This is one of the most distasteful things I've seen in a long time. These buttons were sold at the Republican Party's State Convention in . . . [drum roll please!] . . . Texas. (Big surprise.)
Throughout the primary campaign, I had to continually re-adjust my choice of candidates. Just as I would find one who suited my wishes for what I wanted the future Democratic candidate (and hopefully, President) to stand for, he would drop out. Kucinich, Edwards, Clinton....
There was a point, long before the primaries had even begun, when I began to hear Obama's name bantered about. He had spoken so eloquently at the 2004 Democratic Convention and I began to listen to podcasts of other speeches he had made. He showed himself to be a great speaker and a man with some reasonable, forward-thinking ideas.
BUT, very early on in the primary cycle, he made a huge error in judgment. At a rally, he chose to have a homophobic gospel singer perform and help him raise money for the campaign. And when he was called out for such a massive mis-step, his only reaction was to offer to counter the homophobe by having a pro-gay speaker appear at another time during the event.
So, his way of trying to rid his campaign of homophobia was NOT to remove the homophobe from the line-up, but rather to try a half-baked attempt at appeasement. Disgusting.
How would it look if I ran for public office and had a card-carryin' KKK member speak at my rally and raise money for me? Then, when called on it, I grudgingly found a representative from the NAACP to also speak...?? Funny, some things don't just require you to present two points of view. Some things should not be said in the first place. Every time there is a news story about an achievement by someone who is black, we don't counter that story with some Klanmember's press conference, do we?
So, I lost interest and faith in Obama. As a gay man, I've seen this double standard reaction before: a member of a minority who somehow, even though he or she has faced all kinds of adversity in life, does not recognize bigotry for what it is when the target is someone else. Or worse, condones and encourages said bigotry.
(I feel the same way when I hear about Asian-owned stores in black neighborhoods being vandalized, ransacked or worse because the residents don't like the Asians making money off of them in their areas.... What the...? Look in the mirror, bub -- you're a minority just like they are -- have some compassion, work together, build some alliances, put yourself in someone else's shoes, etc. Your histories may not be the same, nor your looks, nor your difficulties -- but surely you'd gain more from working together and increasing your influence than battling with each other, one small group against another small group?)
Anyway, Obama went from that debacle to the crazy priest problem at his favorite church.... Not to mention the other religious guy Pfleger and his rants.
So, I kinda ended up with Obama as my candidate as his last opponent (Hillary) fell out of the race.... He was not my first (nor second, nor third) choice. Nonetheless, he is going to be the Democratic candidate in November. And when presented with the two choices, Obama and McCain, there really is only one choice for me and for what future I would like this country to pursue.
Let's just hope that, between now and November, the campaign doesn't get much uglier than this button -- and that we can get a Democrat back into the White House without too many racial epithets. There may have been a time when such sentiments were considered funny, but those days are long, long gone and today such jokes are seen as sad and childish. Get into the 21st Century, GOP, or continue to lose your place in politics as the old, racist, right-wing assholes die off and can't (legally) vote for your backwards candidates anymore. At some point, there won't be anyone left who would buy and wear such crap as that button, much less vote for your candidates....
p.s. I have been very neglectful of my blog -- in part because of long hours and more responsibilities at work and in part because of time spent on other things. I vow to try and devote a short writing session at least once a week to let ya know what's on my mind or new in the world of Todd.
5 weeks ago