Old, New, and Earning ItPeggy Noonan gets it right in today's Wall Street Journal when she pinpoints just exactly what this election is about-The Old America vs. the "New" America:
In the Old America, love of country was natural. You breathed it in. You
either loved it or knew you should.
In the New America, love of country is a decision. It's one you make
after weighing the pros and cons. What you breathe in is skepticism and a
heightened appreciation of the global view.
Old America: Tradition is a guide in human affairs. New America: Tradition is a challenge, a barrier, or a lovely
The Old America had big families. You married and had children. Life
happened to you. You didn't decide, it decided. Now it's all on you. Old
America, when life didn't work out: "Luck of the draw!" New America when life
doesn't work: "I made bad choices!" Old America: "I had faith, and trust." New
America: "You had limited autonomy!"
Old America: "We've been here three generations." New America: "You're
Old America: We have to have a government, but that doesn't mean I have to
love it. New America: We have to have a government and I am desperate to love
it. Old America: Politics is a duty. New America: Politics is life.
The Old America: Religion is good. The New America: Religion is
problematic. The Old: Smoke 'em if you got 'em. The New: I'll sue.
I make no secret of the fact that I do not at all like this "New America" that our liberal friends want to build. It is not the America of our Fathers, it has nothing to do with the America for which our ancestors fought, shed blood, made tremendous sacrifices, and even died. The people who support Mr. Obama have no concept whatsoever of duty, honor, or sacrifice, because most of them never had to make great sacrifices to achieve anything in their life. Faith to the "new" Democratic Party, to this "new" breed of youngster that we see so impassioned about Barack Obama, is not to be found in Almighty God and His Laws, Statutes, and Judgments, but in the new savior of their secular world, the state.
Liberals see Obama's work as a "community organizer" as a sacrifice. Yes, what a great sacrifice it was. It got him elected to the State Senate, then to the United States Senate, and now he hopes it will get him elected to the White House, all in short order. Public service is not a problem, and it is to be encouraged and applauded. Barack Obama didn't earn his way into the game, however. People who have earned their ticket to political stardom either come into public service after years in private business, now ready to try something new, or they start at the very bottom of the political ladder and work their way up through the system. Politics pays poorly when you start the way that most people do, and that requires sacrifice on the part of the person who wants to serve. The good people who've earned their way into the system and begin to slowly move up, they didn't enter politics to become President of the United States (see Truman, Harry). If that ever happens to them, it occurs because someone found them after years of slaving away and began to talk of them as material for the higher up. In Truman's case, he stumbled on the Vice Presidency because there was no one else seen fit for it in 1944.
I'd be willing to wager that Barack Obama never had to go door-to-door in his neighborhood to ask his neighbors to give him their signature to get him on the ballot the first time (something I know all about). He was set up and had his signatures thanks to the Daley machine that put him in his place. Barack Obama went from being a "community organizer" to the State Senate in 1996, then to the U.S. Senate eight years later. Now he is the Democratic nominee for President, and that is what he wanted. Obama was hand-picked for his seat, he did not have to fight his way into the system. He did not enter politics from private business, as many do, by making business connections with party people. He did not earn his way in the hard-scrabble fashion, by picking up a petition, asking his neighbors to sign it, and taking shoebox donations. He didn't run for State or local party chair, or pay his political dues in a myriad of other ways that anyone who enters the arena in a legitimate way has to do. There are several traditional legitimate ways to enter politics in America, none of which apparently apply to Barack Obama.
As many reservations as I have about John McCain (and they are plenty), he has sacrificed for his place in the American public system and he has earned it. Five years in a POW camp is real sacrifice for your country. After his stint as a POW, McCain served as the Navy's Senate liason, he developed social and political connections while there, and ran for Congress, and later the Senate, and has served in Washington since 1983. One went to war for his country, was a Prisoner of War, was stationed in Washington, made connections, and got his foot in the door the hardest possible way. The other worked as a "community organizer." One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not the same...
The Presidency is not something that ought to be entrusted to those who didn't earn their place in politics to begin with.