Monday, September 01, 2008

Barack Obama has integrity

"So what do you think about Palin?"

I keep getting the question.

So here's what I think. As I mentioned before, I was offended by McCain's choice. I assumed he made a random pick because he needed someone that would make himself and the Republican party "diverse." ...and his choice has definitely made a splash in conservative circles. I have talked to several conservative friends and family (men and women) who say, "I really like her!"

I knew they would say that. And I can almost guarantee they will stick by her no matter what. I can't quite describe it. Maybe it's less about following through on the morals they profess than it is the professing of them.

Here is the moral code: Profess high morals, leave no room for messing up and no room for grace, but then if it happens to a family member (or a campaign), cover it up or "make it right." Then, all is well.

I don't know who created the definition for "right" in these situations or when the definition was created, but I know how it works. I grew up with it. As long as a situation is "made right" (no matter how wrong it seems...as in to have a teenage daughter marry a teenage boy...or, even crazier, to have a mom secretly take over the raising of their daughter's child), it is accepted. That is the code that I saw growing up. To "make things right" you do whatever it takes so that your family is not publicly shamed (even though people whisper about it and know the "real deal"). (By the way...that can even mean abortion as long as no one knows about it.)

My biggest frustration with this whole debacle is not that the daughter is pregnant or even that this may be her second child. My biggest frustration is that the "religious right" is so adamant about speaking out against these things and would completely ridicule and condemn others on this issue, but when it becomes one of their own, they smooth it over and downplay it.

I appreciate the integrity of Senator Obama's response. Instead of stirring up the hype, he very succintly and pointedly said:
"People's children are especially off limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. So I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories."
He then went on to say,

"We don't go after people's families. We don't get them involved in politics. It's not appropriate and it's not relevant. Our people were not involved in any way in this and they will not be. If I ever thought that it was somebody in my campaign who's involved in something like that, they'd be fired."
He shut them down and he made certain that his staff was shut down on this as well.

I admire the way Senator Obama handles sensitive issues. I don't know that his consideration of people will get Barack elected. It seems as if the overt condemnation of people (despite the hypocritical nature) wins more votes. But his response definitely adds to my reasons for believing he is the right man for the job. Senator Obama creates the moral and political leadership our country needs.

For those out there who believe in his moral and political integrity, trust me, we have a lot of work to do to get him elected. It is not going to be easy. Any mis-steps Sarah Palin might make will not be enough to hand us the election.
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