Posted by: Thruhike98 | November 5, 2008

Reality Check: End of the Campaign

Erecting the Reviewing Stand for Inauguration Day

Erecting the Reviewing Stand for Inauguration Day by Thruhike98

I have seen the best, and the worst, of our nation during this election. This post is a reply I wrote in response to what seems like the one-millionth email forward I received that told some movie-plot theory of how inhumanly awful Barack Obama was. This particular email maintained that President-elect Obama faced less scrutiny than did the eight-week Republican VP nominee and the three-week plumber campaign prop. It listed all of the frightening issues about which its enlightened writer was familiar, but the professional media failed to consider.

Reality check time.  While it is not as exciting, I can not believe a Senator who spent two years running for President has not been thoroughly scrutinized.  In real life, not the conspiracy-theory world, there are tons of people (Left, Right, and Center) who want to get the big scoop on a candidate.  Some who come to mind are the Republican campaign, the incumbent administration, and Hillary Clinton, who would all have a dog in this fight, in addition to the media.  The fact that someone can write an email listing all these items shows his background has been examined.

I think the answers just are not as negative as some would like them to be.

Like I mentioned before, the sheer amount and fantastic nature of accusations lobbed during this campaign has made me lose a lot of respect for John McCain and the Republican party.  It went beyond, as Carl Rove charitably said, “the 100% truth test” and as I say, “decency.”  The old-school McCain/Republican ideals – integrity, uphold the Constitution, balance budgets, service-to-country, limited overseas nation-building, do-the-right-thing values, etc. – could have carried a lot of weight this year.

Sure, the Democratic candidate is an African-American guy with a foreign-sounding name who is pretty liberal.  Most people, other than some in the Republican base, do not care. The public wanted a discussion of the serious issues we currently face. To instead seize on the superficial “other”-ness of his face and name and make Mr. Obama out as a secret-Muslim-terrorist-baby-killer-communist while offering us little more than a lightweight “reformer” who did not really do what she says she did (and did things she said she did not) as a running mate, and a plumber/hero with a make-believe story, is to insult the intelligence of the nation.  The majority of the voting public did not take the bait.

Now what do we do?  During the campaign, all of these accusations were broadcast with some thought as to their offensive value and with little thought as to their authenticity or long-term effects.  Now we have a new President who a percentage of the citizens believe is a Manchurian Candidate, a secret Muslim anti-American baby-killing Israel-destroying Marxist terrorist, because that is what they were told by people they trust.  Some folks are genuinely scared for the safety of their family.  Some want to do Mr. Obama great physical harm – that’s what we do to killers and traitors in this country.

Let me stress – He is none of these things. These are made-up accusations, used to try to win an election.

We can hold on to this politically-manufactured hate and watch it sabotage us from within, or we can move on from this campaign.  We have already seen how damaging seven years of fostering the hate of “the other,” an external enemy, can be to our country.  We don’t need to internalize such damaging energy.

I am so proud our country voted “No” on this referendum on hate. We can do better than this.  “Yes, we can!”

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Responses

  1. Beautifully written. You are a good man. I’m so very proud.

  2. Here, here!!! You said it!!

  3. I can see you and I have something in common in that our conservative family members and/or friends have attempted to argue that Obama is a secret Muslim bent on destroying this country (and Israel). Here was my response to one such message:

    Obama’s never been to Mecca or Medina or expressed any sort of interest in going.

    There is a shred of truth to your statements linking Obama and Farrakhan: Obama attended the Million Man March in 1995 and reportedly organized people in Chicago to attend the rally. Like Obama, I listened to Farrakhan’s speech. That day was seen as a day of black unity; it was not billed as a Nation of Islam event, though Farrakhan organized it. Farrakhan temporarily softened his tone that day and his hate was left for another day. A lot of people came to Washington that day, but I don’t think everyone in attendance should be labeled an anti-Semite or follower of Farrakhan or the Nation of Islam. I think curiosity brought many and the desire to show the political strength of African Americans. In any event, this was all 13 years ago, when Obama was working in the poor neighborhoods of Chicago. While any potential association with Wright or Farrakhan gives me pause, I think such associations are in the past. I guess I’m willing to forgive him for his past associations, based on what he says today. Maybe, I’m a fool.

    I think Obama has consistently made clear that his beliefs are not anti-Semitic or in any way aligned with either Wright or Farrakhan. For example, on January 15, 2008, he said the following: “I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan.”

    I invite you to read or listen to Obama’s speech before The America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). I think Obama clearly sets forth his support for the Israeli state.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91150432

    But maybe you’re right, and we’ve all had the wool pulled over our eyes and Obama’s really a secret Muslim seeking to overthrow the United States and lay waste to Israel. Can you imagine what would happen to him if any sign of this were shown to be true? It wouldn’t take Congress five seconds to impeach him. And forty-thousand NRA members would stream out of the hills toting semi-automatics. It wouldn’t be pretty. … And it’s not going to happen. Obama will lead from the middle in the vein of Bill Clinton.

  4. Can I get an Amen up in here? I am so incredibly happy that the people of this country finally stood up to the hate that has been poisoning it and said, “ENOUGH!” and we took our country back last night!!!! We still have a VERY long row to hoe but we got the farming started last night when the people of this great countrys voices were heard and heard long and loud, YES WE CAN!!!!!!!

  5. Rob: I wear bow ties almost exclusively, and I’m not a member of Farrakhan’s crew. 😉 Yes, the messages are from the back-home crowd. I’m not sure if those emails are more entertainment or actual ideology, but either way they are too dangerous to go unchallenged. Thanks for the great comments.

    Amber: Here you go – Amen Sista’. I agree that it makes me happy to see such potential in our future. After the past eight years, I’d forgotten a leader could inspire such positive feelings.

  6. At least within my family, it seems the doom and gloom emails have ended altogether. Also, similar chatter on Facebook amongst my Republican-leaning friends is nonexistent. Could it be that the original authors of the anti-Obama untruthful rhetoric have learned that they are not as important or influential as they hoped? Now, hopefully, we can focus on the work that needs to be done to improve this country.


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