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Archive for August, 2009

A sane voice

Here, to rinse  the bile from the last blog, is the  droll purveyor of A Prairie Home Companion, Mr. Garrson Keillor, on a serious note.

Keillor was asked the following question in the Proust Questionnaire feature of this month’s Esquire magazine: Which living person do you most admire? And here is his answer.

My president, a heroic figure — also good-humored, pretty smart, elegant, and if the rest of the world thinks he typifies America, I don’t mind at all.

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In just six months we have gone from euphoria at Obama’s ascendancy, when it seemed the U.S was entering an era of enlightenment, to charges of death panels, the president as Hitler, Death to Obama signs, the birther lunacy and the rise of right wing militia — all in a violent and spectacular denial of our supposedly better angels.

What is “my America” coming to is the anguished cry. What, indeed.

But the birthers are perhaps even more dangerous than the amassing of guns  because, perhaps unknowingly, they provide a missing link to the guns — the deadly link of motivation.

Behind the simple notion of Obama being non-American, or un-American, is the more sinister idea that he is an imposter, not president of the United States. At this stage this disavowal is, if you will, playing itself out on a surface level. But pushed to the extreme, this disavowal of an American president can morph from an idea of rejection into an action of rejection.

And we’ve seen the rejection of an American president before. We’ve seen it happen at the Ford Theater in Washington. We’ve seen it happen over the Grassy Knoll in Dallas.

The hope — and the prayer — is that Barack Obama will be given a chance to complete his program of renewal for America before the subconscious, or subliminal, instinct of the birthers can ever come to pass.

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