Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cynical, Not Racist

As a likely Obama voter, I would rather that the Senator had never made (much less repeated) the remark about how McCain's campaign would remind us that he, Obama, does not look like the other Presidents, the ones on our money. The statement was unnecessary because anybody can see that Obama is black and because it gives McCain and his surrogates another excuse to scream at the public through the pliable media, the right wing's favorite megaphone.

At the mercy of an AP reporter's integrity, Obama is quoted as saying that McCain is cynical, not racist. The Illinois Senator speaks well and softly and I can imagine him saying such a thing and believing it. I believe it, too. Still, this race is all about the black man who is the Democratic contender for the White House. And no matter the colossal price tag of our Iraq adventure, and no matter how distorted the system has become by the redistribution of income and power from the middle and working classes to the rich and already powerful, it will be upon the issue of race that the election will be decided. I hope that I will be proven wrong, but I think that I will not be. We are still in America, after all.

I happen to believe that Faulkner was right to assert that the past is not dead, that it is not even the past. For all that I would like to see an Obama victory, which I feel would be a watershed event in the country's social history, I can see inertia winning out. Inertia wins most of the time unless a strong enough force intervenes. Supposedly, a majority of Americans believe the country to be headed in the wrong direction; will that belief create a force that defeats inertia and channels our efforts more in the right direction?

The dissatisfaction that people express with current policies and their outcomes should be enough to drive change in those policies. After all, losing homes, jobs, insurance and overall security are painful. But McCain and his people plan to counter that pain with a stronger pain, one induced by the daily shouting of innuendos, lies and inanities at the public through their coopted instruments in the traditional mainstream media.

Note: for a sample of such a coopted instrument in the traditional mainstream media, see Morning Joe on MSNBC.

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