Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Undeserved: a Post-Mortem of the Obama Presidency

Nationalists and racialists, in general, don't pay much attention to elections. But I have been fascinated by the current presidential race, especially by the Obama-Romney debate. I read the transcript, watched the whole thing (one and a half hours long) and read every news article and piece of analysis on it... Why? Because the turning of the tide, in politics, is always interesting: how one can become a political winner - within the context of a US presidential race, or a Politburo leadership struggle - or a political loser, within the space of a few hours, reveals a lot about politics and the leadership process - and the masses who help put these leaders in power. In elections in which an incumbent is defeated, the masses - and the media - are infected by a sort of euphoria, especially when it becomes apparent that the victory of the challenger is assured. (I remember reading a biography of Carl Schmitt, describing the incredible scenes of jubilation, in the streets of Berlin, after Hitler's ascendancy to the chancellorship. In his diary, Schmitt wrote, wonderingly, how he saw a carnival atmosphere, and how everyone, from all works of life - including streetwalkers - were ecstatic...). It's hard for even a misanthrope like myself not to get caught up in the hype. I was very glad to see the back of John Howard, in November 2007, even though I didn't think much of Rudd; I was glad, too, to see McCain and the loathsome Republicans thrown out in November 2008, although I had doubts about Obama's economic program (I remember thinking to myself, 'But what's he going to do, once he gets into office?'). Even in 2000, I hoped that Bush Jr. would win over Al Gore, because I didn't think I could endure life on this planet with the prissy, sanctimonious and pompous Gore as President of the United States.

I'm sure that these are the same feelings as many in the American electorate, and one, after a while, develops a 'nose' to see how the Americans will vote. It was fairly obvious to me, at the time, that the 'young' and 'progressive' Bill Clinton would win over the elderly, stentorian George Bush Sr. in 1992; likewise, that Obama would win over the semi-senile John McCain in 2008. As for incumbents, it was fairly clear, at the time, that Bush Jr. would win over John Kerry (an ageing Jewish-American with a grey Beatle wig and a tedious manner of speaking); and that the (at the time) switched-on, pro-growth Bush Sr. would win over Michael Dukakis (a dull, grey little man). (Sometimes one has to wonder how the party machines, for both the Republicans and Democrats, throws up such mediocre candidates who are clearly unelectable: McCain in 2008, Bob Dole in 1996, Dukakis in 1988. The answer to that is: often it's the case that there's no-one else).

Since my last post, I've re-read the opening chapters of Wanniski's The Way the World Works (1978) to gain a better understanding of his political model, as well as some old articles of his (on the 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns). I'm awestruck: I don't think anyone understood, as much as Wanniski, the mechanics of elections, leadership selection and the liberal democratic political process (and, by extension, the political process in non-liberal states - e.g., communist one). Although I'm repelled, of course, by Wanniski's liberalism, Afro-Americo-philia, anti-Germanism and anti-Nazism and the rest, I try not to let that get in the way. His models and theories don't explain everything about politics, race and culture, any more than Marx's do; but we must use them as a kind of overlay - that is, we have to ask ourselves, 'How can such-and-such a political phenomenon be revealed, in the light of Wanniski's model', and see what the answer is.

In the Wanniski model, the electorate has a wisdom greater than the sum of its parts: given the choice between two (often unpalatable) alternatives, it chooses the best one. It should be thought of as a deaf-mute, who can only communicate by sign-language and gesticulating (in the same way that one does in the party game of charades). It instinctively prefers a candidate of the A-type, but, when A isn't to be found, has to choose between two other candidates, B and C. Because B is a little more like A than C is, it goes with B. What if the two candidates in question are not B and C, but are the equally unpalatable D and E? Again, the electorate will make the right choice, all things considered: perhaps E shows signs of not being as unpalatable as D.

The job of the politician is to be the interpreter of the deaf-mute electorate's desires - which are signalled, to him, by, not only the results in elections, but by opinion polls, the reactions of audiences at rallies and speeches, letters to the editor, personal attacks on his character (leading all the way up to assassination attempts, which, according to Wanniski, can convey the desires of a certain segment of the electorate).

Wanniski explains the process by using the economic concept of marginality as an example. 'The last straw that broke the candidate's back' - that's the marginal straw. We could say that the addition of that straw was at the margin - the point where change takes place. Were that last, marginal straw endowed with consciousness, it wouldn't be able to understand why, precisely, its addition broke the camel's back. But were the previous thousand or so pieces of straw, plus the marginal one, all endowed with consciousness - then it would understand. As it is for the straws, so it is for the voters, who, together, form a 'group mind' (and which, like that marginal straw, doesn't recognise itself as part of a totality).

