Politics In Two Dimensions

I'm late to the blogosphere's discussion of Mark Steyn's latest, Obama in 2-D. The subtitle in a way says it all, Remember, we're not electing a logo....
For many of his supporters, Barack Obama is an idea. He offers “hope, not fear”. “Hope” of what? “Hope” of “change.” Okay, but “change” to what? Ah, well, there you go again, getting all hung up on three-dimensional reality, when we’ve moved way beyond that.
Yes, that puts the finger on what bothers me in a comment someone left over at Faith & Family Live. There have been a series of threads over there about Obama and the life issues. Generally the discussion has been between folks who cannot imagine supporting the right to life and voting for a man who voted four times not to extend care to babies born alive after an abortion and those who are desperately seeking a way to justify voting for Obama. (Prof. Kmiec is providing it.) Those are the two main responses. And then there's this, which has been bugging me for reasons I couldn't quite articulate. In response to a discussion about what the Freedom of Choice Act will do if enacted, someone wrote:

One thing is for sure, we’ve been bombarded with information on Obama: what he’ll do, what he stands for, FOCA, FOCA, FOCA — all of which have been extremely successful in sending the same bold message: we ought to be afraid of this man. Be very afraid.

But is this really what God wants? Fear?

I don’t know about you, but I most easily recognize when I’m responding to God’s grace by the peace that accompany a given decision, not when feelings of fear motivate me. I’m just not convinced that’s how God works.

I wonder just how much Catholics will let this fear “take the wheel and steer” when they vote. And what might happen if Catholics went to the voting booth this November - not with fear in their hearts and minds - but with confidence and trust? Not in a politician, but in Jesus?

There is some truth there to be acknowledged. Politics isn't ultimate (in fact much of what disturbs me about Obama's supporters is that they don't appear to understand that, they do seem to hail him as some sort of secular messiah). One of Ignatius' rules for discernment has to do with peace being a necessary condition for good discernment. The Enemy of our souls sows fear; it's true.

But forgive me if I think that answer is itself a response generated by fear: fear of taking a hard look at the facts and taking responsibility for the decision you make. Maybe it's not what the commenter means, but I read it as sticking her fingers in her ears and saying, "la-la-la- I can't hear you" when the little matter of Obama being the sort of fellow who would vote against putting a warm blanket over a living baby. Four times. Comes up. Or the little matter of what FOCA will do --according to its sponsors!

Just because a truth is ugly doesn't make it fear-mongering to point it out.

I have a new friend who loves Obama. She's liberal in a sort of apolitical, conventional sense. From a long line of Democrats: never voted Republican in her life and she's eager to see a black President. However, she's also someone who has started to take her faith seriously, and has come to believe the equal dignity of every person trumps other issues. Therefore she will cast her vote for McCain on Tuesday. Holding her nose perhaps. Certainly with a broken heart and disappointment. But she'll do it because she looked beyond symbolism into the third dimension --the real lives to be affected by the real policies set by this flesh and blood man.

I have never heard an Obama supporter (among the people I actually talk to) make an argument for him. It's all this airy-fairy "healer" stuff Steyn's talking about.

Long before he emerged on the national stage as Barack the Hope-Giver and Bringer of Change, there was a three-dimensional Barack Obama, a real man who lives in the real world. And that’s where the problem lies.

The Senator and his doting Obots in the media have gone to great lengths to obscure what Barack Obama does when he’s not being a symbol: his voting record, his friends, his patrons, his life outside the soft-focus memoirs is deemed non-relevant to the general hopey-changey vibe.

Ninme had this piece yesterday --a wonderful piece-- about an old vet who single-handedly stopped two young thugs who were breaking into a jewelry store in broad daylight. Great story, but there were 50 other people around, including a 35-yr-old man and his peers who were watching.

Just standing around watching. I get the feeling half of us in the West have watched so much television and so many movies we've forgotten how to inhabit the 3rd dimension.

Update: As I was saying