Sunday, March 16, 2008

Obama Problema...I'm Having Second Thoughts

I've been spending the morning watching the Presidential campaign through the eyes of YouTube and the New York Times.  And a funny thing happened as I clicked on video after video.  I learned more about the people who inspired Barack Obama - his mother and his minister.  The profile of his mother was quite inspiring - she seemed to have been a selfless individual who devoted her life to making the world a better place for her children.  Obama's minister on the other hand, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, personally scares me.  
First, a friend of mine told me about his radical views against what he calls "rich, white, men" who control the government.  After reading an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, I even found out that Obama's minister fervently supports Louis Farrakhan and even gave him an award on behalf of his church.  I also decided to check out some of his speeches for myself.  Just do a search on YouTube and you'll find a selection that'll open your eyes and then some.   Sadly, his speeches are eerily reminiscent to Hitler - who blamed rich Jews for all of Germany's failings. As a Jewish woman with family members who escaped Nazi Germany and who also has friends who have lost their lives to terrorist attacks, the last thing I want to see is someone closely aligned with a presidential candidate whose views are incredibly antiquated and divisive.  It is not supposed to be about us and them.  We are all Americans and we are all for pursuing the American Dream.  Barack Obama is proof positive that it is possible to succeed despite prejudice but if he has aligned with a minister whose speeches contain loads of references to hate speak, can we trust that he doesn't secretly feel the exact same way?
On a side note, I was watching some clips from Fox News, and yes, I know that Fox is a right wing channel so I am always suspect of their reports, but they did something that was interesting.  They asked a group of people to name one accomplishment made by Barack Obama and no one could come up with a single thing.  They then asked the same question of a U.S. senator who supported Obama and he was completely stumped too.  The only accomplishments his supporters could name were that his speeches are incredibly inspirational and he's one of the first black U.S. senators.  Both have nothing to do with the accomplishments he's made to affect legislation in this country.
So, not to burst anyone's bubble - I mean I voted for the guy already so it's too late to change my mind (at least for now), I have to admit that these two glaring points about Obama are quite troubling.  Has he ever been involved in high level meetings with foreign leaders or other policy makers to actually help find a solution to the crisis in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan or Darfur?  Has he been involved at all in drafting foreign policy or does he have any experience whatsoever that would help bail out our country from its financial woes?  He sure can argue with that Ivy League law degree, but is being a master orator enough to solve the terrible mess we've gotten ourselves into with the help of the current administration?  
Will Obama truly bring America together or will he favor those people whom he believes have been forgotten and turn his back on the people who have found success by pursuing the American dream?   Will he look to his mentors like Rev. Jeremiah Wright - for guidance on issues involving race and equality? Will he have the experience to serve and protect our country or will he be in over his head?  Incidentally, in the clip above from MSNBC, Obama recently distanced himself from Wright - saying he was ready for retirement and he is not involved the campaign moving forward.   But could his involvement change if Obama wins the nomination and ultimately the election?
I completely got swept up in the hope and inspiration that Obama's offering.  But will that be enough?  Something tells me, it probably won't.  

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At 12:09 PM, Blogger Jackson Leslie Ingersoll said...

You are exactly right! Someone like Barack Obama can make eloquent speeches stating he is for national hope and healing, but at the same time he can sit in a congregation and listen to Rev. Jeremiah Wright spew hate and dissent for twenty years and he's fine with it, too.

Although, I am an unapologetic Hillary Clinton supporter, since the beginning, I was touched by his seeming sincerity; however, I knew his words would not be enough to save our country from eight years of George W. Bush, and finally lead us, as a healing nation, into the 21st century.

Now, like you, I think many Obama supporters are opening their eyes to what an Obama administration would really mean for our country.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Jaelithe said...

I actually have investigated Barack Obama's experience pretty thoroughly, and do I think he is qualified to be president. If you go to you can check out his voting record in the Senate; if you search on THOMAS, you can find out which bills he's sponsored; if you go to, you can find some of his Senate floor speeches, and also some information about some of the work he has done to end violence in Africa.

The New York Times also did a really good article referencing his experience in the Illinois State Legislature. He authored over 800 bills during his time there: improving access to healthcare, giving tax breaks to working families, protecting civil liberties, and promoting government transparency were issues he focused on during that time.

Some of this information is summarized on my blog-- check my Politics tag if you're interested.

As for Reverend Wright, I think that dude is straight up crazy, and has said some ignorant things. ALTHOUGH, I have to add I do also think that some people are overreacting a bit to SOME of what he said on race-- I think it's actually quite fair, for instance, to point out that Hillary Clinton does not have firsthand experience of racial discrimination, just as it would be fair to point out that Obama does not have a first person understanding of what it's like to be discriminated against as a woman.

I am very interested to see what Obama will say about all this in the speech he plans to give tomorrow on race and politics.

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