Apr 152008
Authors: Nick Hemenway

Everyone knows political campaigns are long and stressful processes.

Candidates are in front of cameras at all times, and anything they say is fair game in a fight. Unfortunately for Barack Obama, it may also reveal a candidate’s true feelings.

Last week an audiotape was released containing some disturbing remarks by Obama, shedding light onto his views of middle Americans.

Speaking before a group of his donors in San Francisco, Obama said that people in small towns are bitter about their economic situations, causing them to “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

How can Obama unite us all when he doesn’t even know who half of us are?

We don’t cling to our guns because we’re bitter; we own guns because our nation’s forefathers gave us the right to protect ourselves in the Constitution.

We don’t cling to religion; we have a relationship with God because he died on the cross for our sins.

We don’t have an “anti-immigrant sentiment;” we just don’t make excuses for people who disregard our nation’s laws. We’re bitter because our government continues to excuse the millions of illegal aliens in our country and refuses to secure our borders. When these remarks made headlines, the Obama campaign went into damage control mode.

On Sunday, Obama made a half-hearted apology, explaining, “I’m not a perfect man and the words I chose, I chose badly. They were subject to misinterpretation, they were subject to be twisted, and I regret that.”

I would like to believe that Sen. Obama just chose his words poorly, but these remarks are far beyond diction, they reveal a frame of mind.

For example, you will never hear me say Bill Clinton was a great president or Al Gore is scientific force to be reckoned with, because those statements are fundamentally wrong, not because of word choice or iambic pentameter.

So what should we derive from Obama’s remarks? A famous politician recently said, “around election time, the candidates can’t do enough for you. They’ll promise you anything.”

Wait a minute – this is what Obama told supporters at the Alliance for American Manufacturers in Pittsburgh on Monday.

Should we just assume Obama was telling the listeners whatever they wanted to hear? After all, he was in San Francisco, where American flags and traditional values are rare commodities.

Along with his political record, this most recent flap goes to show that Barack Obama is just another contemporary liberal. This was reflected by the National Journal, which ranked him as the most liberal senator in 2007, which in comparison ranked Hillary Clinton as 16th.

Obama has tried to shape his image into that of a non-partisan unifier who wants to work together for the good of everyone, yet he has continued his strict liberal voting in the vastly divided Senate, which has held him in the good graces of the radical MoveOn.org.

He depicts an image free from racial boundaries, yet his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright casts doubts as to his views.

Now, his notion of traditional values and beliefs has been called into question.

Which Obama will we see tomorrow?

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can to letters@collegian.com.

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