Barack Obama Learned Early There’s a Lot Less Traffic on the High Road

President Obama learned early in life that there’s a lot less traffic on the high road.   Read his words or listen to him speak, and you’ll hear a man committed to serving and representing the American people as a whole.  I’ve had a number of heated conversations lately – both in person – and on Facebook with right-wing sympathizers who claim their irrational fear and hatred of Barack Obama isn’t racially motivated.  Then without so much as taking a breath, they’ll reveal their true colors by making a thinly veiled racial slur they don’t even register as having said.  One neocon was outraged that Obama filmed a ‘get out the vote’ campaign ad directed toward African Americans.  I watched the filmed announcement, and saw nothing wrong with it or irregular about it.  In the world of capitalism, it’s what’s known as target marketing.  My neocon was upset that the president was “pandering to those people.”  It never occurred to him for a minute he’s pandered-to on a daily basis by FOX News.  Is it pandering to the Hispanic population by placing Spanish language ads on Telemundo?  Both parties do it.

Both Democrats and Republicans criticized Barack Obama for attempting to find a healthy middle-ground during the major balance of his first term.  I think he was wise in doing so.  He gave the GOP the chance to come to the table and endorse any number of ideas and programs which in many cases were ideas originated by high-ranking republicans.  But when Obama endorsed those same concepts they were suddenly painted with a broad-brush as an evil socialist plot.  Democrats wanted to see Obama squash the GOP.  Instead, he allowed them to squash themselves with their own hatred and bigotry.  I’ve been consistently impressed with our president’s even hand, calm demeanor and what he’s accomplished in only 3 years (an outlining of which will require a post of it’s own.)

Take by comparison, Rick Santorum’s recent comment in Puerto Rico about potential statehood being contingent on the people of that commonwealth completely converting to speaking English — ignorant of the fact that English is a required course taught in Puerto Rican schools.  Santorum (who makes no secret of his disapproval of public education) was target-pandering to his right-wing constituents — most of whom probably don’t realize Puerto Rico is a self-governing American commonwealth which makes them already full-fledged American citizens.

What’s at work here is fear.  Fear that the lily-white world of Santorum’s vision is doomed to eventual obsolescence.  Santorum embodies the irrational fear of a future where people of color meld with white America — and that fear can be measured by the degree of shrill cat-calls coming from the far right.  Their days as the ruling majority are numbered.  Even blind, unquestioning religious faith is losing its foothold.  The noise you hear them making, are the death-throes of ignorance and fear when confronted with change and the unknown.  I was raised in a very, very white-bred family.  I had ardently racist uncles.  I remember as a little boy listening to the racial jokes being told at the card-table on a Saturday night while they were playing poker and drinking beer.  I also heard the lessons being taught on Sunday mornings in church school and noted the stark contrasts between the two — leaving me wondering at an early age what this mixture of messages meant.

It’s been laughable watching neocons try to paint Obama as a Muslim in a nation founded on religious freedom, when the man is a self-proclaimed and unapologetic Christian.  These same people wasted our time trying to build a false case against Obama as not American-born in the face of overwhelming and conclusive evidence to the contrary.  This is racism at it’s purest, and is in direct damning conflict with the Christian doctrine to which neocons so desperately cling — not to mention the Constitution none of them have read or understood.

I am no longer what I’d define as a Christian.  I’d describe myself as a spiritual-agnostic if forced to define where I stand.  That said, the words of Christ decidedly helped form my worldview and what constitutes right and wrong.  In the end, I’ve come to this conclusion:  The further I get from organized religion, the more I love and appreciate the historical figure we call Christ.  I think He’d be ashamed and appalled by what’s been masquerading behind the shield of His name. I capitalize ‘aitches’ out of habit and respect.

Take a look at the bumper-sticker on the car pictured to the left… This car-owner is just begging to be rear-ended.  These words and their double entendre pretty much sum-up bible-belt Christian understanding as emboldened by conservative hatred and their undying aspirations to constantly be in the wrong.

59 thoughts on “Barack Obama Learned Early There’s a Lot Less Traffic on the High Road

      • Actually, it definitely falls under the category of Hate Speech; whether it falls under the category of Hate Crimes might be debatable. I’m not too clear on the actual boundaries, so don’t take my position as absolute fact.

  1. it’s means “it is.”

    its means “belongs to it” and is also the plural of “it.”

    It’s warm outside today. The flower is showing its petals.

    Other than that, your post is right on!

    • It would probably technically fall under freedom of speech – tacky, tasteless freedom of speech… But what that bumper-sticker does neatly point-out, it the driver is an imbecile. Perhaps instead, we should thank him or her for the warning – hehehe.

  2. I would love to be connected to your movement. I am totally disgusted with the bigotry and hatred the right-wing republicans have become.

  3. Thanks for this! The more Tea Party / GOP rhetoric I hear from politicians and average citizens the more sad I become when I realize that paranoia and racism are alive and well in the country. I guess it’s a good thing that it’s being exposed for what it is. I will hope that the younger, more compassionate generations will evolve with more open minds.

  4. Great heartfelt comments filled with facts and reason. However, in addition to the it’s/its error, there’s “Even blind, unquestioning religious faith is loosing it’s foothold.” Loosing should be LOSING. Let’s hope that’s what the neocons will be doing in November.

