Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Toast? Not!

• Obama speaking up on Race in America, knowing full well that the subject is taboo, and that racists of all stripes will come out of the woodwork to attack him.

• Obama identifying THE most difficult social problem that has NEVER been adequately addressed in public policy and asking us to put it on our collective agenda, no matter how painful it may be. What presidential candidate in history, much less this election has put his political life on the line for the sake of an issue that has and will cause much pain?

• Failing to acknowledge the tragic importance of Racism and its effect on our ability to move forward as a society.
• Working hard to make certain that the plantation mentality of our society endures.
• Making sure that racism is swept back under the rug where most of us can blissfully live our lives unaware and naive.

The hypocrisy shown in the response to Obama's speech is rich.  Glenn Greenwald summed it up yesterday in his column.
Unlike Wright and Obama -- for whom the former's controversial views are found nowhere near the latter's public or private conduct -- both George Bush and John McCain's Middle Eastern militarism are perfectly consonant with the most maniacal and crazed views of Christian Rapture enthusiasts such as Hagee, Parsley, Inhofe, and Robertson. Yet the controversy created over their close ties is virtually non-existent.

The Republican Party long ago adopted as a central strategy aligning itself with, and granting great influence to, the most radical, "America-hating" white evangelical Christian ministers in the country. They're given a complete pass on that because political orthodoxy mandates that white evangelical Christian ministers are inherently worthy of respect, no matter how extreme and noxious are their views. That orthodoxy stands in stark contrast to the universally enraged reaction to a few selected snippets from the angry rantings of a black Christian Minister. What accounts for that glaring disparity?

Is Obama Toast? Not! Talking heads and political opponents may play "guilt by association" all they want because that's all there is. The hypocrisy is apparent. The debate has been engaged. The political climate that the intelligencia, the average, well-educated citizen, THE ADULTS have been waiting for is at hand.

The change that Obama has been talking about was at the forefront in his speech yesterday. He seeks to change the way political campaigns are conducted. He talks to us like we are adults. He's expecting us to be able to address each other with respect and work through problems without pandering to the extreme elements of the debate.

The entire premise of Barack Obama's candidacy is built upon the opposite assumption -- that Americans are not only able, but eager, to participate in a more elevated and reasoned political discourse, one that moves beyond the boisterous, screeching, simple-minded, ugly, vapid attack-based distractions and patronizing manipulation -- the Drudgian Freak Show -- that has dominated our political debates for the last two decades at least. - Glenn Greenwald

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