Thursday, September 4, 2008

Defending Barack Obama

The Republican party has gotten very good at attacking Barack Obama. When the election season began, he was regarded as a political god—Oprah called him “the One,” young people flocked to his rallies, and Obama managed to defeat the powerful Clinton family with just a smile and a speech.

Since then, the Republicans have changed all that. They have not been kind to Obama—McCain has released some blistering anti-Obama ads, the conservative media has expertly punctured Obama’s change rhetoric, and the Republican National Convention has been all about bashing Obama. One line of conservative attack attempts to portray Obama as a messianic, inexperienced celebrity. This is perfectly acceptable—one can disagree with it (I don’t), but it is based on fact. Another line tries to paint Obama as an elitist un-American. This isn’t acceptable.

I have always thought that the elitist label, as applied to Barack Obama was a) unfair, and b) irrelevant. The charge seems to rest on only a few Obama statements: there was the “have you seen the price of arugula at Whole Foods” line delivered in Iowa (a state without a single Whole Foods store), and the “bitter/clinging” controversy. To be honest, I can’t get too excited over the “arugula” line—Obama has money, and criticizing him because he buys expensive food is seems dangerously close to class warfare.

As for the “bitter” line (summarized: bitter Americans cling to guns and religion), it was monumentally stupid, but not beyond the pale. It is basically a standard Democrat talking point—conservative Americans are uneducated rubes. An unfair assessment, to be sure, but hardly something unusual.

I happen to agree that many Americans are bitter, but rather than clinging to guns or religion, I think that most clinging Americans cling to protectionism or “change.” These statements are not proof of some overriding elitism on the part of Barack Obama.

And even if they were, is elitism such a bad thing? Both John McCain and Barack Obama are probably far smarter than most Americans. (Disagree? Remember, one out of four Americans can’t identify the United States on a map). Why must they pretend to be regular Joes who just happen to be running for president? John McCain is rich, and Barack Obama graduated from Harvard. Both candidates should be proud of these things, not smeared as elitists for them.

Some would argue that Obama’s (or McCain’s, depending on who’s making the argument) elitism ensures that he cannot appreciate the struggles of ordinary Americans. No presidential candidate can, since no presidential candidate can be an ordinary American. Presidential candidates are, almost by definition, wildly successful and rich men. The better candidate is the more competent one, not the one who can better fake being “in touch” with ordinary Americans.

A far more insidious charge, in my mind, is the accusation of un-Americanism. Obama is a poor presidential candidate—but his life story cannot be described as anything other than inspiring. He did what conservatives have spent decades advising minorities to do—he worked hard, got through college, and became a successful man. And this despite being born into an extremely difficult situation—a man caught between two races, two countries (remember, Obama spent much of his childhood in Indonesia), and two families. It would be a tough situation for anyone to overcome—yet Obama overcame it, and flourished.

He has carved out a good career in politics, written two books (okay, they were both memoirs; maybe he’s a little self-centered, but still, that’s more books than most people have written), raised a beautiful family, and provided all Americans with an inspirational story of determination. Obama’s life is far from un-American; on the contrary, it is a quintessential American success story.

Barack Obama is the enemy—but conservatives should ensure that their attacks on him are ethical. John McCain says that it is better to lose an election than to lose a war—and perhaps is also better to lose an election than to unfairly smear a candidate. There are more than enough legitimate arguments against Barack Obama to win the election.

11 Comments:

At September 5, 2008 at 4:58 AM , Blogger DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

Daniel, Anyone that can't find it in their heart to salute the flag of their country, is not American to me.
How can anyone consider a man like that for our President for that reason alone? I could name 20 other reasons, but this one alone is one that is enough.
But people who lay their life on the line for America is a reason for me to salute THEM.
We could talk about taxes, immigration, inflation, our Nation’s security, abortion, and a million other things. But if a man can not even show his patriotism to our country,anyone, let alone a man that wants to be our President that can’t at least show some respect for the country I say SCREW them.
I don't care how cool and hip they think they are!!!

