It was Tip O’Neill, the former Speaker of the House, who once said that all politics is local. With apologies to old Tip, I will go one step further. All politics is personal.
Whatever one’s political preferences, who cannot admire Barack Obama’s verve, spirit, and oratorical skills? But the words of his pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who Obama has revered and trumpeted as his inspiration and spiritual advisor, make one shudder with embarrassment for the candidate even as he attempts to override, excuse, justify, and separate himself from the pastor’s hateful rhetoric while avowing his solidarity with the Reverend.
As for me, my reaction is visceral, complicated, entangled with my life’s experiences and, therefore, deeply personal, just as Obama’s reaction was deeply personal. Of course, I am not running for President and my voice is a tiny whisper compared to his. But I treasure my one vote and my reaction means just as much to me as Obama’s reaction means to him.…
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