The Gauntlet Has Been Dropped

copyright © 2008 Forgiven. The Disputed Truth

The upcoming strategy for the Republicans for the fall campaign is beginning to take shape. The bulk of the campaign will revolve around the lack of patriotism of Senator Obama. He is already being cast by the Republican nominee and the Republican minions as being unpatriotic and a hater of America. Let the swift boating begin. The goal of this strategy is to scare the rural and working class white Americans who are being targeted because of the final weeks of the Hillary rural strategy. The belief is that Obama is vulnerable amongst these voters because of race, class, and patriotism. The Republicans have to get the debate away from the issues and focus on divisiveness. If the Republicans were to run on the issues this election would be over tomorrow.

The conservative editorial writers have already begun the onslaught. The latest to weigh in is one of my all-time favorites William Kristol. Now how this guy is still in print is beyond me. Mr. Kristol has a long and storied career of embellishing the lies of Republican administrations from the Reagan years until today, as well as his anemic war reporting of the pre and post Iraq invasion. It seems now that Mr. Kristol believes that after listening or reading the commencement speech of Senator Obama given at Wesleyan University in place of Senator Ted Kennedy who was ill at the time that the Senator is un-American. In his speech the Senator expounded on the virtues of service to one’s fellow man. In a time of unprecedented greed and selfishness in America it was an important topic and was delivered not with condemnation, but on the contrary with grace and personal examples.

Leave aside the fact that two years elapsed between Obama’s graduation from Columbia in 1983 and his heading off to Chicago in 1985. Dramatic foreshortening is, after all, sometimes necessary. And leave aside whether $14,000 in 1985 was really such a shockingly low salary for someone recently out of college – in inflation-adjusted dollars, it’s about what we pay entry-level editorial assistants today at The Weekly Standard. New York Times

The Republican slime machine continues to mimic the same lines no matter who the target is, whether it is a “renegade” insider turned snitch or any objective voice in the face of their dishonesty. This line is similar to the one being promoted by another conservative rag which states that poor people in America are not really poor, just look at all the food they have to eat and whether earning less than the minimum wage is poor. Show me how many graduates from Ivy League schools who make the kind of money Mr. Kristol is talking about  upon graduation. I know of Ivy Leaguers who make more than that while still going to school. If you can’t attack the message, then attack the messenger. What Mr. Kristol really wants to attack is the notion of someone from a top university being willing to give up making money for the service of their fellow man. This attack is not palatable to the masses, so it is disguised as an assault on the factual basis of the story.

My questions are simply these. If Mr. Kristol thinks that serving our nation in the military is such a fine calling why didn’t he nor any of his right wing counterparts partake of the honor? Also, why is it that no one questions the credentials of these hacks after they spew this crap? Because it plays to the false patriotism and fears of some Americans who believe that patriotism is a commodity that you can buy or display like so many flag lapel pins. True patriotism, like true love cannot be purchased. Instead like true love it is a verb and an action, not simply words espoused by warrior sheep who have no trouble debating the glory of war knowing that neither they nor their children will ever have to experience it.

But at an elite Northeastern college campus, Obama obviously felt no need to disturb the placid atmosphere of easy self-congratulation. He felt no need to remind students of a different kind of public service – one that entails more risks than community organizing. He felt no need to tell the graduating seniors in the lovely groves of Middletown that they should be grateful to their peers who were far away facing dangers on behalf of their country. New York Times

These “peers far away facing dangers” on our behalf are in this position because Iraq attacked the US? No they are facing danger because Bush and in a large part Mr. Kristol chose to attack Iraq. While he played no role in the actual decision to attack Iraq, his writings on behalf of the invasion and in defense of President Bush’s decision to invade have been well documented. The goal of the Republican strategy against Senator Obama will be two-fold. They will openly attack his and his wife’s patriotism and secretly they will attack his race. They will attempt to exploit the fears of some whites of a black candidate. Of course it will be done couched in the usual code words with nods and winks. The southern strategy is about to take on a whole new manifestation as it is exported to all the small towns and rural areas of America.