Wanniski's theories explain why it is that the House of Representatives, in the US, goes to the Democrats when the President is a Republican, and vice versa: the electorate is, through its voting, trying to balance things out. In the last (2010) Australian federal election, the Labor government was returned to power as a minority, with an electoral majority of just one seat. Wanniski would say that, obviously, the electorate was sending Prime Minister Gillard and Labor a message: we want you in, but don't make any radical changes, like Rudd (the former Labor Prime Minister) did with his mining tax proposal. With the Labor government hanging by a thread after the election, it was presumed (by the electorate) that Labor wouldn't feel as though it had the mandate to undertake any unpopular experiments.

We in Australia know what happened, of course: Labor went ahead and forced through the unpopular, environmentalist carbon tax through parliament and the senate (where the Greens had the deciding vote), despite promising, before the election, not to do so. As a result, Gillard's popularity plummeted and Labor is facing wipeout at the next election. Wanniski would say that the electorate wants to punish Gillard for her broken promises and for ignoring the message of the 2010 electoral results. (Had she shelved the mining tax, and ignored calls for a carbon tax, she'd be a lot more popular than she is now). Labor's only consolation is that the opposition leader, Abbott, who is the leader of the conservative Liberal-National coalition, is even more dislikable, on a personal level, than Gillard is. (Abbott has recently embarked on a media campaign to make himself more 'likable', to humanise himself in the eyes of the electorate: whether he succeeds or not (and nothing can make this odious little man likable or popular) is another story altogether. It's possible he may be deposed in a party coup).

I think most mainstream analysts get all this - how the electorate operates like a hive-mind (Wanniski, famously, said that Washington, and Congress and the Senate, represent the brain of America). What's more controversial is Wanniski's thesis that the electorate understands economics, perfectly, and what's more, is supply-side in its orientation. It wants a supply-side leader, but, if it can't have one, will choose a socialist who will focus on wealth distribution and shielding his constituents from the effect of economic calamity.

Wanniski's doctrine on this point helps explain the rise of Obama in 2008.

From the supply-side point of view, the financial crisis of 2008 can be explained by the phenomena of monetary deflation. In the lead-up to the summer of 2008, Bernanke flooded the markets with liquidity - US dollars - which led to a depreciation of the US dollar and a dramatic rise in the price of land and other commodities (including gold, which went up from $USD275 an ounce in 2001 to $1000 an ounce). All of this was redolent of the 1970s, when the US - and the world - went off gold and experienced a massive inflation. In that decade, the prices of gold, oil, land and other commodities rose into the stratosphere. Accompanying this was a big expansion in investment and lending (as banks tried to offload a rapidly-declining US dollar and pass it on to someone else, as though it were a hot potato). But the day of reckoning came. In both inflations - the 1970s inflation and the 2000s - there was a sudden reversal of course. In the early 1980s, the Fed suddenly withdrew liquidity - or didn't provide it at the rate it was being demanded - and, as a result, the price of gold, oil and other commodities collapsed. (Gold went from $USD850 an ounce to $US600 and then $USD300). The big oil-producing nations like Iran and Iraq, and the big commodity producers like Chile and Australia, went temporarily bust. Similarly, in the deflationary summer of 2008, commodity prices collapsed (gold went from $USD1000 an ounce to $USD700 an ounce) and so did the real estate speculators, mortgage holders and banks which had plowed enormous amounts of money mortgage-backed securities. All of this happened under the watch of a Republican, George Bush Jr. - who was a supply-sider when it came to tax cuts, but, when it came to monetary policy, was a Keynesian or a monetarist (in all fairness, he wasn't the one deciding monetary policy - Bernanke was).

The defeat of the Republican Party in 2008, then, was inevitable. Seeing that none of the candidates for the Democratic and Republican nominations, in 2008, understood - or appeared to understand - supply-side monetary policy, it was natural that the presidency should go to a socialist who would devote his attentions to welfarism and wealth redistribution.

The supply-side tax cuts, which the Republican Party traditionally specialised in, wouldn't help solve the problem: only supply-side monetary policy would. Seeing as the latter wasn't on offer, the US electorate, understandably, chose the lesser of two evils. Obama's economic platform demanded tax increases - a roll-back of the Bush Jr. tax cuts, and an increase of the capital gains tax rate from 15% to 28% - but the electorate discounted this, perhaps feeling that Obama would be unable to implement his tax hikes (in any case, it was right).

