Barack Obama's Symbolic Appeals to Cannibals
Two Can Play At This Game
By Dan McLaughlin Posted in 2008 — Comments (7) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
To the average American, it may have seemed that Senator Obama intended to invoke Abraham Lincoln by announcing his presidential candidacy in Springfield, Illinois. But Springfield has another history - which raises certain suspicions about that announcement speech. You see, Springfield was the origin of the infamous Donner Party, whose trip to the West ended in cannibalism. And that's not all:
Also ill-fated were the 850 Pottawatomis who trudged through Springfield in 1838, past the Old State Capitol, then being built. Under armed military guard, the Native Americans were on a forced march, later known as the Trail of Death, from Indiana and Michigan to Kansas. It was part of the U.S. government's effort to resettle all tribes west of the Mississippi.
The 660-mile journey, also commemorated in a plaque on the kiosk, took 10 weeks, and the death toll is estimated to have been at least 40.
Was Senator Obama secretly using coded appeals to cannibals, and conjuring up the wistful nostalgia of some Americans for the days of forced resettlement of Native Americans?
Ridiculous, you scoff. But how well, really, do you know liberal Democrats' secret desires? Probably as well as The New Republic's Rick Perlstein knows those of conservative Republicans. As Perlstein writes of Mitt Romney's decision to announce his candidacy in Dearborn, Michigan in front of the Henry Ford Museum:
As the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) immediately observed, its location, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, is a "testament to the life of ... a notorious anti-Semite and xenophobe." Some observers wondered if perhaps this wasn't intentional: If you want to prove to conservatives you're no liberal, what better way than to announce on the former estate of a man who, as the NJDC also pointed out, was "bestowed with the Grand Service Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle by Adolf Hitler"?
Well, that makes precisely as much sense as seeing Obama's choice of location for his announcement as a coded appeal to those voters with a taste for man-flesh.
Or maybe Perlstein's just responding to dog whistles.