Thursday, March 20, 2008
will.i.am seems a thousand years ago.
"Yes We Can," seems less about changing the world than holding onto a nomination fairly earned through the accumulation of delegates.
So much hope; joy even.
The attack on Sen. Barack Obama goes beyond the sullying of his name, image, and vision. It is an attack on the name, image, and dreams of his supporters.
Obama's movement was not naive about politics and the dirty game it is. Many are not of the new generation at all, rather refugees from earlier shipwrecked flotillas of hope.
Obama did not awaken their faith in politics. He taught them to hope for this country again.
The response has been ruthless.
How can we believe that programmers at FOX actually care about what the senator might have to say about race when a post-speech lineup of piranha has already been arranged complete with an "expert" to tell viewers "what his words really mean"?
Do they hate so much, so automatically? Their snarky smirks suggest that they do and if they're goal is to hurt the candidate, they are a success. If it is to hurt those who support him, then they are good at meting out pain.
Congratulations to them.
In ways both large and small the concerted effort in our media to bring a man down, to put the words of a friend in his own mouth and demand he answer for them, is evident to all save for the willfully blind.
Did he do enough? they ask in the wake of a heartfelt speech.
Enough what? Bootlicking? Apologizing? Backtracking from what he truly thought?
Do his associations detract from his judgment?
Where is the judgment in this hound dog hunt? What service to the public is rendered?
And what of the government? What are we to think when its minions are combing through Obama's files at the State Department in a low-rent version of "Spies Like Us."
Is no one safe? Who were they? What were they looking for? And does it really matter when their actions are but a part of this pile-on that wreathes the man himself in a toxic cloud, associates him with things dark until he and they become inextricably mixed and, ultimately, truncate the promise he foreshadowed?
The assassination of this man's character, the web of associations and insinuations true or not, the superimposition of idiocy and meanness over a plan to redirect the course of America towards a kindness lost, are all devastating blows.
Those who destroy a man because they claim to love America so, love it naught, for he is this country, too. And his supporters have come to see themselves in him and to press their stake in national affairs.
Perhaps Obama was wrong about our country. Perhaps we are too divided to do anything but lunge at each other's throats while treading water too deep for comfort.
America doesn't need God or Jeremiah Wright to damn it. The country is doing a fine job all on its own.
Perhaps America doesn't deserve Obama.
But his supporters do. He is their prize for listening; the prize for belief in someone, anyone, whom might steer us from the sneering people we have become.