Monday, March 10

Obama and tribalism

Roger Cohen is back with more on Obama's Kenyan roots (NYT). Among other things, we get this claim:
Because Obama’s paternal family is Luo, the Luos love him without reserve. By contrast, Kikuyus, the largest tribe, are cool to him.
Which echoes fellow NYT columnist Nick Kristof a couple weeks back:
Mr. Obama draws frenzied support from the Luo ethnic group of his ancestors, while many members of the rival Kikuyu group fervently support Hillary Rodham Clinton.
You hear this claim a lot. Yes, I've had some Kenyans ask me if I'm concerned about Obama's lack of experience. But I've talked to plenty of Kikuyus - even ones that toe the tribal line on other questions - that love Obama.

Cohen then takes us on a journey from Kenya's tribal post-election violence, through the Internet and Jihadism, to America's "peaceful tribes" of "the Latino vote" and the "Volvo-driving liberal-intellectual vote", finally ending up back in Kenya:
Those charred buildings and smashed windows in Kisumu are borne somewhere in Obama’s soul
He lost me somewhere along the way. But I do agree with his closing thought (which is really Kofi Annan's closing thought) that President Obama would be a good thing for the world.

Meanwhile, in the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, Catholic University's Jerry Muller provides a good reminder of the overwhelming importance of ethnic nationalism in shaping European history and in providing the set of European states we have today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a concnered American, Barack Hussein Obama's "goodness" to the world is a secondary issue. First and foremost, I want a President who will keep our country safe and do what's right for the US and not cave in to world interest. It's not Obama despite what the Media forces on the US public.

I don't want a candidate for whom the Media is managing his campaign. Just listen to or read the material out there today. The Media's behavior is un-American to the point they really distort what we should know about Obama's past, beyond what the Media and Obama wants to tell us. What, Obama is that perfect that he has no flaws? The Media diverts attention and blames Clinton for any Obama mistakes. How racist, sexist and inhumane.

I understand the World's perspective on America, but voters should focus on Obama's view and clear up what he's trying to hide (what he's not saying). Please wake up America; do no listen to the Media progaganda... Thanks for listening...