But, in the words of John Tamny, after the 2008 financial crisis, Bernanke 'doubled-down' on his inflationary monetary policy. Perhaps recognising that the problem was deflation, he set about to injecting huge amounts of liquidity into circulation. But he ended up over-compensating, stepping on the gas pedal too much. With QE1, QE2 and now QE3, gold has risen to hitherto unknown heights: last year it reached a record high of $US1889 an ounce.

Perhaps Bernanke wanted to trigger off another banking or real estate bubble. Wanniski observed that the economic model of the monetarists relies on something he calls 'money illusion'. The central bank engineers a devaluation, thus bringing about a rise in prices. The general public sees prices rise, and thinks that these are due to a real increase in the national wealth, a real boom; it thereby goes out and spends and produces more, and increases its economic activity. If the central bank tries the same thing twice, however, the general public will see through the deception and recognise the second round of price rises as being mere inflation. In other words, it will see that these rises are due to nominal, not real, factors: that is, that the rises come about from printing money, not economic growth.

At any rate, things have stayed rather flat since Bernanke began his 'quantitive easing', and none of it has had the desired economic effect. The same goes for Obama's enormous deficit-spending on public works, etc., deficit-spending for the sake of it, all designed to 'pump-prime' the economy in the Keynesian manner.

Obama is possibly the most anti-supply-side Democrat President of all time. Wanniski praised Carter for reducing the capital gains tax rate from 35% to 28% in 1978, and Clinton for cutting it from 28% to 20% in 1997 (and cutting taxes on Roth-IRAs). Kennedy, of course, was a supply-side icon for his huge Reaganesque tax cut plan of 1963, which saw a reduction in the top rate of income tax from 91% to 70% and in the rate of corporate tax from 52% to 48%. (Ironically, Kennedy's tax cuts were blocked by 'fiscal conservatives' in Congress, and didn't pass until 1964, after his death, at the urging of Lyndon Johnson). In other words, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton were, in the words of Wanniski, 'pro-growth' and nascent supply-siders. Obama, on the other hand, has vociferously fought for huge tax increases - and may get his way soon (hence the upcoming 'fiscal cliff). Kennedy began his presidency with a mild leaning towards socialism, but, after encountering a stubborn recession, began contemplating supply-side remedies. Perhaps the electorate believed that Obama would undergo a similar conversion. But he didn't.

What does all this add up to? It adds up to a Democrat who, economically, is a clone of George Bush Jr. when it comes to monetary policy, but unlike Bush Jr. and Clinton, is anti-supply-side on fiscal policy.

What of the foreign policy? Again, it's a continuation of Bush's failed policies. Prior to the 1970s, the Anglo-Saxons ruled the Western world: America was the dominant power, with Britain acting as a 'junior partner'. The story of America, after the 1970s, is the displacement of Britain from the position of 'junior partner' by Israel, and then, finally, a reversal of 'senior' and 'junior' positions by the late 1990s: Israel became the senior partner, America the junior partner. Obama has continued in that vein, as will Romney, of course, if elected.

If we were to assess Obama from the Jewish-Israeli viewpoint - as a good little goyische tool of Jewish-Israeli and Jewish-American interests - we find that Obama hasn't done much good, foreign policy-wise. As a statesman of the Judeo-Anglo Empire, he was meant to have expanded American and Israeli hegemony, but didn't. (I don't consider the assassination of Bin Laden as a foreign policy 'success', because I don't think that that assassination was real - I think it was a hoax. Unlike Ghaddafi, we never got to see Bin Laden's body). Libya was a success story of sorts, but Libya, post-Ghaddafi, is highly volatile - as we have seen after the recent murder of the US Ambassador (who, ironically enough, posed for photographs next to Ghaddafi's corpse (no-one posed next to Bin Laden's corpse)). Obama has been criticised by "conservative" (that is, maniacally pro-Israeli) Jewish-Americans for not being sufficiently enthusiastic about bombing Iran. (The same "conservatives" have been mostly quiet on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq - even they see that the Iraq mission was a failure). This doesn't mean, however, that Jewish-Americans, on the whole, don't vote Democrat and won't vote for Obama this November.

