Reader’s Opinion: A master narrative

POSTED: 07/11/14 12:40 AM

Dear Editor,

The representation of Senator Obama as “the first black President to be” was a master narrative but the tallest of tales. Now, with hindsight, it is crystal clear that the failure of Mrs. Clinton; and later, of the Republicans, to contest this powerful and deceptive narrative were monumental mistakes. Had either of them skillfully pushed back on this misrepresentation, who knows what might have transpired? It goes without saying that Mr. Obama—the son of a white woman and a black man—is the first biracial President of the U.S.A. The election of “the first black President” is a most noble enterprise that remains to be actualized.

In his latest book, “America: Imagine a World without Her” Dinesh D’Souza contends that President Obama and the “progressives” who got him elected rely on deceit to win political support for their program which is the undermining of the Constitution, “the suicide of national identity”: the death of the U.S.A., and of its influence in the world, i.e., the end of capitalism as we know it. D’Souza could have added that all of that is in keeping with the UN’s project of “Global governance,” and “Supranationalism” (government by the oligarchs).  The author is an ex-colonial and U.S. citizen. Born in India, he immigrated to the U.S.A. after his secondary education with the Jesuits in India. Colonials or ex-colonials, St. Martiners (French and Dutch) and all freedom loving people may ignore D’Souza’s book at their peril.

In two splendid opening chapters, D’Souza revisits some of the writings of three French masters: Alexis de Tocqueville, Albert Camus and Michel Foucault. Such is the impact of French representations on this vital matter. The rest of the book is a critical review of a number of representations: twilight narratives, accounts, histories, stories, Mea culpa; discourses on the U.S.A. as an evil “empire”; on the horrors of capitalism; on the sins of America; and on her decline and eminent collapse.

D’Souza explains that President Obama is not responsible for a master plan to remake America. “Obama is simply part of a fifty-year scheme for the undoing and remaking of America.” This “plan preceded Obama, and it will outlast him (2014:4).”As antidote to those poisonous representations that engendered the plan, and sustains it, D’Souza counters that “the morality of capitalism, just like the morality of democracy is rooted in consent.” He asks: “What gives Obama his legitimacy as President?” Answer: “The fact that Americans voted for him: our consent is the moral basis for representative government (Ibid: 178).” Absolutely!

The morality of both democracy and capitalism is rooted in consent which, in turn, is rooted in representation. And that’s the issue here: representation, in this case the master narrative in which a biracial (black/white)candidate was represented as “the first black President to be” of the U.S.A. That’s the master representation that enabled Senator Obama to secure the consent that gives him his legitimacy as President.

As for his reelection, given the poor performance of his government during his first term of office, informed consensus is that all things considered, a majority of voters did not wish to deny “the first black President” a second term in office.

Today, Republican representatives as well as a growing number of prominent legal scholars are in agreement that President Obama should be impeached for undermining the Constitution. But observers also maintain that impeachment is not feasible, not only because Democrats control the Senate, but more so because a majority of voters of all races do not wish to see the “first black President” impeached. Seemingly the consequences that impeachment conjures up are terrorizing. Such is the power and the pervasive purview of representation and of that master narrative.

Narratives may be true or fictitious; honest or misleading. Sometimes for all sorts of reasons—desires, deceit, and ignorance being the most common—some folks believe stories that are clearly fabricated, patently false. And they act: they purchase goods and services; and they cast their vote based on clever but misleading representation. That’s the age old conundrum.

Dinesh D’Souza’s “America” is a desperate bugle call; a most valiant attempt to shake Americans and others out of a dangerous torpor. If this impressive representation doesn’t wake us up, nothing else will. The fascism of the oligarchs, their lackeys and enablers will have triumphed. Their stealthy, slow, poisonous “progressive” propaganda will have already robbed us of almost all of the oxygen in our blood.

Gérard M. Hunt




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