Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Abject Reality of Life in America

I'm the swing vote. Think about it. I am white, from the Midwest, a citizen of one of the critical states (Michigan) in the presidential contest in November. I am economically conservative. I don't think government should spend money it does not have. I don't think citizens of our country should expect handouts or special favors from our government unless, for one reason or another, citizens are unable to take care of themselves. The same reasoning applies to business and industries like farming, the pharmaceutical industry, the automobile industry, banking and Wall Street. Note that I said "unable" to care for themselves and not "unwilling' to do so.

When it comes to individual rights and responsibilities I am liberal. I think citizens of our country should be free from warrantless searches and wiretaps conducted on the mere whim of same nameless and faceless law enforcement officer. I respect our Constitution and I think people should be free to say what they want, practice their own religion (or non-religion) the way they want, carry guns, have the right to remain silent, and have the right to civil trial by jury when someone injures or otherwise damages me. I also believe that it is the obligation of the citizenry to be held accountable for conduct that harms others. If I drive an automobile through a red light and injure someone, I deserve to be held accountable for that damage. I think the same standard should apply to major corporations and industries. I do think that the entire United States does practice de facto segregation against large segments of our society including poor and undereducated blacks and Hispanics in large cities. The terrible damage currently being inflicted on the Obama campaign by the revelations of statements made at church services by his minister is an example of racism in its meannest and ugliest form. Why, for example, wasn't Gerry Falwell's nutty statement that the World Trade Center damage was caused by gays in the U.S. attached to Bush during the 2004 elections?

At this moment I am deeply ashamed of Hillary Clinton for not coming out strongly and rejecting utterly this insidious campaign against Obama to convict him of guilt by association. I have the same feelings about McCain. Someone has to stand up and denounce this outrageous charge. This is an abject lesson about the reality of life in America. The goofy things said by Obama's minister notwithstanding, a wonderful young man and citizen of our society is being destroyed before our very eyes by 'wink and nod' politics designed to appeal to the generally concealed bigotry of white people like me. We white folk, if we are so inclined, have the perfect excuse now to not have to vote for this black guy. When we walk into the voting booth and pull the curtain, the intent is that we will carry the picture in our minds of the minister waving his arms and saying the crazy things that offend us. I am the swing vote. the same can be said for hundreds of thousands of other like me. Unless we recognize that we have been placed in this position by design and consciously reject the attempt, we are going to take an active role in the lynching of Obama as well as the destruction of another American ideal.

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