I haven’t written about my feelings regarding the presidential election because, let’s face it, who gives a shit what I think. I don’t mean that in a dismissive way. I just mean that most of you who read my blog (those of you who I know, anyway) are informed, intelligent people who’ve made your own decisions, and what I think one way or the other has no bearing. That being said, I’ve been an Obama supporter for a while. My first gift to his campaign was in July 2007 when there were still eighteen other people in the race. (Clinton was never in the running in my mind. She lost me back when she was putting up with the dick sucking.)
One of the great things about having a television in my office is I can occasionally catch things broadcast during the day that I would never normally see. Had I not been at work, or had the TV been tuned to Barney instead of CNN, I wouldn’t have heard one of the best speeches by a politician ever made in my lifetime. (here’s the transcript) I’m not being hyperbolic. It was seriously great. There are a lot of politicians who talk “honestly” about things and on the surface seem to be letting the cat out of the bag about some dark thing in their past. But, much like the answer in a job interview to the question “What is your worst fault?,” those remarks tend to elevate the person in some way. As in Bill Clinton admitting he was white trash when he grew up. On the surface, that was an embarrassing thing for him to tell people. On the real, everyone who looked at his chain-smoking, skunk-haired mother could figure it out. And it was really just a testatment to how great he was, that he came so far from so low. Politician answer to the job interview question: “I work too hard and really need to learn to take time for myself at night and on the weekend.” Bullshit.
When Barack Obama talked about his racist white grandmother yesterday, that was some heavy shit. How many of us have/had racist white grandmothers? A lot. How many of us would ever talk about it publicly? That’s what I thought. He was making the point that you can love someone but not agree with everything they say/think/do. That’s reality. Reality has little place in the world of politics. Many of the commentators on the nightly news pulled a couple of sound bites from the speech and asked the question, “Did Barack Obama distance himself enough from the scary black minister who said things we don’t like that, taken out of context, sound especially horrible?” (Of course they didn’t ask the question quite like that.) But instead of talking about the fact that racism is rampant in this country, and it goes both ways – black to white, white to black, black to black, white to brown, etc. – the stupid talking heads focused on the bullshit. Anyone who listened to that speech got the fact that Obama said he didn’t like what his preacher said but he still loved the man. If we all had to immediately distance ourselves from friends, lovers, family members who said or did something stupid, outrageous, scandalous, how many of us would have anyone in our lives? It’s commendable of Obama to get in front of cameras and say he didn’t agree with the man, but it doesn’t change his feelings about him. Unlike the Clinton campaign who keeps throwing the Ferraros into the mix to do the dirty and then kicking them to the curb as if they were unrelated to the campaign, Obama said he loved the man but didn’t love his comments on that particular day. That’s real. That’s real life.
As for the complaint that Obama is just a great orator and nothing more, I say this. The people in this country have been brow-beaten and scared (terrorists) for so many years, we’ve all just about given up. We’ve said, sure, take all our money and spend it in Iraq. Screw habeas corpus. Shit on our right to privacy. Put people in jail for saying something that is deemed un-PC and threatening. Why not. The country’s in the shitter. What difference does it make. Well, here’s the diff. Obama is making people remember that things don’t have to be this way, and in fact shouldn’t be this way. He’s giving people hope. That’s no small feat. Giving people hope will make them return to demanding certain things from our government and putting up with much less bullshit. Giving people hope might get them to tear their eyes away from “reality” shows and “celebrity” crotch shots long enough to realize how bad things are in this country. Might make us wipe the crust out of our collective eyes, stretch the neck out from more than half a decade of navel-staring and get on with it. The tail spin isn’t fatal. Yet.
And I don’t care whether he has “experience” or not. George W. Bush had “experience.” How has that worked out for you?