Thursday, April 17, 2008
60 Minutes and Obamas "Elitest" views
The latest in current "sound bit" political battles primarily controlled by big media in the USA is the feasting of political "piranhas" on Barack Obamas "insensitive" comments about the poor working class clinging to their guns and religion as an answer to their economic depravity and lack of inclusion in the political process. Now, I must state from the outset I am still not clear on who to vote for in this coming election. I like and respect McCain as a war hero, patriot and independent maverick type in the Republican party..."my kinda guy". But he has me hugely concerned on his foreign policy now mimicking what I see as failed policy by the Bush administration and lack of answers for our economy's current demise. Hillary...well, for a variety of reasons I wont go into here I can't see ever voting for her...and it has nothing to do with her being a woman.
Barack on the other hand has gotten my attention like he has many in both mainstream and "off stream" America. He is obviously intelligent and well spoken (we have missed that in the white house for about 8 years now)...and is running a campaign on uniting versus dividing our country. This agenda is tempting to any person of sound mind when looking at our current global challenges. And yes, it is meaningful for me as old enough to remember the civil rights movement and riots of the late 60s even in my hometown...to see our first viable "minority" candidate for President. Yet, now he is being labeled by his own Democratic rivals as "elitist" and out of touch with the working class. So as usual I try to get around all the media hype and find out what he said IN CONTEXT...and whether I agree with it or not.
This 60 minutes segment I copy above from youtube.com gives a bit more context to his statements than the 3 sentence sound bites the media usually gives on such issues. To be honest...if I had been sitting in that audience I think his supposedly "elitist" statements would have gone right past me. When you say "some" people who are religious, or "some" people who own guns are "escapist" or reacting to other issues in their lives...that does not mean you are saying ALL people of religion or who have guns are doing this or have these motivations. It’s like taking offense at a description of some rapist or murderer who was formerly religious or who has blonde hair and blue eyes like me...and taking it personal that they are labeling me a rapist or a murderer just because someone LIKE me did these things. It just doesn’t stand up to reason. Yet, all is fair in politics and every word or phrase can be construed to mean something far from which it was intended to mean. I feel the Bible itself is used this way more than any other book...people interpreting and twisting it out of context to back up their own presupposition. Gotta give credit to the power of our minds to twist things like this, but unfortunately it clouds truth and reality like a bad thunderstorm.
It seems obvious that all current candidates NOT named Obama are going to want to slow him down and/or bring him down. I still have concerns about many of his policies...but I sure wish the other candidates would focus on the real issue differences and not rely on the mud slinging and cover-up of their own lack of ideas or positive agendas. I don’t think Obama was that far off the truth for many of the demographic he was describing...but unfortunately as the front runner he is going to be hounded for every word or "half truth" he utters for the foreseeable future. So far I am still rooting for him as the Democratic nominee even if I don’t know if I will vote for him or not. And I appreciate "Meet the Press" as the most balanced news show of its kind in treating these issues fairly and interestingly.