These attacks must be exposed and dismantled by all true patriotic Americans regardless of Party affiliations. How can one man lynch another man? He can’t without the acquiescence of other so called “good people”. We are or we could be at a major turning point in America. We are at the crossroads of either moving forward as a nation or reaching backwards. The reason that Obama has been able to rally the young of America is because they recognize more so than older Americans where we are at this moment. This is no time in America to turn back the clocks based on fear and divisiveness, but to move forward as a nation towards inclusiveness and tolerance.

Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence.

~ Henri Frederic Amiel

I Can Admit When I’m Wrong

copyright © 2008. Forgiven The Disputed Truth

Unlike many of my fellow bloggers, the MSM, and the talking-heads and pundits, I can admit when I am wrong. I have written and believed that whites when in the solitude of the voting booths would not be able to overcome centuries of racial history in America and actually be able to vote for a black man for President. Despite what the pollsters and campaign spokespersons were saying, the biggest question mark going into the primaries of Super Tuesday and beyond was would whites be willing to support Obama in the numbers that they were polling at? The truth be told no one knew the answer to that question and it created a lot of anxiety in the campaigns and in the rest of America. The answer at least among the Democrats in the primaries is a resounding yes.

In astounding numbers Obama is receiving the votes and support of both white males and white females in states with little or no black populations. I also questioned Obama’s support among blacks and now they are voting for him in large majorities helping him to carry many southern states and giving him the lead in polls for the border states. I don’t know what happened among blacks since the start of the primary season up until now, but there has been a wholesale shift of support from the Clinton brand to Obama.

Prior to the primaries, the conventional wisdom was that Hillary and Barack would split the black vote at the worse along a 40-60 split, respectively. Somewhere in this process Obama has secured the black vote and eased the fears and questions many blacks had about him. I don’t know if they were actually questions about Obama or if it was more questions about America’s ability to vote for and support a black candidate. I think that as the electability question of Obama became less of an issue a lot of blacks who were afraid to support Obama began to jump on the bandwagon.

This is one of the few times in my life when I can honestly say that I am happy to have been wrong, because it means that the state of America is changing. Don’t get me wrong, even if we elect Obama the first black man to be President this will not in and of itself cure the many ills that plague America, but it will be one of those statement moments in history. What are statement moments in history? These are moments in history when the foundations of change are laid, even though the changes may be years or even decades away. These are moments when historians can look back and say this was the beginning of monumental change. The sad thing about change though is that it never works out like we think. Examples of this would be the Emancipation Proclamation, the Voting Rights Act, and Brown vs. Education, though these were foundations that could have ushered in monumental changes they were mitigated by obstacles of intransigence and apathy.

Regardless of how this election turns out, we are at a watershed moment in America and I am happy to have been here to witness it. I hope Obama goes on to win the nomination for obvious reasons, but also I want to see how the country will react when their next vote will actually put a black man in the White House. What will be the strategy of the Republicans to combat his candidacy? Race, inexperience, drug pushing?

I just want to take this moment to congratulate those white Americans who were able to overcome the centuries of propaganda and racist history of America and vote for Obama. While many will minimize this moment and say this is the way it is suppose to be, I have never been confused with how things are suppose to be versus how things are. This election is one of the most difficult in American history, because there are two distinct historical narratives that can be written in one election. We can elect either the first woman or the first black man to be President and both have their appeal to various segments of the population.

I have read that what it will come down to is which is more ingrained in the American psyche gender bias or race bias. I think this is too simplistic an approach and ignores the  many other variables that are at play in this election. While it is certainly an issue worthy of discussion and will play itself out in the minds of many voters, if it comes down to a simple male or female question then chances are you won’t get pass the white male question in the first place.

So, on the one hand we have made some progress I just hope we do not accept the false narrative that our mission is accomplished and begin to hang up our banners and ignore the rest of the work that needs to be done. We still have too many of our fellow citizens incarcerated and disenfranchised, we still have to many of our fellow citizens accumulating wealth at the expense of the other hard working Americans, and we still have too many lobbyists and corporations dictating national policy.

There are many more miles to go before we sleep America, so let’s pat our fellow citizens on the back and get back to work and may be some day we can live in the kind of America where electing a woman or black man for President won’t be news. And I won’t have to make these stupid apologies.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

~ Daniel Patrick Moynihan