We have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, etc…… and all of these freedoms are represented by that flag. The flag is the symbol of what so many of our sons and daughter have died for protecting. This may seem to be a silly, and trite, point, but it does to to me!!!…… Mr. Obama did something that should take him out of the running for the Presidency completely. How can anyone support him is something I will never understand.
With leaders like Obama we’ll soon have a country not worth saluting or defending. I’d trust him in a crisis about as much as I’d trust Michael Moore.
Showing respect for the flag may not prove one’s patriotism. But refusing to show respect proves one’s UN-patriotism
One reason why I would support ANYONE in the Republican party. I have never seen any Republican that would sink to that level.
We have seen things like that at the Olympics and Children doing it in school classrooms, but never in any Presidential Candidate.
Maybe Obama is pandering to those in the black separatist in his “Church”! And maybe that's where he learned it.

 
At September 5, 2008 at 11:09 AM , Anonymous Bob said...

Lets face it Barack Obama is the worse person that we could ever even think of electing as our president.He is everything wrong with a candidate, he is a socialist who wants to redistribute the wealth of anyone that has made a succes out of themselves and turn the wealth over to 90 percent of the others, most of who have not even held down a job.
Defend Barack Obama? No not at all. Defeat Barack Obama at all costs.

 
At September 5, 2008 at 1:11 PM , Blogger Beth said...

I think Daniel does want to defeat Obama, all he says is that there are plenty of things the McCain campaign can use against him without calling him unAmerican, because indeed he is a self-made man.

 
At September 5, 2008 at 1:43 PM , Blogger Bob said...

"indeed he is a self-made man".

So was FRANKENSTEIN!

 
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At March 23, 2017 at 5:42 PM , Blogger RAGAB KAMAL said...



شركة الكمال أفضل شركة تنظيف بحائل للتنظيف أهمية كبيرة جدا لانها تجل المكان دائما نظيف

وجيد كيى تتواصل مع اقاربك وجيرانك فنحن نقدم شركة

تنظيف بحائل
ولانها الشركة الرائدة والمشهود لها بالكفائه العاليه بما فعلته من

انجازات فى اعمال التنظيفالجاد بافضل وسائل التنظيف الحديثه والمعدات المتطوره فى تنظيف

الفلل ومقدم ايضاشركة تنظيف فلل بحائلويقوم طاقم العمل الكبير المدرب على اعله

مستوى بتنظيف الشقه بدون التسبب بأى إزعاج للعميل فلا تتباطؤ فى إختيار شركة الكمال

لتنظيف منزلكم لأنها أفضلشركة تنظيف شقق بحائللأن تنظيف

المجالس يحتاج إلى وقت طويل وجهد كبير فشركة الكمال أفضل شركة تنظيف مجالس وكنب

بحائل كفيلة بتنظيف مجلسك سواء كان عربى او مجلط او كنب فى أسرع وقت وبدون جهد

وبالتالى شركة الكمال هى الحل الأمثل فى فى مجال تنظيف المجال بحائل ونحن بانتظاركم فى

اى وقت واى مكانشركة تنظيف مجالس بحائلوأفضل مايميز شركة الكمال أفضل شركة

تنظيف عام بحائل وضعها للخطط قبل البدء فىشركة تنظيف مجالس وكنب بحائل
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وموكيت بحائل
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هى وجهت البيت ودليل نظافة البيت شركة تنظيف واجهات بحائلشركة

الكمال أفضل شركة كشف تسربات المياه التى من خلالها نقدر ان نحافظ على البيت من

الانهيار والهدم ةالحفلظ ايضا على فتورة المياه شركة

كشف تسربات المياه بحائل
كما نقدم ايضا خدمه من اهم الخدمات التى تهم كل العملاء

وهى شركة نقل اثاث بحائلوذلك تحت اشراف فريق عمل كبير مدرب على

اعله مستوى من الكفائه العاليه والخبرة الكبيرة فى نقل العفش والاثاث والمشهود له بالخبرة

والكفائه من جميع عملائنا الكرام

 
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