What a careful reader will take away from Barack Obama’s memoir Dreams from My Father is not only that the president used to eat dog meat, but more importantly, that he identifies with dog-eaters. He wants us to understand that he is one of them. Obama’s most severe critics on the right think of Obama as a socialist, for example, Dinesh D’Souza, or Stanley Kurtz in his exhaustively-researched book Radical-in-Chief. Obama used to attend the annual “Socialist Scholars Conference” in New York, which was a hard-core affair; I went to a couple of them, and they weren’t for the curious. But there is something far more visceral, more existential to the president’s dislike of the United States, and that arises from his early residence in the Third World, and his identification with the people of the Third World whose lives are disrupted by the creative destruction that America has unleashed.
Obama is the son of a Kenyan Muslim father, the stepson of an Indonesian Muslim, and the child, most of all, of an American anthropologist who devoted her career to protecting Indonesian traditional life against the depredations of the global marketplace. Her doctoral dissertation, “Peasant blacksmithing in Indonesia: surviving against all odds,” celebrated traditional cultures hanging on desperately in the face of the global economic marketplace.
Ms. Dunham was not only a Communist fellow-traveler, but the sort of 1960s woman who (as we used to say) “put her body on the line,” first by marrying two Third World men, and then by spending her career in the Third World. It is no surprise that Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States. Consider this description of the Jakarta of his childhood from Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from My Father: “And yet for all that poverty [in the Indonesian marketplace], there remained in their lives a discernible order, a tapestry of trading routes and middlemen, bribes to pay and customs to observe, the habits of a generation played out every day beneath the bargaining and the noise and the swirling dust. It was the absence of such coherence that made a place like [the Chicago housing projects] so desperate.” Obama had chances to compare the orderliness and regularity of traditional life with the rough-and-tumble of American capitalism, and chose to identify with the former.
The president isn’t really one of us. He’s a dog-eater. He tells the story in his memoir to emphasize that viscerally, Obama identifies with the Third World of his upbringing more than with the America of his adulthood. It is our great misfortune to have a president who dislikes our country at this juncture in our history.
Via Breitbart’s Big Government:
Fidogate has just gone international. Already the Left is defending Obama for eating dog meat on the grounds that his stepfather–who was Indonesian–wanted to share his culture and customs with him. But there’s just one problem with this: it wasn’t his culture or custom.
In fact, in Jakarta, where the Obamas lived with their Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, dog meat is illegal. In the majority Muslim Indonesia, eating dog is forbidden among most ethnic groups in the islands, though a small, black market is said to exist for those looking for it. The only exception are the Batak people, principally of Northern Sumatra who eat it on holidays–but Obama’s stepfather, who was raised in West Java, isn’t a part of that ethnic group. Besides, the Obamas lived hundreds of miles and several islands away.
A diplomatic source close to the Indonesian delegation in the U.S. confirms that while dog is sometimes eaten in Indonesia, it is done so very rarely. “Obama had to go hunting for dog meat,” the source, who didn’t want to be identified, told me.
“I don’t know of anyone who eats it and frankly, I’m a little offended you would ask.”
What to take from these? David Goldman’s point is even more solid. Obama’s upbringing was even out of the norm for Indonesia – he isn’t an American, he isn’t even an Indonesian. He identifies with the Third World and the lowest of the third world – though he is not one of them, and they aspire to better their lives – but he identifes with them in an effort to develop a greater gravitas for his worldview, his social justice anti-American and anti-success mindset. The haves are guilty by virtue of their existence and the inequality in the world, the have-nots are the oppressed righteous destroyers of their oppressors. It’s a reinforcement of cultural Marxism.
The most unfortunate eat what they can, and he identifies with that. He identifies with them in order to justify his own revolutionary struggle against the classic liberal virtues of the West.
He was raised by dog-eaters. He is a dog-eater.
Over at HotAir, the politicians, talking heads, and political geeks seem to have missed that actual significance of the act.