Thursday, June 12, 2008

Individual Rights Versus Collective Unity

The new batch of rumors swirling around Obama are characteristic of the attacks upon a candidate whose personal dealings and personal life are still unknown among large segments of the electorate. I myself had to bone up on the details of his life by doing my own reading on the subject and I certainly encourage others to do so if they'd like a truly well-rounded picture of the Illinois senator. In saying this, I wish more of the electorate would take a far more active role towards responsible citizenship; one hopes the activist example set by Obama and his passionately devoted supporters will encourage more towards similar pursuits

My hope, also, is that the Obama campaign itself will thoroughly understand that many people will not be similarly inclined towards this degree of hyper-focus, due to time constraints, families, demanding occupations, and otherwise selfish pursuits.

As Rachel Maddow pointed out yesterday on Race for the White House, Americans by in large are not joiners. Historically, when threatened with high taxation, infringement upon personal liberties, and being sent to fight in foreign entanglements, we can be coaxed to collectively rouse ourselves and protest en masse, but this is not our default setting. We'd mostly like to be left alone and left to our own pursuits.

Our fear of a strong centralized government and the mere existence of the tenth amendment reveal how difficult it is to get Americans to think collectively rather than individualistically. But as evidenced by high energy costs, our individualism may prove to be our undoing. Living in a world of niche marketing and everything-to-everyone consumerism is forcing us together in ways that may make many uncomfortable.


It is rather notable that, as has been mentioned prior, Obama's policies aren't being attacked nearly to the degree that his personal associates and supposedly close friends are. I'm wondering what that reveals about whom. Does Obama simply not have the kind of revealing flaws that can be easily exploited by his enemies, forcing them instead to attack even the people who are, at best, tangentially allied with him?

If so, then one wonders if these are increasingly desperate attempts to fend off what could very well be a resounding Obama victory. Conspiracy theories aside, I wonder who or what entity broke the Reverend Wright controversy. I am aware of who exactly broke the so-called bitter controversy, though my focus now turns to why and what allegiance this reporter is allied. It's difficult to discern who is under whose payroll and what their precise motives are, aside from personal gain and profit.

A few die-hard Clinton supporters are now heaping invective upon Obama, Froma Harrop being a notable example, but arguments such as hers resort to the age old tactic of splitting hairs when strongly substantive critiques would better serve readers. Fortunately, voices like hers are in the minority.

In the meantime, the mainstream media has eagerly showcased alarmist headlines in an effort to cater to fear and worry. Blaring messages that are rooted in yellow journalism rather than reality, they are designed simply to create controversy where none exists. One hopes most Americans can see past these transparent attempts. What is perhaps the most telling about today however, is the tremendous deluge of information that constantly inundates us from all sides. The media's manner of coping with this new facet of American life is to often scream loud enough to be heard over the din. The shrillest, shrewdest news often gets heard while any number of more tame facts often are submerged beneath the surface.

Getting us to think as one voice and not a plurality of disparate voices will be a major challenge facing us in the near future and beyond. I don't pretend to know how to accomplish this goal but I do trust in American innovation and technical advance to best guide us in that direction.

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