22.2.08

PROGRESS OF TWO GENERATIONS. Forty years ago, Alabama's governor George Corley Wallace carried several southern states as an independent candidate for president. He frequently fulminated against the eastern establishment, which he colorfully described as "pointy-headed pseudo-intellectuals" who scorn the ordinary man or woman. The governor didn't quite campaign as a segregationist, although many of his constituents were waiting for him to do so. Later in life, he apologized for some of his positions and made peace with many civil rights advocates. I wonder how the governor would react to a Peggy Noonan column that describes the Obamas as, well, read and judge for yourself.

Are the Obamas, at bottom, snobs? Do they understand America? Are they of it? Did anyone at their Ivy League universities school them in why one should love America? Do they confuse patriotism with nationalism, or nativism? Are they more inspired by abstractions like "international justice" than by old visions of America as the city on a hill, which is how John Winthrop saw it, and Ronald Reagan and JFK spoke of it?

Have they been, throughout their adulthood, so pampered and praised--so raised in the liberal cocoon--that they are essentially unaware of what and how normal Americans think? And are they, in this, like those cosseted yuppies, the Clintons?

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