So how do you think the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's comments play here in Outer Podunk?
As you might expect, the relatively innocuous fact of Barak Obama's middle name is enough to get xenophobic tongues wagging around the cracker barrel here in the rural heartland, so you can imagine the effect of the Rev. Wright's oratory, particularly his refrain of "God damn America!"
In the interest of full disclosure, however, here's my reaction to the Rev. Wright:
My inner frustrated Democrat: Oh, God -- another election lost.
My inner Christian conscience: Considering what's happening to us now, perhaps we've already damned ourselves by our individual and corporate behavior.
My inner WASP: What did I do? What did I do? Why are you so mad at me?
My inner underdog/minority: You tell 'em, preacher.
Partner of a disabled veteran and friend to older adults who are veterans: WHAT did you say?...
I give Barak Obama credit for acknowledging, in his speech on race, that we all live with a lot of inner conflict and tension. I also give him credit for repudiating his former pastor's comments without rejecting him as a fellow human being and friend. It was a thoughtful, honest speech that, unlike so much of political rhetoric these days, avoided the easy sound bite and dumbed-down talking point. I don't know if it was enough to assuage the anxieties of Outer Podunk's citizens, but it made me hopeful that the intelligence quotient of this election has been ratcheted up from the norm.