A coworker forwarded me the latest article by former Bill Clinton strategist Dick Morris earlier today. You can read the text of this article here.
I read some of the observations that Morris made and felt compelled to respond.
1. Dick Morris lists all of the "fears" that people associate with the Obama campaign; from Rev. Wright to a Muslim father to Obama having a "strange name." Yet later in the article Morris admits "So far, he [Obama] has avoided inflaming them and taken great care not to lend them
any credibility from his own statements or positions." What does this say about those who have an unsubstantiated "fear" about Obama? By Morris's own admission it verifies that the fears are unsubstantiated. Yet this point is lost on Morris. He claims that Obama must "go further and
reassure voters who want to believe him, but are afraid." So in the mind of Dick Morris the following exists: 1. There are fears about Obama's past and associations....2. Obama has not lent these critics any credibility from his own statements or positions..hence 3. These "fears" must be unsubstantiated since they are not credible...but 4. Obama must go further to prove that these fears are not true. How can Obama go farther than not giving any credibility to those who hold such "fears"?
2. Morris states that: "If he [Obama] were white, with similar associations, he would be suspect. But he comes from a world few white voters know or understand ..."
To the first point in this quote, is John McCain also suspect due to his own "controversial pastors"? I speak of John Hagee and Pastor Parsley. If you don't recognize either of these names it is no surprise since this issue did not get nearly the coverage of Rev. Wright, yet McCain fully embraced the endorsements of both men before rejecting them months later. I am not necessarily claiming the media has a racist agenda per se, but this point is troubling. Addressing the second point, perhaps we need more discussion of this "world few white voters know or understand". It may be beneficial to clear up any misunderstanding by doing an in-depth series on the issue on a major network instead of airing the same :15-:20 second sound bytes that only help to inflame and distort the issues from their greater context.
Instead of using the romantic language that the US has a "civil religion" and the President is a "high priest" of this religion, perhaps it would be more helpful to put the role of the U.S. into a greater historical context. The quote from Ronald Reagan...implying that the formation of the
U.S. was a "divine plan"...is not helpful in doing this, but only helps to romanticize the role of the United States without giving true examination to the policies carried out in the name of the country.