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Miserably Poor Relatives and the Message of Hope’n’Change

November 3, 2008

Because tomorrow is election day and after that it might be too late for a lot of things, the French Cowboy wants to express a thought here that has been haunting him for a while now:

Monsieur Obama is very straightforward with his notion of tax policies being a matter of fairness only. But why does the man who believes that “spreading the wealth around” is “good for everybody” and who is such a strong advocate of “redistributive change” have a half brother who lives in a shack on $12 a year and an aunt who lives as an illegal alien in a rundown Boston estate?

(Call me a cynic, but do you realise that by sending his half brother a dollar a month Obama could have doubled his income? I think this is more practical than fantacising about how the money spent on the Iraq War could have been used for domestic education.)

Is there no positive correlation between being in favour of redistributive tax policies and charity within the extended family? Apparently not.

Of course you might argue that a person who believes that it’s the government’s job to redistribute wealth doesn’t feel obliged to give privately. But Obama campaigns on the “change” platform: he is not satisified with the current extent of redistribution through government, he wants more of it.

So while current redistributive measures are below the level Obama wants to see, you might expect him to do in private what the government isn’t doing – at least within his own family.

Granted, families are often strange networks and an outsider can never fully understand the relationships among family members. If Obama didn’t run as a quasi-religious figure using a language that often sounds more like spiritualism than politics, the French Cowboy wouldn’t consider his miserably poor relatives to be such a big deal.*

But how do you combine Obama’s Hope’n Change message with his apparent lack of personal charity?

* And yet, it’s the “miserably” that wouldn’t let you sleep at night, no matter who’s the candidate.

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