In politics, one can't please everybody. Obama's foreign policy platform was more or less Bush-ite, but he managed to portray himself - to the liberals, pacifists and college students who voted for him - as a dovish anti-neo-con. Weren't they fooled! But, if you vote for a Democrat or a Republican in the 21st century, you're putting yourself in league with the devil. The Democrats and the Republicans are now the war party, just as Roosevelt and Churchill were in the 1930s, and, like Roosevelt and Churchill, they are willing to go to war for Jewish causes... (I couldn't give two hoots, of course, as to whether or not a grubby Afghan or Pakistani militant gets killed by a drone plane, or if Iran's reactors get bombed; but I do feel that the American voter, in 2012, should know what he's getting into).

But to return to the topic of the economy. The Bush Jr. years have reinforced the lesson that supply-side fiscal policy is no good without supply-side monetary policy. Carter signed off on a sizeable capital gains tax cut in 1978, but was undone by the Federal Reserve, which proceeded to devalue the US dollar all the way up to $USD850 an ounce of gold in 1980. Clinton was fortunate that, in 1997, when he signed off on his capital gains tax cut, the Reserve had been keeping the US gold dollar price more or less stable since 1982, and continued to do so (more or less) through his second term, which saw a huge economic boom. Bush Jr's tax cuts in 2003, however, weren't as effective as they could have been because, like Carter, he was undermined by bad monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. A state can have the best fiscal policy in the world - with low taxes which give incentives to produce, and, what's more, are easy to pay - but if that state has a central bank which wants to emulate Zimbabwe, or the early Weimar Republic, and embark on a destructive course - then that state will suffer.

Belatedly, the leadership élite of the US has begun to recognise this. Certain of the élite is beginning to express its disquiet with  Bernanke's 'quantitative easings'; some are even beginning to suggest that the answer to America's monetary problems may be a return to gold.

The trouble is, however, Obama, who may help deliver a fiscal whammy. The fact that Obama wants this so badly really makes him uncharacteristic. As can be seen from the US political history recounted here, for the most part, presidents - even Democrats - are biased towards supply-side tax-cutting, and the Democrat presidents tend to be centrist and pro-business. Obama isn't, though: he's well to the left of Bill Clinton.

The question is, why? Not why is he left-wing (as opposed to centrist), but why was he selected, by the Democrats, as a presidential candidate? Normally, the Democrat president would be a centrist type who, while probably not being able to do much, wouldn't have run up such a deficit and wouldn't have gone after the Bush Jr. and Clinton tax cuts with such zeal. Left-types like Obama exist in every liberal democratic party, and indeed, are necessary - they are a complement to that party. But they are usually kept in the background. Obama, of course, was pushed to the fore - by the Democrat party machine, and by the voters in the 2008 primaries.

Another remarkable thing is that Obama is such a non-entity, politically and intellectually speaking - as evinced by his performance in the debate, he doesn't seem to have much energy or enthusiasm for the top job - and really can't work with other people (during the debt deal in late 2011, Nancy Pelosi reportedly put him on mute during a conference call, so she and the other Democrat negotiators wouldn't have to put up with his droning voice). In other words, he doesn't have the necessary skills to be the leader of the United States (and, for his entire adult life, hasn't showed any evidence of much leadership in any capacity). On top of that, he doesn't respond well to criticism, mainly because - unlike Bush Jr., or Clinton - he's never received any, at least from the mainstream media.

The conservative blogger (who writes for the US anti-immigrant site VDare) Steve Sailer penned a biography of Obama, America's Half-Blood Prince: Barack Obama's "Story of Race and Inheritance" (2008), before Obama was elected (he wanted America to know what it was getting into). In it, he outlines these character traits of Obama's, which, finally, the mainstream commentators are beginning to pick up on. (We now see analyses with titles like, 'Does Obama really want this job?'). One of Sailer's theses is that Obama marketed himself, consciously, as a black politician white liberal voters would feel comfortable with. In the (perhaps apocryphal) words of Senator (later Vice-President) Joe Biden, 'He's the well-spoken one we've been waiting for'. Obama (along with his wife) got where they were mainly through affirmative action. What's more, he hasn't been criticised as roundly as prior presidents (or scrutinised) because journalists and commentators are terrified of being called 'racist'.

Wanniski had some good things to say on affirmative action. He believed that having ethnic minorities on the board of one's organisation could be useful, in that it exposed that organisation to the minority point of view. Which is reasonable enough. There are 34 million Afro-Americans in the US, and no president, or party, can afford not to take them and their interests into account. (In an ideal white nationalist world, there would only be white people in the US: but, as it is, any liberal democratic politician has to deal with this sizeable minority).

