Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Barack Obama vs. the Axis of Idiots

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It


Barack Obama is almost certainly the most substantive, intellectually impressive, and emotionally integrated figure on the American political scene today. His speech on race in America was far more than the typical self-serving political exercise most of us are accustomed to. Rather, it was a revelation into the character of a man who has a profound capacity to understand himself, his country, and the world in all its moral complexity. How refreshing to find someone so edifying and illuminating running for the White House following eight years of the obtuse self-certainty and inflexible mindlessness of George W. Bush.

What made Barack’s speech so impressive was his capacity to empathetically relate to the concerns whites and blacks, conservatives and liberals, and the rich and poor have. His aim was clearly to encourage greater dialogue, empathy, and to edify. His approach stands in stark contrast to a legion of self-serving politicians and pundits who have built their careers upon feeding the fear and anger of their audiences. Indeed, there is a herd of sophistic talk show hosts and cable celebrities -- Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Rich Lowry come to mind – who stuff their audiences with intellectual garbage the way visitors at a zoo might throw morsels of junk food at a gaggle of geese.

Barack Obama is equally perceptive on the subject of Iraq. Obama’s pragmatism, the cogency of his arguments, and his exceptional capacity to raise the level of discourse must terrify the purveyors of prejudice and irrationality. Put simply, a spokesperson for a progressive outlook as articulate as Obama has the potential to transform the political landscape in a way no American leader since F.D.R has. Thus, the right-wing hate machine is being set loose once again to do the only thing its good at: character assassination.

The Bush era conservatives have demonstrated they cannot govern, but their propaganda apparatus would make even Joseph Goebbels spin in his grave with envy. Six years into a disastrous war, and with the country facing possibly the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression, the professional slime-mongers on the right are bent on hanging comments by Obama’s pastor around the candidate’s neck. Obama has denounced the comments, but for shameless sophists guilt by association is a sure-fire way to clip the Democratic front-runner’s wings.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof correctly characterized called Obama’s speech thus: "It was not a sound bite, but a symphony." Filtered, interpreted, and distorted by right-wing rage mongers, however, Obama’s speech is being dissected into snippets that present a completely misleading picture of Obama and his message. The agents of anger, ignorance, and arrogance have succeeded before in Swift-Boating Renaissance men like Al Gore and John Kerry. As a result, the country is stuck with a pre-Enlightenment President who has succeeded only in taking America back to the Dark Ages.

Obama faces a steep challenge. George W. Bush has demonstrated that even a bad argument aimed at the lowest common denominator has a good chance of succeeding if it is repeated often enough. The instruments that make up the right-wing echo chamber understand this. The weapons they wield are not truth or reason, but repetition and cliches. Obama’s candidacy really is different; it’s based on the premise that a leader can persuade the electorate by engaging them on a higher intellectual and emotional plane. That’s the audacity of hope we so desperately need.



About the Author -- Scott D. O'Reilly is an independent writer with degrees in philosophy and psychology. His work has been published in The Humanist, Philosophy Now, Intervention Magazine, Think, and The Philosopher's Magazine. He is a (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Is George Bush a Sociopath?

Top Ten Reasons Dick Cheney Should Run for President in 2008

Bush vs. History and the Future of Iraq

Sean Hannity's America: The Politics of Hate

Bush and the Nazis

Stem Cell Research, the Soul, and the Bush Administration's sophistry


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

If you believe preaching hope will save this count... by Gallaher on Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 3:22:01 PM
I never implied hope would be sufficient to save t... by neuroscott on Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 4:42:48 PM
What exactly are you hoping for? We have heard the... by Gallaher on Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 5:54:41 PM
I believe you misunderestimate the influence of Se... by Gustav Wynn on Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 9:22:18 PM