Regarding the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama for the Presidency of the United States, questions must be raised.
The President of the United States must take an Oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. In this context, Obama’s perspective and views on the U.S Constitution are highly relevant.
In 2001, Barack Obama (then an Illinois State Senator) participated in a radio interview on Chicago’s WBEZ-FM program, Odyssey. Two statements are particularly interesting. The first is Obama’s view that the U.S Constitution reflects the fundamental flaw of the United States:
I think it’s a remarkable document…
The original Constitution as well as the Civil War Amendments…but I think it is an imperfect document, and I think it is a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture, the Colonial culture nascent at that time.
African-Americans were not — first of all they weren’t African-Americans — the Africans at the time were not considered as part of the polity that was of concern to the Framers. I think that as Richard said it was a ‘nagging problem’ in the same way that these days we might think of environmental issues, or some other problem where you have to balance cost-benefits, as opposed to seeing it as a moral problem involving persons of moral worth.
And in that sense, I think we can say that the Constitution reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day, and that the Framers had that same blind spot. I don’t think the two views are contradictory, to say that it was a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now, and to say that it also reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.
To illustrate what he perceives as the Country and its Constitution’s flaw, Obama demagogues race. It is ironic that someone who claims to be a great unifier is so obsessed with our divisions. Here it is race, which can be taken alongside gender and class demagoguery. For a person basing his campaign on change we need to unite the United States, how does he propose to do this while dividing us on race, class and gender? What exactly is this so-called fundamental flaw of the United States that is reflected by the Constitution? How does this so-called fundamental flaw continue to this day?
Perhaps Obama believes this fundamental flaw is the distribution of wealth in the United States. Taken with his statement about “Spreading the Wealth” to “Joe the Plumber,” the second statement from his WBEZ appearance may provide some clarification:
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement, and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples, so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order, and as long as I could pay for it, I’d be OK…
…but the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, as least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted in the same way that, generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.
One of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil rights movement, was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways, we still stuffer from that.
Obama may regard the Country’s lingering flaw as the same thing which the civil rights movement failed to achieve given its “court focused” approach: the distribution of wealth. Obama regards the courts as an institution ill-equipped to conduct wealth redistribution which he suggests is achievable though political and community organizing. That is, community organizing which ultimately leads to a take-over of the legislative and executive branch. This suggest the question: is Obama’s vision of wealth redistribution to be achieved through a Presidency with a filibuster-proof Democratic majority? On top of that, why should the U.S. government be concerned with wealth redistribution which has an air of central planning? Of course one should note that central planning is socialist, by nature.
The whole issue of race and wealth redistribution comes straight out of black liberation theology; to which Barack Obama is no stranger given his twenty years at Trinity United Church with the likes of Jeremiah Wright. Since black liberation theology is rooted in Marxism, why is it inappropriate to ask Obama and his running mate whether of not Obama’s statement on “spreading the wealth” is Marxist?
Obama seems to believe that the U.S. Consitution reflects the fundamental flaw of the United States which is based (at least on) race and class. While the founders crafted a Consitution which enshrined personal property rights, Obama perceives a flaw that may be corrected by removing this protection in order to bring about redistributive change. This is contrary to the founding the United States and given this, Barack Obama does not intend to uphold the Consitution of the United States, and is therefore unfit to take the Oath of Office of the Presidency of the United States.