But, having said that, were it the case that Obama occupied his job only because of affirmative action - that would be an injustice. It's not that his being there prevents a good, more well-qualified, white person from doing the job: I don't really have any pity for any white, or Jewish, Democrat candidates who were passed over in favour of the black guy. No, it's that Obama received what he has without deserving it, he doesn't merit it. Sailer raises that point, again and again: had Obama not been black, and the 'right kind' of black (that is, a black politician acceptable to white voters), he wouldn't have gotten the job. (Obama is meant to be an 'intellectual', but the evidence shows that all he's ever written or thought about was race (as Sailer chronicles at length). He, like a good many other black 'intellectuals' (e.g., Touré), can't write on anything except race. The Jewish-American leftist, Leni Bremmer, observed that the great Jewish Zionist-nationalist Vladimir Jacobtinsky couldn't write on anything except Jewish matters. Given that only a small proportion of humanity is interested in such things, Jacobtinsky's thought was bound to have a small appeal. In other words, it was boring to most people. The same goes for the writing of the Obamas and Tourés).

After the debate, liberal commentators are beginning to realise that their idol has feet of clay. And it's possible that the 'first Black president' may be the last - at least for the time being. Sailer argues that Obama represents the zenith of Afro-American political power in the US: Obama will be the equivalent of David Dinkins (the mayor of New York from 1990 to 1993), who was the first and only Afro-American to hold that office (New York has only elected whites and Jewish-Americans since then). Sailer mischievously observes that liberal whites have become a little tired of having Afro-Americans as their favoured, pet minority, and may soon take up the cause of an even more suffering, put-down-upon people - gays (which helps explain the recent push, by liberals, for gay marriage). (Given that reasoning: Obama, according to rumour, is a homosexual - perhaps he could boost his political career by divorcing Michelle and coming out of the closet?).

But this brings us to the question why Obama isn't good enough. The subject of Afro-American incompetence is a touchy one, to say the least. In the liberal narrative, Afro-Americans have always been as good as whites, in any capacity, but have always been held back by racist whites, who don't regard Afro-Americans as equals, have built up myths of white racial superiority, and don't recognise the sterling virtues of Afro-Americans. But the recent debate performance has given this liberal narrative a drubbing. Not that, for liberal white commentators, it's beginning to unravel: no. But they are beginning to confront Obama's deficiencies, and perhaps are thinking, to themselves, the naughty thought: 'A white guy wouldn't have done as badly as that'. (One conservative blogger for The Washington Times remarked, sneeringly, that to say Obama was as bad as Carter in the debate of 1980 is an insult to Carter). Hence the amusing on-air breakdown of liberal journalist Chris Matthews over Obama.

I was struck, in watching the debate, by how Romney appeared to be a headmaster scolding a disobedient pupil (Obama) in his office (with Obama staring at his feet, glowering and nodding); or how Romney appeared to be a judge in court sentencing some malefactor. Other people have picked up on this - and the racial overtones. As the liberal commentator Henry Porter writes, in The Guardian (where else):

That the president is black, that he seemed dog tired and often glanced at his notes when Romney was speaking had an uncomfortable but rarely acknowledged resonance in the US. I am sorry to have mention this, but the contrast between the black guy, momentarily off his game and looking downwards, and the white guy, all crisp, clear-eyed and on top of things, will register in the subconscious of an electorate that is far from being free of racism. ['Has a disillusioned Barack Obama lost the will to win?', The Guardian, 07/10/2012].

The fact that millions of Afro-American politicians are prepared to vote for a candidate because of his race, is not "racist", of course: race-based voting is only racist when white people do it. But let's not go into that... We know how unfair and unjust the anti-white brigade (of which Porter, and the entire staff of The Guardian, are members) is.

John Tamny wrote an attack on Romney after the debate, chiding him for not being sufficiently neoliberal and supply-side (see 'Presidential Debate: Romney Started Slow, Then Thoroughly Beat Obama'), which missed the point. Romney sounded Wanniskian enough (especially when he declared that the only way to boost tax revenue was to boost growth, and employment, and he showed himself to be concerned about inflation, which he recognises - unlike Obama or Bernanke - as a problem). But the debate wasn't a lesson in supply-side economics, or a sermon on neoliberalism, markets and so forth: it was about (rather dry topics such as) Obamacare, Medicare, Bowles-Simpson, Dodd-Frank and waiving tax deductions (I found Romney's position on tax to be mostly incomprehensible, as did, I'm sure, most viewers). The main thing is that Romney repositioned himself, and had taken Wanniski's advice and started listening to the electorate - all of it. Porter sees this:

