On the way home from running errands I was listening to the Michael Medved show on the radio. Medved was talking about Barack Obama's press conference yesterday where the candidate finally denounced his racist, anti-American pastor unequivocally. Like me, Michael Medved was skeptical of Obama's new found disdain for the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Like me, Medved wondered how Obama could've sat in Wright's church for twenty years without knowing the man held such radical views. Medved offered three possible reasons for how Obama could've missed his pastor's hateful opinions. I'd like to share those reasons here because, as far as I'm concerned, they're right on the money.
The first reason Medved offered for Obama's comfort with Wright is that he shares the man's crackpot worldview and is just hiding it. Obama's left-wing voting record lends credence to this speculation.
The second reason Medved offered for Obama's committment to Rev. Wright and his church is that it was a shrewd political move. Having been raised out of state Obama needed some political street cred to make it in Illinois and Chicago which could then propel him to national success. Joining Rev. Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ was the way to get that street cred. Obama knew about Wright's beliefs but calculated that they wouldn't be a problem because the country would never find out about them. He was wrong.
The third reason Medved offered for Obama missing his pastor's radicalism is that he was just too stupid to notice it.
There you have it folks. Crackpot, politician, or fool. The most plausible reasons for how Obama could attend a church for 20 years and not know about the pastor's off the chart radical theology. None of these reasons bode well for the senator from Illinois. Reasons one and three, if true, would end Obama's candidacy immediately. Patriotic and clear thinking Americans of all races won't vote for a racist, America hating radical. They won't vote for a fool, either. Reason two, though, could be the most problematic for Obama because it undermines his campaign's theme of change. If Obama sat in Rev. Wright's church just to advance himself politically then he's no different from virtually every other politician. His strong denounciation of Wright, coming only after his rhetoric began to significantly hurt his campaign, also marks Obama as just another politician willing to do anything to get elected. So much for change.
Personally, I think reasons one and three both explain Obama's closeness with Rev. Wright and TUCC. Political expediency is the main reason but I suspect there was and still is more than a little agreement between Obama and his spiritual mentor. You can't know someone for 20 years and consider him family without being comfortable with his whole persona. Yes you can disagree with your family and friends, but a fundamental disagreement on issuses like race and politics often means people go their separate ways or maintain only a distant relationship. If you overlook your relatives' or friends' beliefs it's probably because you find them to be within the realm of acceptability. I believe Obama found and finds Rev. Wright's beliefs to be within the realm of acceptability, and that's why Obama is NOT in the realm of my acceptability. I, and all of America, deserves better.