Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Kinder, Gentler People

Illustration above has been edited from the original posting... "swishy" was, indeed, the wrong word!
There are signs of a gathering support for Obama
by Charlie Leck

A week or so ago, I posted a comment sent to me by an old fellow in Denver, claiming that America’s rube (redneck) population wanted nothing to do with Obama. I fear he is correct. The best Obama’s campaign can do is hope this segment will vote heavily for Ron Paul or, more likely, not vote at all. It is unfortunate that there is such a large segment of the population that does not insightfully keep up with a campaign like this and does not seek to really understand the candidates (the operative word here is ‘really’).

Recently, a fellow at my golf club sent a rather curious mass email out to dozens and dozens of people, saying things about Senator Obama that were just downright ludicrous, appalling and untrue. I couldn’t remain silent, so I sent a follow up newsletter to all who received the original, asking them to understand the fiction and the hatefulness of the message they had been sent.

“Vote for John McCain, if you wish,” I told them, “but, for heaven’s sake, do it thoughtfully and hopefully; and certainly not because you receive such slanderous, hateful messages.”

Many of those people replied to me and thanked me for ‘speaking up.’ And, many of them indicated they would vote for Senator Obama.

The original sender of the message also replied: “Charlie: I read EVERYTHING...just to see what all the different corners of our society are thinking. I think its [sic] important to do that to better understand how diverse our country really is. And, overriding all of that, is a thing called FREEDOM OF SPEECH. We don,t [sic] have to take it all as the Gospel.....rather recognize that its only an opinion.”

However, when one sends such messages off to dozens of people without comment, one is propagating these seeds of untruth and hatefulness.

A day later or so, I was at a cocktail party thrown by this swishy set who had received that email. Several people stopped me, again to thank me for replying to the message of murky pessimism with a message of optimism and positivism.

Identified now as a clear Obama supporter, people approached me to chat in that context. I was overwhelmed by their open attitudes and how seriously they were taking the campaign and how they tended to lean toward supporting the Senator from Illinois. What I noted especially was that the younger they tended to be – and there weren’t any kids here – the more seriously they were taking Obama. These younger folks were the ones with children who were soon going to have children who would be saddled by the enormous, significant financial and environmental problems they will inherit from the policies of years of neo-conservative leadership. These were conservative people, but they were insightful, responsible conservatives who understand that wise investment brings return and that America, for the last 8 years, had stopped investing in its future.

I have a feeling that some surprising individuals are going to be marking their presidential ballots for Barack Obama – and, I think the numbers of them may be staggering. Let’s hope so.


  1. Hey Charlie,

    Does this talk of executive experience just drive you nuts? To me it is about leadership. Barrack is a born leader. Even though I don't believe in all of his platform, I am inspired by his leadership.

    The fear and hate mongering spread around in St. Paul this week is not leadership, it is just cheap political pandering. It drives me crazy, and the way the Republican party eats it up... ARGH

    scott rosenbaum

  2. Thanks, Scott. Wise comment! I long for real political debates about issues. The country needs it desperately.