Thursday, November 1, 2007

Obama Blows It the All-American Way

All along, I've wanted to be more impressed with Obama than I have been. Ever since his convention speech, my Impress-O-Meter has been dropping at least a degree a day, which means that, as of early last week, Obama was hovering somewhere around mid-snore.

That was then. But when I found out that he has been sharing the South Carolina podium with an explicit gay-basher, has been pimping himself to gay-hating African Americans in a state that generally hasn't seen fit to join civilization, Obama dropped off my radar entirely.

Obama has now announced that he sees some of us as expendable, thinks some may be sacrificed to the bigotry of others in his rush for the White House. Even when that bigotry is all too ready to reduce fellow citizens to second-class status. Even when it is happy to beat, rape, and shoot them, take their children from them, fire them for no reason, and deny them the common rights of every other American. Even when that bigotry is willing to tie them to a rail fence and leave them to die. Even when that bigotry lives in the hearts of people who should know better.

I've learned to expect exactly this disgusting expediency of politicians. If VP and Mrs. Cheney can sacrifice their own daughter's constitutional rights for the sake of politics, I guess anything goes.

I've also learned that African Americans, and Mormons, and others whose experience as Americans has been sullied by someone else's bigotry, will not necessarily have learned anything. As a matter of fact, I've come to expect more bigotry from those who've suffered most, when they've begun to secure a better place in the pecking order. So often they seem obliged to hurl abuse on those who come behind them. After all, there are always "rational" explanations for why it's different this time, why this time, it's justifiable. That's the nature of bigotry. There's always a "reason," and often a biblical "reason."

As for Obama's excuses about engaging the services of anti-gay entertainer Donnie McClurkin, let's put it this way. The gay "debate" is like the evolution "debate." Only one side has the facts. When that's the case, treating both sides as equally deserving of serious consideration is misleading. It's just another PR deception in a long list of PR deceptions to which Americans have been deliberately subjected for several decades now.

A similar phenomenon is clouding our discussion about immigration. Politicians of both parties are willing to yield the highest principles--liberty, equality, and justice for all--to the lowest perversions of principle. None seems willing to stand for fairness, justice, and mercy, to articulate our complicity in the migration north, or to call us to an equitable solution.

For the last several election cycles, we Americans have either introduced or tolerated the introduction of distortion and bigotry--as if either has merit--into our public debate. If we have become a nation unable to discern fact from fiction, if we are rapidly becoming a nation of angry, ignorant haters, is it any wonder?