Saturday, April 5, 2008

Everyone's Got An Opinion

A week or so ago, Kevin Cullen wrote this column in the Boston Globe regarding a movement to rename Causeway Street, on which the [Boston] TD Bank North Garden resides, to Red Auerbach Way in honor of The Boston Celtics' most famous and influential coach and president.

The column extolled Red's virtues as a dynasty builder and a coach who focused on the team above the individual, and most notably, being the first coach to start an all black starting line in 1964. As Cullen writes; "Red made the issue of race relevant by treating people's race as irrelevant when judging them." I am not a basketball fan but the column stuck with me.

And it came back to me today when I read this Opinion in this morning's Globe. In it, Tripp Jones, using the most faulty of logic, tells Hillary Clinton supporters (such as himself) that it's time to back Barack Obama. His reasoning is that the race between the two Democratic contenders has become so racially contentious (in large part as a result of the words of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr.) that the only way to right the course is to give the nomination to Obama.

So, what we're saying is that because a racial divide still exists in the country, we should nominate a black man largely because he is black? Huh? Jones posits that "Our support would send a powerful message that the United States is headed in a new direction - on race relations, certainly, but perhaps most importantly, on what it means to be an American." I disagree. This isn't a new direction or a new idea. It's called reparations and it repairs none of the racial divide.

I am a Clinton supporter. I'm not in love with her and I've previously voiced my opinion that I do think she has an agenda. The reason I'm voting for her is not in whole because she's a woman. It's because I think she is the smartest, savviest, most-experienced contender in the race, whose opinions concerning the issues important to me align most closely with my own.

I like Obama. He's also smart and savvy but with less experience on the world stage and lacks the connections that will serve Hillary so well. If he wins the nomination, I'll vote for him in the general election. I think he would do a good job as president. But I do not think he's the strongest candidate. I would very much like to see him as Hillary's running mate. But make no mistake; my preference is for Clinton at the top of the ballot.

I think we all need to take a page from Red Auerbach's playbook: treat individuals as individuals and make the question of race irrelevant when judging. Mr. Jones, I'm not concerned with "sending a message", I'm concerned with making our country the best it can be by electing the person most capable to the office of The President of the United States.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Even though I disagree with your conclusion as to who will make the best president, your logic is impeccable. Ain't civil discourse wonderful?!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

The question between Obama and Clinton is not who would make the better president, but which of them can beat McCain. If the Democrats select a candidate who can't beat McCain, then what is the point?

jennifer h said...

I happen to agree with you. If Obama is the Democratic nominee, of course I'll vote for him.

But I have more confidence in Hillary Clinton and in what she can accomplish. We need someone who can set a strong course in the world right now, and to bring us back from the last 8 years. I'm not convinced that Obama can do a better job than she can.

I think whoever is on the top of the ticket, if the two of them run together, McCain will lose. I just have my fingers crossed that she's at the top of it.

JCK said...

I really think you should send this into the paper. Now. Today. I am serious. This is very well written and would make a perfect fit on the Editorial page. Let us know if you do.

Meanwhile, I agree with you! As Jenn said, your logic is impeccable.

And if the two of them were on the same ticket....THAT would be historical strategic genius.

Limbic Resonance said...

I have to say that this is one of the best written editorials regarding politics that I have ever read. I am not for Clinton (pulling for Obama), but I agree with jenn@juggling life with respect to your logic. Well done!!


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