Step out of the box

Concerning the controversy over the comments made by Barack Obama’s pastor, I don’t fear a president with the tolerance to listen to someone he disagrees with—I fear a president lacking that tolerance. Many of the problems we now face as a nation result from a chief executive intellectually handicapped by his decision to surround himself with like-thinkers.

Over the years, the political tirades at the Trinity United Church of Christ were far outnumbered by the hours and hours of worship, prayer, gospel readings, Christian fellowship and community outreach. How ironic [that], while Mr. Obama’s opponents conduct a whispering campaign claiming he is a Muslim, they are at the same time condemning him for the Christian church he chose to attend for almost 20 years. That makes about as much sense to me as a “United We Stand” sticker sharing space on a bumper with the Confederate flag.

Next time the newscasters and pundits hand us lighted torches and send us storming to burn down someone’s gate, step back and give pause. They don’t look to us to write their paychecks or advance their careers; the major news outlets are owned by corporate conglomerates, and the public interest has taken a back seat to their best interests and bottom lines. Crosscheck the facts from different sources. When a sound bite saturates the media, find the original source and listen to or read enough of it to understand the context.

Sometimes fact-checking doesn’t require research, just common sense. What kind of anti-American fights for and successfully passes legislation to help neglected veterans, works to secure rogue nuclear weapons to keep them out of the hands of terrorists, helps draft a measure that allows every American to go online and see how and where every dime of their tax dollars is spent?

Barack Obama urges us to step outside of the partisan boxes we’ve been herded into, so that we can tackle the problems we share—not as Republicans or Democrats fighting one another, but as Americans working together. The central core of his campaign encourages us to get involved, not just in the election, but in our democracy after the election is over. I can’t think of anything more American.

— Sue Wille
Fairview

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15 thoughts on “Step out of the box

  1. travelah

    Sue, why would you think Obama would surround himself with people who think considerably different than himself?

  2. Eli Cohen

    Sue, you make a very good point. Travelah, who said he would surround himself with people who think considerably different than himself? Once again you’ve distorted someones message. You are employing a logical fallacy called Bifurcation. (Also referred to as “false dilemma” or the “black and white” fallacy, bifurcation is the presentation of a situation or condition with only two alternatives, whereas in fact other alternatives exist or can exist.)

  3. travelah

    Big E, it is Sue’s contention that Mr. Obama would not surround himself with just like minded thinkers or did you miss that in the OP?

  4. Eli Cohen

    OK let’s try again…Sue, you make a very good point. Travelah, who said he would surround himself with people who think considerably different than himself? Once again you’ve distorted someones message. You are employing a logical fallacy called Bifurcation. (Also referred to as “false dilemma” or the “black and white” fallacy, bifurcation is the presentation of a situation or condition with only two alternatives, whereas in fact other alternatives exist or can exist.) It’s Sue’s belief that Obama will attempt to be bi-partisan when elected president. She also believes that Obama is the kind of man who could listen to someone he disagrees with.
    You have every right to defend your opinions, but please don’t be disingenuous.

  5. travelah

    From Sue:
    “Many of the problems we now face as a nation result from a chief executive intellectually handicapped by his decision to surround himself with like-thinkers”

    The implication in Sue’s statement is:

    “Sue, why would you think Obama would surround himself with people who think considerably different than himself?”

    From Big E:
    “She also believes that Obama is the kind of man who could listen to someone he disagrees with.”

    Now, Big E, you are bifurcating all over yourself. Use a bib.

  6. Can you two get a room and refrain from your old-gaurd banter on the MX blogs.? Perhaps you could start a string on the forums, one titled “Old Liberal and crotchety Social conservative call each other names thread”

  7. travelah

    sammule … er … no … what a staid colorless forum it wuould be if everybody you disapproved of left. (jk)

  8. Eli Cohen

    Sam, perhaps you’d like it better if we had a spelling contest?

  9. entopticon

    Sue Wille, thank you for your exceptionally insightful letter. It was great to see such a perceptive take on the issue here.

    I have been extremely disturbed by the efforts of the far right, as well as Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which have been fanning the flames of racial intolerance for political gain by exploiting the Wright comments that the press picked up on.

    Wright grew up in a time where he had to fear being beaten to death for sitting at the wrong lunch counter or gazing in the direction of a white woman for too long. Much of his life has been dedicated to helping the victims of the devastating social and economic damage that hundreds of years of oppression has caused for black Americans.

    It is not surprising that he has some unresolved anger and suspicions. Some of his frustrated remarks may have been misguided, but it is a big mistake to overlook his exceptional life of public service because of a few minutes of misplaced angry venting.

    The people who have been trying to exploit Wright’s remarks in order to drum up resentment from angry white voters should be ashamed of themselves. Their efforts only serve to make things worse for everyone.

    Like so many people, I was extremely moved by Obama’s speech, which encouraged us to use this as an opportunity to open our minds to constructive dialogue and strive for new levels of understanding and tolerance.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful note.

  10. travelah

    Big E, if we had a typing competition, you would win, even with your three big green fingers.

  11. travelah,

    actually i generally enjoy the well-thought-out-ness of a good percentage of your posts. I merely wish to see you and Eli flourish in a proper garden.

  12. nuvue

    If they (trav and eli) stopped posting it would certainly be a boring blog.
    Now for Dr. Anti- I enjoy most of his stuff but can’t seem to finish them (yikes! I am one of the sheep he writes about, that can only digest snippets)

    I think this articles meshes nicely with the one about media conglomerates….It seems we don’t always get the true picture or meaning of what the candidate has to say cuz the news shows only give it in soundbites….
    Why isn’t the Glenn guy on Fox instead of CNN if they are so liberal? He really trashes Obama and wants us to think he is a socialist, acting like socialism is a cuss word

  13. travelah

    Nuvue, CNN is the Clinton News Network. That is why the Glenn guy is anti-Obama.

  14. Eli Cohen

    “T”, the glenn guy is a nut…

    Sammule:travelah,

    actually i generally enjoy the well-thought-out-ness of a good percentage of your posts. I merely wish to see you and Eli flourish in a proper garden.
    Sammule,
    As long as you continue to provide plenty of fertilizer, I will continue to flourish in this garden.

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