Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hoodwinked and Bamboozled

I’ve always enjoyed talking politics with friends. I’ve even stayed in touch with History and Political Science professors from my undergraduate days. A few days ago, while talking with a former History professor, I realized that not everyone sees America the way I do. I told him that for the first time in my life I was really optimistic about a presidential candidate. I wasn’t just being forced to choose from two stooges that special interests had propped up. My optimism came from the little known U.S. senator, Barack Obama.

My professor, a man have great respect for, told me that Obama could never be president because he was black. I was stunned. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been. Maybe lots of people feel that way. But there are lots more that don’t. There are people who are donating to Obama’s campaign that can’t afford to donate. People are now voting in primaries that have never voted before. I think that people are beginning to realize that they have been hoodwinked and bamboozled by special interests and incompetence.

Now, just as renewed hope is emerging, leaders of the Democratic Party are determined to put a stop to it. The leader of the party, Howard Dean, squirms on television when asked whether the Michigan and Florida primaries should count at the convention. Hillary Clinton question Obama’s patriotism, religion, and integrity. Today, I heard Geraldine Ferraro tell the press that Barack Obama is “lucky” because he is black and that Hillary Clinton is the victim of a “sexist media.” What is going on?

Like children that don’t get their way, these adults are throwing tantrums – last ditch vitriolic attacks paid for and sponsored by large campaign donors. Unable to assail Obama on anything substantive, they are crying about race and gender. As we are getting closer to the November elections, Democratic Party leaders like Howard Dean sit by and fiddle while the party burns. Like their compatriots in the Republican Party, they have become corrupt and sleazy, offering their vote to the highest bidder.

I hope that my history professor is wrong. In 1963, Martin Luther King hoped for a better America – a nation in which his children would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Almost 50 years later, we are still struggling to make “The Dream” come true. Can we make a change, make a difference? If King were alive today, I believe his answer would be, “Yes, we can.”

3 comments On Hoodwinked and Bamboozled

  • Matt, I’m also glad to see so many people supporting the right to vote this year. I’ve been voting now for 46 years. The first time was the year I turned 18. Dad, a construction worker, got up early in the morning and woke me up to be at the polls at 6am, so we could vote before he went to work. He was always very serious about our right and responsibility to vote in every election. He never told me how to vote, but that I must vote.

    This year things have evolved that I never thought would happen in my lifetime–but it’s exciting. I’ve listened to Obama. He appears to have the honesty and integrity that we sorely need in Washington, however, because of his stand on the value of human life and what I consider immoral, (homosexual lifestyle), I will not be able to vote for him. Personally, I feel if a person doesn’t have the same conviction about human life that I have, how can he or she be trusted to “do the right thing” for me and my family? As you know, I am totally committed to my Christian values, and he doesn’t support them in the way I would want the president of my country to do. But I do commend him for the way he is conducting his campaign–he has taken the higher road. And it is exciting to see not one, but two candidates on the primary ballot that I never expected to see–a black person, and a woman. Exciting times. I heard Obama this morning (Wednesday) on the Today Show on NBC. His comments were note worthy and insightful.

    Your comment about adults have temper tantrums is right on. And what Geraldine said, sounds like

  • “He never told me how to vote, but that I must vote.”

    How cool is that?

  • Janice, if only everyone was as level headed and secure in their beliefs as you. Most people seem to be driven – not by faith – but by fear and rage.

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