  5. As a Christian Pastor, the religious right are completely constructing their own Jesus, that bears no resemblance to the Jesus of the scriptures. Their policies with regards to caring for the poor which is mentioned hundreds of times throughout the Old and New Testaments, are clearly ignored or rationalized. I have seen more accurate references to what Christianity truly is coming out of the mouth of Steven Colbert, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, than I have any of the Republican Candidates. Thank you for this wonderful article. I too have been very impressed with President Obama that he has not succumbed to the level of trash talk. He has maintained his integrity, he has been doggedly intent on working for all of us, and his record speaks for itself.

    • Thank you for your words. I may not be religious myself (in the traditional sense) but I have respect for authentic beliefs arrived-at through introspection and learning from life lessons applied to life.

    • Thanks to the Christian Pastor for your post. I am a Christian, and I don’t recognize anything Christian coming out of the mouths of so-called conservative Christians. The ideas of President Obama are more based on Christian philosphy than anything coming out of the republican party. May these” conservative Christians” should pick up their Bibles and refresh themselves on the teachings of Christ; especially the Sermon on the Mount.

    • Susan, you humble me. With the Radical Right so vocal these days, it is easy to be swept up in a frenzy of generalization, and to be guilty of the same stereotypes they are, just against different targets. While I don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus, his are still good footsteps to walk in, and it’s good to know that there are still people who try. “…constructing their own Jesus…” Wow, that was incredibly astute… Thank you for refreshing my faith… in humanity.
      :-)

  6. Well written and even handed treatment of the racist Neandertal, er, I mean Neo-con mindset (my apologize to any neadertals out there.) I agree that the advent of “organized religion” was the beggining of the bastardization of His message. The continued use of His name to repress others is disgusting and just plain rude! Anywayyyyy, Thanks for a great post!

  7. I wish I had written this! I’ve thought exactly these things before, I just don’t have the ability to articulate it. President Obama has been incredibly far sighted and patient. In the past, leaders with such qualities have been recognized by history as being exceptional. He will be too. His current crop of political enemies, if remembered at all, will be seen as the small-minded non-statesmen that they are.

  8. So true. I am a Christian we follow Jesus highest law .Love they neighbor, regardless of gender sexual orientation rich poor different race. I just can’t believe that their call themselve Christians we suppost to help our neighbor not condem anybody, we are all sinners.

  9. I whole-heartedly agree with this post. President Obama is the most emotionally intelligent President and candidate I’ve been aware of in my lifetime. I am deeply saddened by the racism which is still so rampant in 2012. I’d like to think we have come further than this but clearly, as a nation, we have a long ways to go. I need to up my own personal game at addressing racism where I encounter it.

  10. Very articulate writer that has captured my spirit . Because of the way so called Christians act so non christian, I also no longer think of myself as Christian, but still love and believe in Jesus.

  11. Well said, thank you for putting my thoughts into concise words. I especially like “less traffic on the high road”.

  12. Very nice!! I have not seen that sticker in my state yet..but I will-and at that point its all about who has more people in the car!!

  13. This is the first time I’ve read your blog, and I am very impressed. I can relate totally about how far off base these so-called Christians are, and how they bear no relationship to Jesus’ message. What makes me saddest is that Jesus gets blamed for the twisted message that is coming from these people. I have gotten far away from religion but not from Christ. I don’t profess to be saintly by any means, but I sure don’t hold with those horrible attitudes and attempts to cram them down everyone’s throats.

  14. I live in Missouri and our last Republican governor took away our right to vote a straight ticket. We have to go through the ballot and pick out each name now. I hope this will change here some day.

  15. Thanks for this great article. I am still a Christain, but now realize that the name Chrisain does not mean the same think to all Christains. Many times in the Bible it is pointed out that not all religious people understand what Christ was really teaching.

  16. In the wake of some really awful legislation (NDAA) and some ill-thought out Executive Orders, I was still planning on voting Dem in the fall (because a good rule of thumb is that the worst Democrat is still less of a disaster than the best Republican foamer), but my approval of Obama had hit a low point. Thank you for reminding me of the good parts… time to dig out the “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” bumper sticker again!

  17. That bumper sticker’s sale site is gone. Even the parent site that it linked to is gone. It is a sad sad day that someone would post on their car such hate speech and not immediately be run off the road, preferably over a VERY tall cliff.
    As I’ve mentioned before, Beihl, I am taking classes at ITT Tech. There is one instructor here who sports a Tea Party bumper sticker on his car, and a rather foolish looking Stetson. (We’re nowhere near Texas) I try to park as close to him as possible because I know it irritates him to see my Obama 2012 sticker. I know he is irritated because in his Christian Compassion, he won’t even say hello, or good morning to me when I salute him so. (better than the one-finger salute I’d RATHER give him!)
    I sincerely hope that the GOP finally does implode this fall, and go extinct as it justly deserves, and that something truly liberal will take it’s place, and the moderate, centrist Democrats will become the new right wing (without changing their stance one iota.) But that’s just a dream and I fear it will never come true.
    Great posting as always, and I must say, quite an impressive band of responses. I am all agog that there is not one negative comment among them. Great job!
    Oh, and ignore the grammar nazi’s, we understand you just fine, and are less concerned about accurate grammar than in the message itself.

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