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Dear Barack Obama:

KTKO AM1380
Published:07/19/2008 Opinion
Dear Barack Obama:     Print Snohomish Times    
Dear Barack Obama:
I grew to like you over the last year.

I've always thought of you as dangerously naive at best. Eloquent, gifted, genuine, yes. But dangerously naive at best.

I couldn't vote for you -- but not because of your funny name or your lunatic pastor. I couldn't vote for you because you say we should raise taxes (even on the rich, who I'm convinced already pay too much), and because you say we should abandon Iraq (which I'm convinced would be surrendering a war we must win), and because you don't respect the Second Amendment (which I'm convinced should disqualify any politician from any office).

Still, I've liked your message of unity and your ability to inspire. And, since your rise I've hunted, quite frantically, for young conservative leaders with your talent. (To my relief, I found Bobby Jindal.)

And I've long said if you beat Hillary Clinton, you will have done your country a tremendous service. But anymore I'm having a harder and harder time rooting for you.

First came your wife's comment about being proud of America for the first time -- conveniently, right after you started winning primaries. Then came your own words about your grandmother, who is just a "typical white person" -- a racist, or at least someone with racist tendencies. (I'm a "typical white person," I suppose, and I'm no racist. In fact, little makes me angrier than when it's insinuated I am.)

Sometimes people say things they don't really mean. But this is a pattern.

Last week, we heard your comments about small-town America. Someone at a San Francisco fundraiser asked you why it's so hard for Democrats to win in rural areas. You said:

"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them ... So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them ..."

Is that a minority? HEY CLETUS, GET THE GUN! (If only we had a job to go to, some time in the last 25 years ...)
Here's a thought: Maybe gun rights voters know gun control laws kill people and steal freedom.
Here's a thought: Maybe some of us have moral objections to an immigration system that forces rule-followers to wait decades for legal status, and rewards border-violators with amnesty.

Here's a thought: Maybe some Americans cling to their church because their pastor is a nice person, because they find love there, because there they have something they can believe in.

Here's a thought: Maybe, just maybe, us simpletons in small towns find it harder to be bigoted than all o' y'all cityfolk. Maybe, in small towns, where everybody knows your name -- and how hard you work, if you pay your taxes, how well you treat your neighbors, how often you volunteer in the community, and whether or not you're a good parent -- people see the content of your character, so they don't give a hoot about the color of your skin. (But I grew up in a small town where about a third of the population is of a different race than me. What do I know?)

And here's my favorite thought of all: Maybe small-town folks are -- really -- capable of thinking. All on our own.
You're wrong about why small-town Americans don't vote for Democrats.
We don't vote for Democrats because we're self-reliant so we don't like the government trying to "solve" everything for us. And because you tell your rich friends in San Francisco that we're dumb. And because, each election, whichever one of you is running for president traipses all over the country telling us you have all the answers, that you're the one on our side, that you understand and respect our way of life.

But each time, a little bit here and there slips out -- and by the end of the campaign, we can tell what you think about us. And we manage to learn who you really are.

Will Manly The Hays Daily News
will@thestironline.com


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