Friday, May 09, 2008

Next Phase: From Rev. J-Wright to Bill Ayers

Wassup, Y'all!

Ty's PSA: Don't front! Go out and get your mama a little somethin' to show your appreciation this weekend! Now on with the show...

Wow - what a difference one primary day makes. Last week at this time the vultures were circlin' the Smooth Barack camp while Sister Hillary was lookin' like a phoenix risin' from the ashes of her crippled campaign to seize the momentum and win the day. Today? Superdelegates can't run away from ol girl fast enough and Smooth has shifted his attention to the fall campaign with Citizen McCain. That's the overcurrent. The undercurrent is that conservative radio has unsubtly shifted their Red Scare hysteria away from Reverend J-Wright onto the 'lightly vetted' 60's 'terrorist' Bill Ayers who has ties with Smooth that go back a couple decades.

There's be plenty of time to get into that nonsense as the fall campaign unfolds so while the democratic nomination dust begins to settle, I thought this would be a good time to wrap up my commentaries on Rev. J-Wright not with a defense of his words or recent actions but with some context and to demonstrate why no presidential candidate needs to throw the word 'obliterate' around lightly...

Bill Moyers, an admitted friend of Jeremiah Wright and original launch pad for Rev. J-Wright's recent media comin' out party, provided some perspective on the man in the wake of his ill advised performance durin' the National Press Club Q & A. Moyers didn't seek to give the reverend a pass, just perspective. It's a clip worth watchin' as we all travel down the road of racial understanding. One early quote sets the tone, "...where I grew up in the south, before the Civil Rights movement, the pulpit was a safe place for black men to express anger for which they would have been punished anywhere else. A safe place for the thunder of dignity denied, justice delayed." It's generational (similar to the seeming reticence of older northside voters to come out in strength for Smooth). It's cultural. It's complicated.

Now about this 'obliteration' thing. When questioned about what she would do if Iran were to attack Israel with a nuclear bomb, her response was that she would 'obliterate' them - tacitly implyin' that she would drop one or more nuclear bombs on Iran in retaliation. When I first heard the comment I felt it was a strong , unequivocal, sentiment in the face of what would surely be the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it. Then coincidently new pictures surfaced. Pictures taken by a Japanese photographer in the wake of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which were later 'found in a cave outside Hiroshima by a U.S. serviceman who was part of the occupation forces'.

What the pictures show (in extremely graphic terms) is the price a civilian population paid for the decisions and actions of their leaders and that got me to thinkin' about how we're trivializing our election process - gettin' hysterical over Rev. J-Wright, or Bill Ayers, or Rev. Hagee, or tax returns or race or ....

What those pictures tell me is that electing someone to lead your country is about the most sobering thing you can ever do. It should be approached thoughtfully, rationally and deliberately - it's not the game we've made it into. A president must be firm and decisive, but he/she also needs wisdom to measure the effects of actions taken not just against today but across generations. We need a statesman not a politician. In the democratic race and soon in the general election it's easy to figure out who's who. The question is, 'Will it matter?'

We're about to find out.

A little somethin' to ponder on as you enjoy your weekend.



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