The Corner

Peggy & Obama

I don’t disagree, Cliff. Obama is radical. He’s radical on abortion, foreign policy, economics. And Rev. Wright is a legitimate issue.

But Peggy’s column didn’t and doesn’t bother me; I think Peggy may be onto something and may be speaking to an audience some others of us aren’t. I think she’s, in part, saying: I get that there are good people, because of varying circumstances, who are attracted to men like Wright. They’re attracted not necessarily because they hate America or want to be mad, but because he’s the only available male authority figure in their community. Because he provides some sense that man can assert some control in a world he can’t otherwise make sense of.

I think that is ultimately closer to the story behind the relationship between Obama and Wright, that Obama doesn’t have the courage to tell.

Again: Obama is, in fact, radical. Hearing him at a rally, he doesn’t sound like it. (Read some of The Audacity of Hope and he doesn’t sound like it.) Goodness knows I know it. I’ve had the experience — you listen to him, you start to project, you start to get caught up. For me, it was only a matter of seconds before I came to. But not everyone walks into an Obama rally with a VRWC card. There’s gotta be a way to reach people who find themselves attracted to Obama (or even Wright), without offending them in a way that turns them off — these are issues, especially if you are, say, a member of Rev. Wright’s church, or a church like it, that are deeply personal.

I don’t know how many members of Trinity read the Wall Street Journal oped page, but I think if they are, there could be a conversation happening there with Peggy others of us aren’t having.


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