In light of the recent T-Nation spate of racially oriented posts, I’d like hear some opinion on Barak Obama. And I include this topic as one in which race is a strong element because I think that Obama’s treatment by his party, the mainstream media and certain segments of the American public is motivated, primarily, by his race. As far as I know he’s done nothing that would distinguish himself to a degree approaching one in which he’s a favorite to be the next President of the United States. He is almost one year into his first term in the U.S. Senate. Before that he was an Illinois State Senator for two terms. To me that sounds like a good start to a career in politics.
I’m unaware of any legislation that he’s sponsored. I’m not even aware of his stance on any key issues (Iraq/terrorism, defense, social security, taxes, energy). I’m aware of his two books: Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance and The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. My wife has read them and I’ve browsed a few chapters. They are both fairly ‘softball’ accounts of his life along with some safe reflections on a few issues. Both are more idealistic than portraying any real ideas about this country’s direction.
I guess my point is that he’s been thrown out there because of his race and background. A good story, to be sure. But requisite for the Presidency?
My main point is that I think that this kind of thing does a disservice to everyone. It does a disservice to the country because we could end up with someone not qualified or prepared to lead in the White House (insert George W. Bush comments here).
It does not serve Obama himself because it puts him a position he may not be prepared for, maybe even a position he doesn’t desire but feels obligated because his party is calling on him. It does a disservice to all those candidates who have paid their dues and have experience working on major issues. People with decades of service. Evan Bayh was a viable candidate. Until Obama started rolling. Here is a two term Governor of Indiana and a U.S. Senator since 1998. He’s dropped out of the '08 race because he can’t compete with Obama.
In my view, this does a disservice to blacks because it trivializes real accomplishment in favor of skin color. To me, this is the worst kind of racism. It’s a kind of racism that’s often disguised as recognition and support for someone, in this case Obama, that appears based on something other than race. But when you cut through it all it’s just an example of exploitation.