But whatever the subliminal traffic of the debate, there is no doubt that Obama conceded important territory by allowing Romney to stake a claim for the presidency as a unifying figure, the candidate who, despite his privileged background, tax records, offshore bank accounts and the export of American jobs to China, could heal the rift in American politics.
Romney sold his record as governor in Massachusetts, where he worked with a large Democrat majority, as the qualification for ending the logjam in Washington: he was the man to walk across the aisle and do business with the other side.
While incanting the creed that espouses individual choice and enterprise over big government and centralised authority, Romney shifted to the centre ground and simultaneously implied that Obama was, in fact, the divisive figure of US politics. A successful completion of this move may be as dangerous to Obama as the spooky invocation of Ronald Wilson Reagan. [Ibid.]

The point is that, to be a leader (in the US, or China, or wherever), you don't need to be a supply-side economist (like Tamny is), but a listener - and someone who can 'work with the other side' (that is, the representatives of the side of the electorate which didn't vote for you). One of the common complaints of average Americans (when interviewed on TV) is that Washington is full of obstructionism, logjam-ism, 'partisan gridlock', and so forth. A leader who can untangle that Gordian knot is far more desirable, and acceptable, to voters than one with an excellent fiscal and monetary policy. This is why the men with impeccable supply-side platforms - men like Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty - are passed over in favour of the Romneys. Americans, in 2012, will only vote for a Republican who is a bland centrist like Gerard Ford. Romney, with his recent repositioning, fits the bill nicely. Someone like Newt Gingrich, who antagonises people even within his own party, and who doesn't change (the way Romney does) in response to negative feedback, doesn't fit the bill.

What does all this mean for nationalism? Edward S. Rubenstein has been writing an interesting series at VDare.Com, suggesting that the majority of jobs created, since the start of the Obama administration, are being snatched up by immigrants and taken away from white and Afro-American people. He uses the official US Household Survey (which breaks down the data by ethnicity). His latest instalment, reflecting Friday's US unemployment numbers, is here. Romney will be under pressure, from both the Left and Right, to give a blanket amnesty to the 11.5 million illegals in the US, and to invite more legal immigrants ('skilled' immigrants, that is, Indians) to live there after they finish a degree (exactly the same system which led to a tripling of the Indian population in Australia after 2004). Not that Romney needs pressuring: he's a multi-culti maniac like the rest.

At present, the polls (which have been confused and confusing for this election) suggest a tight contest, like Gore and Bush Jr. in 2000, or Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, which could go either way. I would very much like to see Obama lose, because I want to see the back of him - and I would enjoy the outrage and disappointment of the white liberals who support him. (Indeed, the title of Porter's article implies that it's not that Obama wasn't good enough, it's that we weren't good enough for him. Obama, if he does depart the vale of tears which is the US presidency, will be yet another victim of white racism).

The well-being of a kingdom depends on its king. The demeanour, the persona, of a ruler has an effect on his subjects... Australia is part of the Judeo-Anglo Empire. One has to ask what the effects on the American national psyche (and the Western psyche) have been, for the past four years, of having a diffident, withdrawn, closeted homosexual as a ruler, whose 'soaring rhetoric' doesn't add up to that much, who looks down his nose when addressing people, and who is an Afro-American - an ethnic minority group which, traditionally, is not enamoured of white people like myself.

I often find, when interacting with Chinese, Indian and African immigrants - even ones my own age - is that their appreciation and understanding of the white Western culture is shallow. They can only discuss the most recent and superficial things - e.g., Twitter, Facebook, the sports game, the latest multiplex blockbuster movie - and, if they do like Western pop or rock music, they only know the very latest pop and R & B tunes (not for them the Beatles, the Stones or the Eagles). It's the same with the likes of Obama - I only have things in common with him that I do with Kanye West or Oprah Winfrey, which is not that much at all. Whereas other, past presidents, I have, at least, a shared cultural past: Clinton and Bush Jr. escaped, like my father, the draft, Bush Sr. was a WWII pilot, like my grandfather. Clinton's favourite band was Fleetwood Mac, Bush Jr's favourite song, Van Morrison's 'Brown-Eyed Girl'...

It's for this reason that I just can't warm to Obama. The fact that he's made a career of opposing himself, ideologically, culturally and intellectually, to evil racist whites, only reinforces this.

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