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Making the Race One about Spiritual Transformation

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I once heard Obama make allusion to our having a president who RESPECTS the Constitution.  That was an indirect way to point to something nightmarish in today’s America.   He said nothing directly about the DISRESPECT for the Constitution that we have witnessed.

 He needs to communicate about this dark spirit in ways that resonate with more Americans.  Why else should they choose this comparative rookie over one of the veterans who are his competitors?  

He has to find effective ways to up the ante.  There are many possible themes:


**Whether it’s government helping the little guy.

**Whether it’s restoring the rule of law.

**Whether it’s being honest with the American people, rather than manipulative and exploitative.

**Whether it’s earning the respect from the rest of the world, respect America enjoyed for so many years before, but has lost in an unprecedented way under this Bushite regime.
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**Whether it is dealing with matters of science and of intelligence in a way that has integrity—the intellectual integrity of respecting the honest pursuit of the truth.</blockquote>

Obama can bring all these things to life in the ears of as many decent Americans who have within them some at least tacit knowledge that in the realm of power things have become, in terms of spirit, very ugly in America.

Obama should focus all his speeches on this job:  bringing into the spotlight, however carefully and subtly, why it is that America needs the president who will restore goodness to the spirit of America.  

He needs to help them recognize that America needs that kind of president FAR MORE than it needs a person like Hillary, who will likely be a good manager but who has no clue whatever about how unacceptable it is to accept the struggle for power on the fascists’ terms.  [Coming here soon:  "What Happened to Hillary at the Level of the Spirit."]

Obama needs to make this race one about spiritual transformation, even if he never mentions "spiritual transformation."  He can instead talk about fairness and truthfulness and devotion to the greater good and justice and respect for the decent opinion of mankind and a sense of community and compassion-- all those many manifestations of goodness of spirit.
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Of course, he’ll need to use a deft touch, to avoid too confrontative an approach:  the American people are definitely NOT ready to look the full nightmare square in the face.  But this will be his most important job in executing the right campaign strategy:

Here is where Obama's rhetorical skills must come into play, to compose a message for those Americans less charged up about transformation, less outraged about the recent darkness, to lead them toward making a movement toward the light their top priority in this election.  He needs to be able to speak to their inner sense that things have been amiss in this Bushite era-- however he has to phrase it.

(And if he does not KNOW this audience well enough to craft that rhetoric, if he does not know the terms to use to connect that audience with the kind of change that Obama represents, perhaps someone like a Ted Kennedy could help him.)

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. He is the author of various books including The Parable of the Tribes: The (more...)

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Andrew may have the right aspirations but isn'... by R. A. Landbeck on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 11:02:51 AM
In the piece, above, I wrote:  "Obama ne... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 11:27:42 AM
...loud and clear, Andrew. I agree with you, but I... by Professor Fandel on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 11:21:12 AM
I think America is doomed but I hope I am wrong. ... by macdon1 on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 7:28:29 PM