FGF E-Package
                 The Reactionary Utopian
                    February 21, 2008

by Joe Sobran

     What kind of statism do you want? Not that you're 
going to have any choice, of course; I trust you're not 
silly enough to believe the slogan "You decide," as if it 
were really up to you. This is a bureaucracy, not a 
democracy, and it is unlikely that you will meet, let 
alone influence, an actual elected official. Your chances 
of meeting an IRS agent are far greater than your chances 
of meeting anyone you voted for.

     The next president of the United States of America 
will most probably be John McCain, who wants to bomb 
Iran. But it may be Barack Obama, who is less eager for 
war, yet has never called for bringing American troops 
home from the hundred countries where they are already 
stationed, except Iraq. He does not object in principle 
to a global American empire; nor does Hillary Clinton, 
who in fact boasts that her experience makes her fit to 
run it, even as she loses ground to Obama among 

     The sun never sets on our empire, which now 
threatens the whole world and its traditions (and is 
accordingly regarded with loathing and suspicion). The 
American electorate is united on the need for "change," 
for a government that can "get something done" (it seems 
not to matter what), and for an end to the Bush era. It 
is remarkable that nobody seems to know what Obama stands 
for, despite his consistently liberal voting record in 
the Senate. He has become a transcendent symbol of 
something, but what? Most of his followers can't specify 
what he stands for -- in that respect he does resemble 
Jack Kennedy -- but who cares? Neither do the pundits who 
analyze him so volubly. It is a certainty that the U.S. 
government would continue to expand enormously under an 
Obama presidency, yet he somehow escapes the liberal or 
leftist label his record has clearly earned. Is a 

     It is also a situation that would surely have 
shocked and amazed the Founding Fathers, who, though they 
had few illusions about human nature and its passions, 
could presume at least some rationality in the American 
electorate. They would hardly have known what to make of 
such a smooth-talking cipher as Barack Obama who speaks 
of saving the world. He would be as unimaginable to them 
as a President Bill Clinton, who was bizarre enough. (I 
assume that when they contemplated impeachment, they were 
not envisioning such undignified offenses as might 
involve a Monica Lewinsky; they were picturing the sort 
of crimes Washington and Adams might commit if they went 
bad. It seems safe to say that trysts in the workplace 
were not even contemplated.)

     Global warming, to take just one example, was not an 
issue for those Founders, who would have thought that 
halting it was far beyond the enumerated powers of the 
Federal Government. Neither was eliminating racial and 
sexual discrimination. That is also true of the vast 
majority of the powers that that government now 

     The American state has become at once limitless and 
lawless. Freedom has ceased to be a birthright; it has 
come to mean whatever we are still permitted to do. This 
is a profound change, but one so subtle that we are 
hardly aware of it. It means that we have become slaves 
of the state. Yet to say this is of course to sound 
hysterical in "the Land of the Free." And no American 
likes to be called an extremist!

     This is why Obama is so careful to keep his hair 
short and trim, to speak moderately, and to avoid even 
slightly inflammatory words. Nothing about his persona is 
the least bit radical or unsettling.

     Nor has he said anything memorable -- not even a 
single aphorism over this long campaign. And the title of 
his book: THE AUDACITY OF HOPE -- what on earth does that 
mean? He is always hinting at a substance that is never 
disclosed to us. He seems to live by raising vague 
aspirations he never fulfills.

     The comedians have lots of jokes about both Clintons 
and most of the Republicans, but they don't have any 
standard Obama jokes so far. That will change once they 
figure out the obvious: that he's just a fake.


Read this column on-line at 

Copyright (c) 2008 by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, 
P.O. Box 270, Vienna, VA 22183. All rights reserved. If 
you forward this column, please send the entire page.

Joe Sobran is an author and a syndicated columnist. See 
his writing at http://www.sobran.com, and see him on 
YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NJZ3FZ4iiw

To support further columns by Joe Sobran, please send a 
donation to the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, 
P.O. Box 270, Vienna, VA 22183.

To subscribe, renew, or donate, go to: 

The Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation is tax-exempt 
organization under the 501(c)(3) tax code of the Internal 
Revenue Service. Contributions to the Foundation are 
tax-deductible. The Foundation was formed in 2003 to 
research, inform, and educate the public about the need 
to preserve Western Civilization.