Below is the original version of my Letter to the Editor sent to my local paper nearly two weeks ago. They had me reduce it my eighty-three words and then (on the phone) confirmed they got it and all was good. Today was the last day of “Election Letters” to run in the paper. Of course, two Anti-McCain/Palin letters and one Anti-Republican letter ran along with some general local issue letters. NO anti-Obama or Pro-McCain letters ran.
I am posting this, because I believe so much in my points. That and the fact that WE’RE GONNA WIN!!
Leadership is measured and tested by many things. One’s reaction to a tough situation, forward thinking and action which others around you may disagree with or simply removing yourself from a situation when you know staying offers support to someone else’s wrong deeds. Senator Barack Obama has failed all of these tests.
Throughout his campaign and his career since Harvard and Columbia, he has never showed leadership of the kind Americans expect of their President. He voted “present” on tough Illinois Senate votes so he would leave no track record for an opponent to find. He talks of speaking out against the Iraq War as if he was Nelson Mandela taking on the apartheid government of South Africa. He did so from the safety of a State Senate office, from which he had to make no decision on whether to send troops like my brother to war.
Most importantly, rather than display leadership and intellectual honesty, he decided to stay as a member of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church for over twenty years. His anti-semitic and race-baiting sermons were wrong, divisive and not worthy of anyone’s support. As a man who graduated from Columbia and Harvard Law School, Senator Obama knew this. However, he saw the political viability of staying at Wright’s church because it offered what he wanted most… an entry into Chicago politics.
Over twenty years, Senator Obama probably heard a thousand sermons or more. It insults our intelligence for Senator Obama to say that he never heard any of these sermons and expect us to believe it. However, it worked. A few days after dispatching Hillary Clinton back to the Senate, Obama finally disassociated himself from Reverend Wright. Only after his victory, would he do the right thing.
Voters should remind themselves of Senator Obama’s leadership displays before voting. If he becomes President, we must support him and hope that he finds the leadership qualities necessary for the Oval Office. Based on his past, the Senator from Illinois is found wanting.