Monday, June 2, 2008

Baraq Hussein Obama's May 31, 2008 Speech

The below is from an email from my articulate, unnamed friend.


I have just listened to Obama's speech in which he declares he is now leaving Trinity United Church. And now I make my own confessional statement as well - this is the first time I have listened to a speech of Obama's from beginning to end. Up until this moment, I have only heard sound bites of the man speaking a few words here and there - and of course I have read his printed speeches (which I was not impressed with). But this is the first time I have actually heard him speak at length - actually witnessed his voice patterns, his inflection, his syntax and delivery - in short, I have finally witnessed first hand an example of the vaunted 'brilliant speaker' which his followers and the media claim Obama to be.

Wooo. Much ado about nothing. I'll tell you, this 6 min. 35 sec. speech revealed two things clearly. Obama is not a great speaker (he is, in fact, lousy). Secondly, Obama is immoral.

To begin with - this man comments the cardinal error of a bad speaker - instead of a smooth, eloquent delivery, Obama instead stumbles, fumbles and trips in his speech. The most glaring is his constant stammer - nearly every sentence contains a fumbling, clumsy 'uh', 'uh', 'uh', etc. Stammers are not the mark of a great speaker. Secondly, he flails in his speech. Obama is incapable of speaking in smooth, uninterrupted sentences. Instead, his sentences constantly fracture a few words in to thrash off in a different direction, which itself then fractures to go off on yet another tangent which often enough was itself not completed either. Such a disjointed, disoriented speech pattern makes it impossible for the speaker's intent, his meaning to be gotten across. A great speaker must have a smooth rhythm to their words, a rhythm which flows effortlessly from beginning to end - a river of speech which picks the listener up and carries him along in a sure steady stream towards the ultimate meaning, the purpose of the speech.

In semantic terms, Obama's 'river' of speech has rocks in it. Like a raft on a choppy river crashes up against rocks and eddies, so a listener bumps up against Obama's stammers, his confusion, his disjointed speech - as a result, like the raft, the listener is thrown off course. Neither is carried through safely to the end as both are meant to.

Another sign of the lack of his eloquence is the lack of his wit. A great speaker always has wit - case in point, the wit of such titanic speakers as Winston Churchill or John F. Kennedy. Wit is the proof of one's command of the language. (Example is Churchill's witty response to Nancy Astor's snide comment "if you were my husband, I'd feed you poison". Churchill's instant reply? "If you were my wife, I'd drink it.") Alas, however, Obama has no wit. That is a telltale sign refuting his follower's insistence that he is a 'great' speaker. Another bad sign was the sheer banality of Obama's words. For instance, afterwards I could not remember any particular line or phrase he'd uttered (indeed, I had trouble remembering what he had said at all and instead had to peer at the typed portions of his speech on CNN in order to recall them). Inability to recall a speaker's words means they made no impact. Eloquence always makes an impact. Ergo, Obama is not eloquent.

But beyond syntax or phrasing, the most damning part of Obama's speech of May 31, 2008 was that it revealed he has no moral code.

That is a stunning revelation given that the very purpose, the very reason for this speech was morality - namely, the immorality of Trinity Church's racism. For months this nation has been appalled by the rantings of Trinity's Rev. Wright as he's hurled racist invectives at white America. The nation has been forced also to watch Trinity's entire congregation cheer and applaud these racist rantings. But most loathsome of all has been witnessing Obama's stubborn refusal to be upset by any of that. To the contrary, instead of blaming his minister (his 'uncle') for racism, Obama has instead blamed the world. It is the world, Obama claims, who is actually racist instead of Rev. Wright whom the world accuses of being such.

This adroit turning of the tables on the world, putting the world on defensive appeared to silence the furor - to dam up the waters of dismay at racism, so to speak, and thereby still them. But, as the English author John Morley warned 'You have not converted a man because you have silenced him'. And the silence of America to Obama's speech on Trinity and Wright was not the conversion Obama had assumed it was. It's ironic that the dam of silence was kicked in by none other than 'uncle' Wright himself with his frothing tirade before the National Press Club. Not to be outdone, of course, Trinity's new pastor - Moss - delivered his own swift kick as well, screaming from his pulpit that biblical prophet Abraham was 'a pimp'. And of course let us not deprive Trinity's cheering, whooping, applauding congregation of their blame in all this either. Their actions burst the dam of silence - and the flood waters that poured forth were not sweet but sewage. As a result, and just as Morley warned, the 'silenced man' of America revolted at the stench to reveal he was not a convert to Obama's dismissal of Wright's and Trinity's racism. The polls dropped, the press began to question Obama and, worse, the Super delegates began to sway away from him towards Hillary.

As a result, on May 31, 2008, Obama was forced to make a 6 min and 35 sec speech repudiating Trinity's racism.

Except - Obama didn't.

He danced about the issue, he shadow boxed with it, he came close, alluded to it - but he never made a clear, strong repudiation of Trinity's racism. And that is deadly. When a man does not make a stand on his morals, it is for only one reason - he has none to stand on. Morals exist for the very purpose of that.

