An old friend of mine is an extremely diehard Conservative. He gets all his news either from TV or Talk Radio. Since 95% of talk radio is Conservative, his primary viewpoint is limited to this particular ideology. The last time he read an article in a journal, such as The New Yorker, The Nation, or the Washington Post, women didn’t have the vote and we were at war with the Sioux and the Nez Perce. Although the same major corporate consultants who were with George W. Bush are the same key advisers to Obama, my friend believes the President is a Marxist. Go figure.
I raise this point because a truly intriguing article is in the current New Yorker by its editor David Remnick. It is based on a series of interviews by him of Mr. Obama. It is remarkably free of praise or opinion, although a bit of both sneak in now and again. Mostly, he simply asks Obama a lot of questions. In the answers, Obama reveals a lot about how he really thinks. It is not what many people believe he thinks from the common fare produced by most media dominated by five monopolist companies cozy to the defense industry.
Whether you like or dislike the President [or rather his TV Image, since that’s what most of us ever see], if you would care to investigate his thinking, rather than just believe what you believe he thinks, I suggest you buy a copy of The New Yorker of January 27, 2014. Invest some time in reading the article. It will take you some time to read because the interview, including a couple of photos, is 20 Pages long. It took me three days in my spare time to read it. Although Mr. Obama has definitely not accomplished most of my personal political goals, he surprisingly impressed me with his long-term perspective of American politics and history.
In dramatic contrast to the ever-paranoid short-term views of both Liberals and Conservatives, Obama’s long-term perspective of current politics and history is thought provokingly optimistic. If you have any personal capacity whatsoever of divorcing yourself from your own political biases and paranoias, you will find the interview quite interesting. The 20 pages of Obama’s beliefs, by one of America’s most meticulous editors, reveals an interesting personality. He may not be your cup of political tea, but – if you like political tea – it’s worth sampling his cup.
My friend won’t read the article, but he should. It would likely entrench his Conservatism even more because of the depth of the President’s commitment to change. But at least after reading it, he would know what depth of Intellect he is dealing with. It is not a slight one. Anyone who wants to disagree with Obama should read this interview. Many will decline. At 20 pages, it requires long concentration and sharp focus. Not every ideologically-motivated person’s strong point, I understand.