There are no omens of victory for John McCain. While Barack Obama can concentrate on campaigning in swing states like Missouri, John McCain is forced to work the crowds in red states which should be firmly in his column at this late stage in the campaign. Not one poll shows McCain victories in enough of the right states for him to be elected.
Everyone loves a winner. Perhaps that is why so many conservatives are jumping on the Obama bandwagon. McCain is a goner and they know it. Yet there is something else at work here. Barack Obama has exceeded expectations in soothing the concerns of the racist, imperialist mindset. Right wingers who openly follow the doctrine of America’s right to empire and conquest are now endorsing Obama.
Christopher Buckley, son of the late William Buckley, broke ranks with his fellow conservatives and endorsed Barack Obama, declaring that he will vote for a Democrat for the first time in his life. Unlike others in the openly racist right wing, Buckley can see the forest for the trees. He doesn’t care if the president has the middle name Hussein. Obama has made it clear that he will maintain white America’s right to moral exception by continuing its war machine and allowing the criminals who destroyed the financial system to keep their set at the table.
Buckley has no doubts about Obama. “But having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves.” So certain is Buckley that Obama will not make waves, that he bid good-bye to his friends and resigned from the National Review, the conservative publication founded by his father.
Another Christopher, Christopher Hitchens, has likewise seen the path to victory pointing in Obama’s direction. Hitchens used to call himself a leftist, a Trotskyite in fact. Hitchens realized that he would be a much hotter commodity if he eschewed his political positions and became a professional white man. He now spends his time writing endlessly hateful screeds defending America’s war of terror and looking for new reasons to kill brown skinned people who pray towards Mecca.
Hitchens spent the early part of the campaign year showing open disdain for Obama, his former pastor and for Michelle Obama’s senior thesis. He foamed at the mouth at every utterance of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, calling his words “. . . wicked and stupid and false . . .”
The McCain campaign death march and Obama’s consistent promise to change very little have swayed Hitchens to switch sides again. He opines that “. . . the Obama-Biden ticket is not a capitulationist one.” In other words, they will keeping killing Iraqis and Afghans, giving Hitchens confidence that his endorsement will not be in vain.
These endorsements are partly a result of the critically ill Republican brand, but Obama must get much of the credit for the eleventh hour conversions. He has said that he will have a foreign policy like Ronald Reagan’s. He makes it clear he will address black people directly only when chastisement is on the agenda. If anyone has doubts, the sight of Obama campaign commercials featuring one or two black faces, Obama’s included, seal the deal for the two Christophers and their friends.
What will Progressives for Obama have to say about the conservative pitching and wooing for their candidate? If past history is any indication, they and other progressives will say nothing at all. They made a decision to collude with the Obama agenda that progressives ought to oppose. The praises of Buckley and Hitchens will have no effect on them any more than the pledges to keep troops in Iraq or to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
Obama will make history in more ways than one. He won’t just be the first black president. He will be the first president in modern history who convinced millions of people not to believe the words that came out of his own mouth. “Change” is the campaign slogan, but his policy agenda tells us we will see anything but that. Hitchens and Buckley are certainly convinced that there won’t be any changes that aren’t to their liking.
MARGARET KIMBERLEY’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in the Black Agenda Report. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com.