Sunday, July 13, 2008

In Your Face Foreign Policy, Potty Mouthed Comedians and Good Judgement

Remember "Bring 'em On," when George Bush issued a challenge to Iraqi insurgents, who would attack U.S. troops in Iraq? This "in your face" style of dealing with others has been a mainstay of the Bush Administration's failed "diplomacy" efforts. It is, I might add, typical of the fundamentalist style of not negotiating. To quote Bush once again, "if you aren't with us, your are against us." In other words, if you don't believe the way I do, then you are nothing more than dirt on the soles of my shoes.

This week John McCain issued a warning that he is of the same ilk as Bush, when he commented on increased sales of goods to Iran in recent years, including cigarettes. "Maybe that's a way of killing them," was McCain's comment to reporters in Pittsburgh. He added that he was joking. This comes at a time of tension between the U.S. and Iran over Iran's nuclear program. I am sure many Americans laughed along with McCain at the prospect of cigarettes as a secret weapon to kill Iranians. However, in my opinion the comment simply served to put the Iranians more on the defensive. This man could be the next president of the United States.

On the other side of the coin, Barak Obama held a fund raiser in Chicago, featuring his friend, comedian Bernie Mac. Apparently, the comedian's jokes were off color and fell pretty flat with the audience. I am not familiar with this gentleman, but I can imagine the type of "humor" that he spews forth. At any rate Obama's comments upon arriving on stage were, “We can’t afford to be divided by region or by class and we can’t afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you’ve got to clean up your act next time. This is a family affair. By the way, I’m just messing with you, man.” Did Obama disagree with the tone of Bernie Mac's routine or did he simply brush it off?

I continue to be amazed by politicians, athletes and others in the public eye, who simply do not demonstrate good judgement. Athletes continue to be caught doping, when they know they are going to be tested. Politicians, especially presidential candidates know that every word they speak and every move they make is reported, yet they continue to say and do dumb things. John McCain aspires to be president, yet he continues to make off the cuff statements that send negative signals to foreign governments and to voters. Obama's choice of comedians sends negative signals to those white, conservative, Christians, whose vote he so badly wants next November.

The judgement of both candidates must be questioned at this point. McCain's comment is certainly more serious than Obama lack of wisdom in choosing who would speak at his fundraiser. The United States' election is being closely watched by foreign governments, friend and foe alike. They want to know if it will be more of the same "shove it down their throats" foreign policy. McCain's comment says to them that it will be more of the same, and the U.S. will continue to fall in grace with the rest of the world.

Obama's judgement speaks loudly to certain voters, particularly those white, conservative and male Hillary supporters now on the fence and starting to fall the other way. They see a potty mouthed black comedian, at whom they might otherwise laugh, representing a possible future president of the United States. Will the White House be the scene of Rapper concerts, along with comedians like Bernie Mac? They can conjure up all kinds of pictures that represent all that they consider questionable about African American culture. Admittedly, this is worst case scenario thinking, but I know many of these prospective voters, and I know how they think. I don't believe that I am too far off base at all.

1 comment:

Doug Robertson said...

Bernie Mac, not a fan, but I have laughed from time to time. As far as bringing him into the mix for political purposes, though, probably not such a wise decision. Questionable judgement on both sides indeed.