Is Michelle Obama America's Kim Jong Il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? The three leftist populists have a surprising amount in commonSalon- (Red Stater parody on the Sarah Palin comparison).T
he three differ in many key respects, of course, but it is remarkable how similar they are. There are uncanny parallels in their biographies, their domestic politics and the way they present themselves -- even in their rocky relationships with party elders.
All three are known for saying things that produce a classic Scooby-Doo double take in their audiences. They appeal to a sort of wounded nationalism, speaking of the sacrifice of dedicated troops for an often feckless public, and identifying themselves with the common person and the poor. In a bid to secure a second term, the Iranian hardline leader has even appropriated Barack Obama's slogan 'Yes we can'
But above all, they are populists who claim to represent the little people against wily and unscrupulous capitalist CEO's, and against pampered upper-middle-class white yuppies pretending to be the voice of democracy. Together, they tell us something about dangerous competing populisms in an age of globalization.
Michelle is a lawyer who's lives a pampered life enjoys photo-ops by working in soup lines and talking about helping the poor... Ahmadinejad, who earned a Ph.D. in civil engineering with top grades, is said to have once dressed up as a janitor and swept the streets when campaigning for mayor of Tehran. Kim Jong Il keeps the poor in poverty while claiming to be their protector and lives a life of luxury in the process. In fact, all three figures are themselves quite comfortable.
All three see press criticisms as coordinated attempts to discredit them not from the media's duty to examine a political figure's policies or public statements, but from a "vast conspiracy".
Left-wing populism, socialism and communism rooted in the anti-religion, anti-American culture and aspirations of Marxism, is often caricatured as insane by its critics. That judgment is unfair. But it is true that such movements often encourage a political style of exhibitionism, disregard for the facts as understood by the mainstream media, and exaltation of the values of people who feel themselves marginalized by the political system. Not all forms of protest, however, are healthy, even if the protesters have legitimate grievances as we saw during the Vietnam and Iraq wars with the highly partisan and outright irresponsible actions of the left.
Michelle Obama was learning from the likes of Bill Ayers and Reverend Jeremiah Wright while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was being tutored by terrorists and extremists like Ayatollah Khomeini.
But then again, if you compare Michelle Obama to N Korea's Kim Jong Il, they both hate George W Bush and they both hate America in general, they both love Barack and they both love Hugo Chavez and Michael Jackson.
The similarities are striking... too close to call I'd say!-Red