I feel compelled to offer my voice in the ongoing cacophony that is the 2008 election discussion. This may become an ongoing feature. I'm not sure. All I know is that today, I want to talk about Senator Barack Obama.
I like the man. He is inspirational, he knows how to give a good speech, and he is intelligent. As Joe Biden put it, he is "clean-cut." At the risk of derailing my one-day presidential campaign, I must say that I agree with Senator Biden. Senator Obama appears to be an intelligent, charismatic John Kennedy for the current generation.
However, I am very disturbed by the recent revelations that have come to light concerning the people with whom he surrounds himself. Senator Obama thanked the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., when he won his Senate campaign, and he titled his second book, the Audacity of Hope, after the name of one of the reverend's sermons. Of course, Senator Obama married his wife -- selected her among all the women in the world as the person he wanted to spend his life with. He calls her his "rock." He depends on her for guidance.
This is disturbing because of what these individuals have said. The Reverend has been in the news lately because of some very incendiary remarks he made about America in several of his sermons. The wife was in the news recently for her comments that, until her husband had won the support of certain states, she had never before been proud of America.
I know that Senator Barock Obama is thankful to this country for the opportunities it has provided him. And I know that he regrets the things that his close allies have said publicly. He has called some of the remarks shameful and despicable. But the fact remains that he has chosen to surround himself with these people. This shows, to me, that he agrees with these sentiments -- at least privately. And, even if he does not consciously agree with these statements, it is a fact that, when surrounding yourself with certain viewpoints for so long, those viewpoints will begin to seep in.
An intelligent, impressionable individual who surrounds himself with America-haters for so many years is bound to pick up some of those beliefs. Even if he does not actively hate America, I am positive that at least some small part of him, spurred by the outright disgust of his compatriots, resents America.
None of this really matters to me; I am a John McCain supporter, as I have been for the past eight years or so. But I think it is important that my friends, who are so impressed by Senator Obama's idealism and intelligence and seeming integrity, listen to the words of Obama's preacher and Obama's wife. Don't just dismiss those anti-American ramblings as insignificant words of people who are not running for the presidency. Because, the fact is, those people, and those views, exist somewhere in the heart and mind of the man who is running for the presidency.
You cannot live for so many years with people who distrust America, and not start to develop some of the same views yourself.