Rev. Jeremiah Wright may be one of the strangest actors on the political stage at the moment. It should have been obvious to anyone with an ounce of political sense that this “pastor’s” views would be problematic for Barack Obama’s campaign.
So what happens when the spotlight finally shines his direction? The guy ups his rhetoric to a ridiculous degree. Why, it’s almost as if he doesn’t want the man who used a line from his sermons as the title of his autobiography to be President.
But what would be the point of that? Well, for starters, the moment a black man or woman is elected President of the United States, every pundit who makes a comfortable living shouting about how “the man and the system” are “keeping the brothers down” might have to shut their great big race-baiting yaps.
America seems truly to want to elect a woman or a minority to the White House, to show we have grown as a nation. That’s the only explanation for Obama’s wild popularity (no, I don’t buy the charisma bit). The tragedy is that in our desire to atone for past sins, we’re liable either to promote someone who isn’t ready for prime time, or else raise expectations only to dash them and further fuel the rantings of people like Jeremiah Wright. Should Obama fail to win the nomination, I doubt his pastor will accept any of the responsibility. No, it’ll be further “proof” to him and his followers that America refuses to do right by their people.
But just as I won’t vote against someone because of their color or gender, I won’t vote FOR them on that basis, either. It’s about character and qualification… nothing else. Wasn’t that the whole point of the good Doctor’s speech?