Asking Milo to search out facts from online is like saying, “sick ‘em” to a bull dog (as he would say). I received a forward in my email today that besmirches Barak Obama because of religious family history and it left me with mixed feelings of incredulity and fear. I asked Milo if he had received such a message and what he thought. He said he had received one and would follow up on the link that the message had sent as authentication. He went to his screen and started mousing his cyber information center.
I confess I’m afraid of connections with Islam because of the extremists and the terrorists. I confess that anything different from what I believe and what I feel comfortable seeing gives me great pause and takes energy to deliberately think through what I perceive to come up with a reasonable and realistic perspective on politics and our world today. So much of what seems to be happening worldwide leaves me in a perpetual state of confusion and I feel exhausted trying to keep some kind of balanced thinking. I’m exhausted reviewing what I just said. But what I read in the message I received was just too judgmental and frankly bigoted for me to believe especially when I had not heard it from any other source. This kind of “mud slinging,” if it held any truth, would have wiped out Obama long ago and would certainly have made the national news.
But exhaustion doesn’t excuse me from responsibility and its necessity to keep sorting and trying to come up with an intelligent decision at election time. Milo did his “rabbit chasing” with great deliberation and sent me a link to Snopes that informed me of Barak Obama’s real history. I think we all know anyone can take any information and skew it to fit whatever idea we might want to sell. But in these important campaign times with so much on the line we would do well to make sure what information we are considering is authentic and truthful.
I’ve responded to my friend and her mailing list directing them to the link that was in the original message and the same one Milo found and charging them to take the time to go there. My guess is that making the claim of Snopes verification in the first place was a confident counting on people “not” going there. My response may not change any opinions and it may not inspire any to look deeper than an email message circulated by whoever. One thing I firmly believe (and this is something I’m not confused about) is that how ever we use our email communication and what ever we choose to send to our friends we should be careful that it is not harmful and is the truth.
Looking Back 2008 is the first time since 1928 that there is no incumbent President or incumbent vice president running for either of the presidential nominations. In 1928 the President was Calvin Coolidge. Calvin Coolidge opted not to seek reelection. His vice president at the time was Charles Dawes. He also did not run. The Republicans nominated, Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce. The Democrats nominated Alfred E. Smith, Governor of New York and the first Roman Catholic to gain a major party’s nomination.
The campaign of 1928 marked a change from the staid front-porch efforts of earlier years to a more active style. Radio played a surprisingly important role. Hoover, who was not an impressive public speaker, came across to listeners as measured and thoughtful. Smith, however, was an inspiring speaker, but his New York accent and regional pronunciation of words grated on the ears of many Westerners and Southerners.
Smith was relentlessly attacked in the election by Protestants who claimed he would be taking orders from Rome (fast-forward to 1960 and JFK vs. Nixon). Hoover was elected in a landslide. Then and now, bigotry is alive and well. The good news is that you don’t have to participate in it, and you can call what it is.