Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Thousand Glints of Light Hurt

Many years ago, Richard Nixon came to my hometown to begin his attempt to regain respectability in the face of his impending impeachment. I watched him speak from a tree across the parking lot noting the glints of light from tall buildings on the horizon as my brother and I took turns looking through an old detached rifle scope. When the elderly lady in the pink suit walked beneath the tree and whipped out a small walkie talkie and said, "No, it's just two kids with an old scope." I realized the meaning of those glints of light.

Gary Trudeau published his "Fritters Alabama" strip in Doonesbury about the event depicting one of the most modern cities in the South at that time as two coots in suspenders sitting on a broken down porch thus reinforcing the bigoted stereotypes of the left intellectuals about places they had never been. For me, it was the realization that the radicals of the Sixties that I had admired were in fact more bigoted than the people of my State who had become synonymous with the term during the Wallace years.

And during this campaign, I've seen the results of that undisguised bigotry. Obama supporters claim that their bottom up tactics have upended the Reagan Revolution and are putting the country back on the right path. Except that bottom up approach is not how he is winning.

The Obama campaign is cheating and Obama is lieing.

This election could have been about trust. Instead, it has become about fraud. As a result, an Obama win will be the beginning of a deeper penetration of cynicism and mistrust into the American psyche than even Bush managed ineptly. This time it is being done expertly and there will be hell to pay for it. Worse, anyone who tries to take a closer look and discuss it can see those glints of light and feel the threat from the far left.

The country swung far to the right extreme and now it is swinging just as far to the left. Neither extreme is healthy, so by our own hand, we will pay for our inability to evolve beyond these extremes into a nation moderate in all respects except our willingness to defend the nation. Instead, we have become a nation dedicated to self-abuse.

Good luck out there.


John Cowan said...

Bigotry isn't all one thing. There's the bigotry of ignorance, as in, "We don't know anything about those people so we fall back on stupid stereotypes", which is reprehensible. Then there's the bigotry of IGGnorance, as my wife (from North Carolina) calls it, as in, "We know all about those people, we live near them, they work for us, we know they're born stupid, ugly, dirty, etc." That's evil.

It's IGGnorance that provoked something that my wife told me about yesterday: a memory of swimming in the pool, maybe 1950 or so, and watching the black kids hanging on the outside of the fence, watching, and being chased off by the lifeguard. And then her own experience of being asked to leave the pool in a hotel, around the same time, after her mother happened to mention that her husband (who wasn't even there) happened to be Jewish.

Ignorance is treatable. IGGnorance is lethal.

Len Bullard said...

I've seen both in my life living here, but in this election, I've only seen the former and it's coming from Senator Obama and his campaign.

Has McCain or any of his staff called the Obama supporters "typical bitter" or "moron"?

No. And that is what is truly disgusting to those of us who have lived through real racism: using a ghost that so many worked so hard to exorcise only to have a man who has experienced none of this try to create an illusion of racism just to win an election.

It really is the hypocrisy of the age. And it's working, but it is cultural poison.

John Cowan said...

Supporters, you don't want to get started on. I don't hold the McCain campaign responsible for shouts of "terrorist", "traitor", etc., but they are certainly out there -- loons on both sides.

Len Bullard said...

Some are, John. On the other hand, the Secret Service told the Scranton Times that the calls to kill him were a false story.

The story was a plant.

We have to be skeptical of anything reported like that in the next few weeks.

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