I've been struggling for quite some time now to find the right words with which to convey my take on Pastor Jeremiah Wright's decision to inflict the maximum possible damage to Barack Obama by going in front of the press and confirming all of white America's fears about the Angry Black Militant; now that I've read this Lexington column, however, any further agonizing on my part is superfluous, as the Economist writer puts across succinctly precisely what I've been thinking: Jeremiah Wright is an egomaniac riven with jealousy at the meteoric rise of his onetime congregant, and if it takes Wright reducing himself to a caricature before the media in order to torpedo the ambitions of an individual who looks set to move black politics away from the old, angry, oppositional style personified in the American public's eyes by Farrakhan, Sharpton and now Wright himself, then that is what Jeremiah Wright will readily do.
The great pity about the Jeremiah Wright show is that he is now acting as an enabler for the very many white voters who've been waiting for plausible excuses to refrain from voting for a black man without having to admit to themselves that this is something they've always been uncomfortable about contemplating for reasons that have nothing to do with anything Obama could have had a choice in: if a man with a white mother who was raised by white grandparents can honestly be regarded as a "whitey" hating black militant, great numbers of people are even more stupid than I thought. People who indulge such rhetoric - and here I'm thinking of obnoxious creatures like Bill O'Reilly and Ann Althouse - are engaging in nothing more than projection of their own racism, but now they have Jeremiah Wright's big mouth to hide behind.
Now, as for myself, I don't want to foster the impression that I'm actually rooting for an Obama victory in November or anything. The fact is that whatever Barack Obama's flaws and strengths as an individual, his politics are very, very far to the left of mine, and therefore absolutely wrongheaded. The last thing America and the world needs right now is more protectionism pandering to the anti-globalization crowd, more "environmental" regulations passed without a thought for economic rationality, more statism in the form of "universal health care", or the higher taxes needed to pay for this massive new wealth transfer scheme - and yet this is what an Obama administration promises, a prospect which is especially disturbing in light of the Democratic Party's control of Congress. I have no qualms about saying that I believe John McCain to be by far the best of the three Presidential candidates in the race, and certainly Obama's equal on a character level (which means that both are better than Hillary
Nixon Clinton by a few thousand miles); what I don't want is that McCain's victory should owe primarily to racist "Scary Black Man!!!" politics rather than to the clear superiority of his message to that of the two Democrats.