Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I was about sixteen years old when I made a huge discovery. My father was someone, or something, other than I thought he was. While I will not detail the specifics of the incident that caused me to reach this conclusion, the realization that my until-then lifetime idol was not a man of the character and integrity I'd previously believed came as a great shock and forever altered the way I thought about the man. Thinking about it now I know that this discovery occurred belatedly because I had put it off for years. It was more comfortable to accept the notion that he was larger than life (he wasn't) and possessed of great virtue in his brooding silence (he didn't.) In my opinion this is what has happened to Obama. Without intending any disrespect for him, he did what we all do when we select a church or a friend or a school or a group to hang around with. We look for the good. From what I have read, there is much about Reverend Wright which can be said to be good. But, Wright obviously has a ominous side, less attractive than previously believed, which borders on the paranoid and absurd which has emerged to threaten Obama's run at the presidency. To say that Wright is a preening egotist would be to put it too mildly, but it needs to be considered that when one is close to such a person it does take awhile to draw the conclusion. At the personal level, my decision at the time resulted in my forever limiting the nature of my contacts with my father, but I was not running for president. Obama has, in effect, done the same thing this last few days. Any sensible person will recognize what has occurred to him for exactly what it was because it has happened to all of us on a greater or lesser scale during our life times. We lose a friend, or an acquaintance, or a parent, because that person has betrayed us. It's part of growing up. Dealing with such betrayal requires courage and Obama deserves credit for demonstrating that courage. He's growing up.