“… as though they were adults.”

20 03 2008

As I told you earlier this week, I’ve been busy and I was taking a much-needed sabbatical from watching the democratic candidates try to tear each other up.

Of course, I saw something this morning that reminded me why I’m not too bothered about the whole Jeremiah Wright/Barack Obama thing this past week. If you want to know the truth, I could care less what Wright said.

I was listening to what Obama said.

Having a few days to process this because I wanted to sit down and actually listen to the 37 minutes of his speech from Tuesday, I didn’t want to be swayed by what other people are saying. I wanted to have my own opinion. On Twitter, I saw people going at it about the speech with folks taking very broad strokes articulating which camps they were in. Don’t get me wrong, it was intriguing.

I have two lines of thinking on this. I am an adult. I pay taxes. I work at a job I go to everyday. I am paying medical bills off from my Ednaectomy from a year and a half ago still. I have ups and downs like everyone I know. I have a car that needs work. I have a family that I love. And I have people in my life that are good influences, and some who aren’t so positive. I am flawed as everyone is.

And I go back to I am an adult.

And I agree with Jon Stewart to a large degree about the speech. After five minutes of his opening bit on The Daily Show, he said one sentence that made me think. He said:

“at 11:00 on a Tuesday, a prominent politician spoke to Americans about race, as though they were adults.”

I want to be spoken to like an adult about politics.

Race issues are real. Gender issues are real. If you are for Obama, it doesn’t mean you are anti-woman. If you are for Clinton, it doesn’t mean that you are anti-black. The party that has commended themselves of being diverse through my life has taken to playing some really jacked-up games recently. And I don’t like it.

Are American citizens the ones beating these issues with a hammer? Is it the media? Is it the strategy of political spin from the Rove handbook, as I’ve questioned before?

I needed to sit down and process the speech given by Obama without interruption. I didn’t want to be swayed by other people’s opinions of the speech. I thought it was a good one and I agree with Stewart, we were spoken to with bluntness that, and this is my opinion, treated me with the respect I deserve as a voting American.

And most of the folks talking about what he said probably weren’t going to vote for Obama anyway. But, in a thoughtful discussion at Ginger’s, people were talking about hesitations about the candidate. This kind of discussion is a good thing. It’s best to have “adult” conversations about politics instead of a bunch of name-calling and I commend Ginger for being upfront in her uncertainty.

I respect a person’s right to question the whole Wright thing. As Americans, if it bothered folks, they need to process it out. I pay him about as much mind as I did Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson (who at one time openly spoke of assassinating Hugo Chavez.) Preachers (as they are called around here) are human beings too with flaws, emotions and beliefs. I had grandparents on both sides of my family who went to church every time the doors opened. Homer is a regular church attendee. I don’t think Homer and the preacher are voting for the same guy.

As for me, I saw it and didn’t put too much thought in it. Others did.

There are no easy answers here. The one thing that I do want to stress is that quite frequently a group of us here in rural America get together for a couple of beers. Politics invariably comes up. Cravens voted for Edwards, Squirrel Queen voted for Hillary and I voted for Obama on Super Tuesday.

The issues of race and gender rarely come up although they do occasionally. We are all adults who had a preference. We voted for whom we thought would be the best person.

What we do talk about is the economy, the war, how we are having to stretch our dollars further than we have had to since our days in school and the personal realities we have faced with healthcare.

You know, because these are the issues impacting us personally in our adult life.

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13 responses

20 03 2008
badger

preach on sista!

20 03 2008
jim voorhies

Have I told you yet that you rock? Well, you do.

