Monday, June 30, 2008

Obama myths

Before I start...I wrote this over a year ago. Guess I've been following the elections for a while...

April and I visited an aunt and uncle of mine this past weekend. Very nice people. Retired, older, extremely active travelers. I think they spend more time outside of the US than they do inside.
They had two other visitors--family friends of theirs. The husband is in the army. They've been married for two years but he's spent half of that out at war.
I always worry about talking about politics in public (writing about it is for some reason easier), especially when I don't know someone's political leanings, or I know them and I don't agree.
But the subject came up (started by my uncle). Basically, both he and my aunt stated how if Obama gets elected, the US is going to go downhill.
And then my aunt stated the oft-repeated myth about Obama not putting his hand over his heart for the Pledge of Allegiance.
So I finally said something. "That's not true. It's a myth. Go to www.snopes.com."
Then the army man spoke up.
"I'm voting for Obama."
Not surprising, seeing that the campaigns that have gotten the most donor money from people in the military are Ron Paul and Obama (both were against the war from the beginning). And Ron Paul has dropped out.
"He'll end the war in Iraq," he continued. He felt that we were doing as much damage as we were good by remaining there.
Needless to say, my aunt and uncle were surprised.
At least they didn't call him "Barack Hussein Obama" or even "B. Hussein Obama" as some fear-mongering types do. They didn't say that they thought he was a "closet Muslim." They didn't mention his "terrorist fist-jab" with his wife (knocking knuckles together as a form of greeting). So I'm thinking that they're not avid talk/hate radio listeners, and they don't watch too much Fox News.
We steered the conversation away from politics, and the rest of the evening went great...but I was reminded of why I stay away from talking about politics in public.
Unfortunately, it's obvious that I need to talk about it...if only to dispel the ugly myths that keep coming up.

4 comments:

Brentwell said...

I am not a big Obama supporter, but I would have to agree that there have been some really stupid things said in the media about Obama.

One thing I would like to say is Obama is not a muslim, but if he were it would not matter to me. I know some good muslims and have nothing against them and their religion. I actually really respect muslims who live their religion, those who dress modestly, don't drink and are very positive about others.

Tim said...

Unfortunately, Americans are much less likely to vote for a Muslim than a Mormon.
I've known my share of good Muslims. Germany had a ton of them. A mission companion and I taught a room of ten to fifteen Muslim men, and I had one or two Muslim investigators.
So it's funny when people say, like my mother-in-law, "isn't he from the Middle East?" No, and if he was, it wouldn't matter to me.

the masked mallard said...

It's funny, because I would see it as a good thing for a candidate to be Muslim (along with being a reliably competent leader, of course). Having a Muslim president might finally provide an opportunity to discuss problems between the US and Muslim nations as political and economic issues rather than religious ones.

The not-funny part is how much people have responded to even the rumors that Obama is Muslim. Good people who I love and respect honestly think that would be reason enough not to vote for him.

Tim said...

MM-
I agree completely with you.