Saturday, April 12, 2008

Speaking the Unspeakable: A Lesson in Modern Politics for Barack

Obama's remarks are reminiscent of John Kerry's to some student assembly (as I recall) during his campaign. He urged his audience members to stay and do well in school or "you'll wind up in Iraq," or words the that effect.

His opponents accused him of showing disrespect for those in uniform; of being an elitist; and all the other usual accusations that follow a remark as un-politic as Kerry's.

This time around, the un-politic remarks have come during the primary season. So it's fellow-democrat Hillary who is leading the charge to paint Obama as a man out of touch with the common people, the working folk.

There are several points of interest in this (and the Kerry) brouhaha:

1. The underlying veracity of the statements are not an issue. In fact, Obama now and Kerry then are being castigated for truth-telling, perhaps the greatest vice any politician can have.

2. Over and over and over again, candidates have--usually unwittingly--displayed the fact that they are as far removed from the bus driver, cashier, assembly-line worker, as are Madonna or A-Rod. Yet politicians are required to perpetuate a mythology that even the common wo/man doesn't himself take seriously.

3. The real insult to all the Average Joe's and Joan's is that true, dyed-in-the-wool pols, like HRC, interact with them as if they were children in need of being told fairy tales only, lest the truth, the reality, of situations scare them like the bogeyman scares a 5-year-old. In short, these average people are there only to be manipulated, cajoled, pacified; the goal is getting their vote every few years, period.

Kerry speaks the Truth. He's crucified by his political enemies.

Obama allows Truth to spew from his mouth; HRC is right there to make him pay for it.

[Note: There is an argument that can be made that Barack and John, by speaking the unspeakable, have thereby shown themselves to be inferior politicians, politicians who are unlikely to win elections, especially presidential ones. This may, indeed, be a valid argument. If so, it makes me shudder.]

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