I listened to that speech of Obama's and I kept waiting, cocking my head to bring my ear closer to the screen, I frowned, I listened - but not once, not a single instance did I hear Obama say something strong like - 'this racism of Trinity disgusts me'. Or "I hate this racism, it is evil, it is wrong and I won't stand for it'. But that never happened. Instead of strength of position, Obama gave no position at all.

A leader leads by virtue of his strength. People trust him, depend on him, rely on him. But there is nothing strong about Obama - he dances, he skates to one side and then another. You are left clawing in midair. If you clung to Obama, you'd both fall down. And falling down is not what a leader is supposed to do. He's supposed to uphold you. And of course that can only be accomplished by a possessing strong moral stand.

A towering example of a strong moral stand is that of the mighty leader of the Protestant Reformation - Martin Luther. Luther's stand on the corruption of the Catholic Church, the mendacity of its selling of indulgences was strong. But it should be noted that his was not the only one who felt this way - hundreds of thousands of unhappy Catholics also felt the same way. And so did countless other priests. Many priests were as deeply upset by the Church's greed, its corruption, its selling of indulgences as Luther. So why did the unhappy people flock to Luther instead of to these other priests? What was it about Luther that served as the magnet that attracted the followers to him by the hundreds of thousands? Answer - Luther's strong unmistakable moral stance.

Unlike the other priests who muttered dissent under their breath or even timidly preached it with a few dissenting words at Mass, Luther stormed up the steps of the Cathedral at Wittenberg and with a hammer pounded his 95 thesis to the door for the world to read. Nothing wishy washy about that! That took strength. Steel of purpose, firmness of resolve. So also was his adamant, unbending refusal to recant those 95 thesis to the Diet. He wouldn't. As Luther put it - "Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. So help me God."

"Here I stand." Martin Luther stood for what he believed. He planted his feet firmly on the bedrock of his morals and that rock supported him. The rock of his morality was why he could stand and did.

But not Obama. Not once in Obama's vague, meandering, miasma of words was there ever the slightest hint of a rock solid belief. In fact, he appeared to have no belief at all. Not once did Obama boldly state 'here I stand. I cannot do otherwise'. Never.

The clearest approximation to a moral stand that Obama took was to make it clear that the reason he was leaving Trinity was because the church's controversy hurt his chances to become President of the United States. But that is not a moral stand - that is mendacity.

Of course, Obama wished to have the world perceive his speech as taking a moral stance - but his own words revealed the hypocrisy of that again and again. For instance, when Obama spoke of the harm caused by Wright's racist rants, Obama spoke only the harm to himself (i.e., potential voters would 'impute' Wright's racism onto Obama). But not a word did Obama utter of the harm those rants imputed to anyone else. Nor once did Obama acknowledge the staggering harm Wright's racism imputed to whites, to Jews, to American soldiers, to the American government, etc. By his silence, Obama revealed his contempt for their suffering - they weren't even worth words. It was all about Obama.

Obama's absence of a moral stand was revealed also with his treatment of Father Phleger's rants at the Trinity pulpit. Obama spoke that he was "deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-looking rhetoric". Good lord, a minister sneers that white Americans are racist pigs who must pay and pay and pay for a slavery which not a single one of them ever practiced and the only emotional reaction Obama can summon is to say he's 'deeply disappointed'. Come on, I'm deeply disappointed if I have a run in my nylons, if my store runs out of arugula - but for me to only be 'disappointed' when I hear myself spat at and denounced from the pulpit reveals me as spineless at best, masochistic at worst. And Obama's weak 'disappointment' gets even weaker when he reveals that it's not actually Pfleger that 'disappoints' him but everyone else's displeasure at Pfleger. The classic 'what will people think?' when they hear Pfleger's tirade. Well - that's not the point of what other people think. Obama's speech was supposed to say what HE thought. What was his stance on Pfleger's awful rants, what was Obama's stance on Trinity's racism, on Wright's? Obama refuses to say. He will not make a moral stand. And a man who refuses to stand on his morals does so for only one reason - he possesses none to stand on.

The end of Obama's speech reveals that lack of morals. Because his speech was about morality, Obama had to made a stand on it. Which meant he had to demand that Trinity stop its racism. He had been forced to acknowledge that his Presidential campaign has shown a 'spotlight' on that dirty, filthy racism of Trinity - but what was Obama's solution? Take the spotlight elsewhere.

In other words, leave the dirt and filth of Trinity's racism untouched, uncleansed, unchanged, still reeking in its excrement of hate and self-pity. That's just fine with Obama. Of course, Obama is perfectly willing to demand white America clean up its racism, but Obama's moral broom sweeps in one direction only. Away from Trinity's racism. As Obama orders, the grimy offal of Trinity's racism remains untouched. In a bitter refutation of Martin Luther, Obama will make no stand, so help his ambition.

Thus is my take on this speech. And on the man who gave it.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article and writer. Obama should hire her. You do have one typo in the third paragraph from the end.

    ...Obama had to MAKE a stand on it.

    This is really minor but I can tell that you really shoot for excellence. I still think your blog is the best ACT blog out there. Coachella Valley