20 03 2008
newscoma

Thanks guys. You made my morning. 🙂

20 03 2008
Q

Obama’s New Found Friend
I watched Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday on race and politics in America, and I am now officially an Obama supporter. I never gave a damn about politics; rarely ever did I vote. I just do not believe a word any politician utters…but that speech did it for me. It was genuine. It was powerful. More importantly, it was all encompassing–he spoke to and for everyone.
We have all heard the “I have a dream” speech and the “four score and seven year” speech, but those are all relics. No public servant of my generation or during my lifetime has ever inspired me like the aforementioned classical speeches…until now. It made me reflect on my own life, my own faith, my own attitude towards people, and my own attributes and flaws. That’s what a speech is supposed to do.
I do not care for Hillary Clinton; she’s just another politician. Until this moment, I had marginalized Obama in much the same fashion. But he has my vote now! If for no other reason than the promise of further inspiring speeches like that one. Imagine a president whose State of the Union address, actually addressed the entire Union…I mean didn’t we all feel that at some point in the speech he was talking to us, or at least to our convictions.
I vow two things. One, I will vote for Obama in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary and urge everyone I can to do the same. Two, if this does not come to pass and Hillary wins the nomination, I will vote for John McCain and urge everyone I can to do the same. Because, I want to experience Obama as President. Hillary is just a regular politician, and bland as butterless toast. She should just concede to the better man and let us all experience the dream. If she is not willing to do that for us all, then she deserves no victory either. We’ve already suffered 8 years of Bush…McCain is just more of the same losing streak. So, I’m placing all my chips on the best hand I’ve seen in years. It’s all or nothing. But I’m not settling for Hillary…I’ve seen Paris and will not willingly go back to the farm. If America is not inspired by Obama, then it lacks the ability to be inspired.
Q

20 03 2008
Frank Strovel III

I was inspired by the speech (I also had to sit and watch it uninterrupted and un-analyzed) but then again I was inspired by an episode of “Celebrity Rehab” the other day. I’m easy that way.

I just know that if this were Hillary cozying up a Rev. Wright type and not Obama, the WORLD WOULD COME TO AN END AS WE KNOW IT and her Republican critics would be tripping over themselves to get in front of a camera and blast her for it.

20 03 2008
Ron

If Hillary wasn’t busy trying to get Michigan and Florida to count despite both states breaking the rules, I think she’d be in the front of the Obama-bashing chorus. I have no doubts she’s bending the ears of superdelegates in private, to try and stay out of the mess.

20 03 2008
Barry

*sigh*

I can’t move over to that side. I’ve listened to him, tried to see the character behind the candidate but I’ve just become too jaded with politicians to believe anyone whose risen to the level of running for president to actually be honest about themselves and their true values and beliefs.

How do you reconcile Obama having spent so much time in Wright’s church without knowing he had such deep-seated animosity? I think of my preacher at my church – I’ve only known him for about a year now, and I can only imagine how it would shock me if he started publicly saying things like “Damn America”, etc – much less knowing him for 20+ years. There are only two explanations I can think of: either Obama actually agrees with what Wright believes, or he’s completely white-washed his friendship and participation in the church for political reasons – again, for 20+ years! He worked the church’s position and turned a blind eye to the preachers true beliefs to further his career.

I guess a third possibility, and one that I’d like to believe, is that Wright suddenly became cynical and racist overnight or at least over a short amount of time and it’s as much a shock to Obama as it is to us.

So that’s why no matter how sincere he sounds, I can’t get beyond that possible couple of huge character flaws…

20 03 2008
newscoma

That’s cool, Barry. At least we all are having a conversation.

20 03 2008
Barry

What do you believe, of those 3 options I presented?

20 03 2008
newscoma

Barry, did you not read the post?
I wrote something else out and deleted it because I just couldn’t do this tonight. Realized that we are always going to be A-Okay on Lost and theater but a bit different on politics.
I don’t agree with the men who have been my preachers on many things. They teach me the language of God, but I don’t always agree or vote with them.
They are politicians, Clinton, Obama, McCain…
They all have character flaws.
All of them. They are human.
Politicians as well.
I try to be fair. I’m don’t agree with Wright’s soundbites but I also want to be treated as an adult.
The point of my post.

21 03 2008
jessicalpl

I agree, everyday of our lives from the basically the moment we are born, we are all subjected to “preaching”. Be it an actual preacher, parents, teachers, the news, etc, we are constantly exposed to others’ opinions or views. That does not mean we have to make them our own. I think that it takes someone who can think for oneself to be able to stand and say, that they do not agree with nor take another’s words as their own.

nice job here. i enjoyed the post.

21 03 2008
archcrone

I’ll weigh in for just a moment. As much as folks and the media are saying this was an honest speech, I was not swayed. I do not trust Obama, and haven’t trusted him since his senatorial campaign.
AS to Obama’s oratory skills:
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/?storyID=15379

As it realtes to the race and gender issues: http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2008/03/7708_obama-feminism-wright-flap.html

19 04 2008
Real Conversations By Real People About Politics « Newscoma

[…] 19 04 2008 I’ve talked quite a bit about how I wish we were having a more “adult” presidential campaign right now. It makes me cranky listening to all the political rhetoric […]

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