming to represent 1.3 billion Muslims. No one person represents all Muslims, just as no one person represents all "white working class voters". Besides, a considerable proportion of American voters are habitual voters; in any given election, at least 25% of the electorate would vote for striped cockroach if it gets the Democratic nomination and at least 25% of the electorate would vote for a striped cockroach if it gets the Republican nomination.

So, complacency is unwise.

4/30/2008 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

Wrong analogy (controlled implosion, etc).

Rev Wright lifted the lid on the fetor of rank black identity politics in a large, influential grid of Chicago church and state. We all got a wiff. Now wondering if Obama stinks of it too.

5/02/2008 10:20:00 PM  

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