In the course of this campaign, my opinion of Barack Obama has eroded.Â Once impressed with the charismatic Senator, the more I learned about him, the less confident I became of his abilities to unite this nation and lead our government.
My confidence in the Democratic presidential hopeful began to slip when I read his then-celebrated (now all but forgotten) speech on race.Â He was then tryingt to contain the political damage caused by the revelation of his pastor’s hateful sermons.Â As I put it at the time, he dodged the real issue, failing to “explain why he never challenged his pastor for his crazy comments.”
Of course those comments were more than crazy.Â They were mean-spirited and evidenced a prejudice against white people and the nation which protected his right to utter such bile.
Now, I don’t share the mindset the Stonewall Democrats; I don’t believe a parishioner necessarily agrees with his preacher on every subject.Â I don’t think Obama has the same angry animosity against white people as does the Reverend Wright or holds to the same lunatic conpiracy theories.
But, Barack Obama has styled himself a new kind of politician, one who can unite the nation.Â Wouldn’t such a man, a leader who promotes change, have the guts to stand up to a man with whom he was close and challenge his bigotry and question his narrow world view?
That Obama chose to remain silent says a lot about the man.Â He chose not to make waves.Â He voted present on Reverend Wright’s bigotry.
For twenty years, when he sat in that church, Barack Obama had the chance to make a tough decision by challenging a man he admired. He had an opportunity to do the right thing, to take a stand against bigotry.Â He took a pass on that one.Â Is that the kind of guy we want as president?Â One who dodges decision-making?Â A man who sits silently by when a friend, a trusted advisor, spews malice toward many.