Sunday, August 26, 2012

One of the best things I’ve ever seen on cable news

On Ezra Klein's Wonkblog

Today’s episode of Up With Chris Hayes featured a lengthy discussion of race and Obama’s presidency between Hayes, Ta-Nehisi CoatesMelissa Harris PerryW. Kamau Bell, and Jay Smooth. It was one of the best things I’ve ever seen on cable news. You should watch it. And now, thanks to the magic of the internet, you can!

I'm white, middle class, middle aged English and male. And live in London, UK. I lived in Chicago for seven months in 1980. That makes me NOT representative of anything in the U.S and I don't want to wade in here telling anyone about race. To me it's all about PEOPLE and, as Jay Smooth says, it's about what they DO. I've never heard of any of the people on the show (apart from the English woman who, I think, may have been a customer at a pub I used to own in London). As an outsider I think it's worth telling something of what came across for me ...  

I watched the discussion on a computer in north Northumberland - about as far north as you can get in Britain without being in Scotland - ten days after being immersed in a little slice of the U.S.A. working for four weeks as a driver for NBC during their Olympic coverage in London. 

From where I am the discussion was of refreshing depth and engaging and frank enough to be interesting to an international audience keen to have some insight into the state of play in American politics now. Which, I can assure you, from over here, seems pretty confused and weird (yes ours is too). From HERE, most people I come across are simply AMAZED that politicians such as Romney and Paul, who are so obviously pro out of touch ideologies, seem blinkered blind and RICH with little rational understanding of what's going on in the world around them, of contemporary, urgent, pressing world issues get any air time at all let alone millions of people supporting them seriously when You guys have a President who is SO on the ball, eloquent, switched on, aware of the human condition and outward as well as inward looking and fundamentally TOGETHER as Obama.  

WHAT's going on over there? Listen to what Obama says. Then listen to what Romney and Paul say. Is there a choice? 

Every rational man woman and child - no matter WHO they are or WHERE they come from should be rooting for Obama - even if it's ONLY to keep those White Middle Class Yesterday People out of government. 

The world is a complicated place where politicians cannot be honest without losing credibility. To negotiate a mad world like this takes intelligence, sensitivity, insight, foresight, a long view, patience, determination and a broad empathy with the Human Condition that extends way beyond the sound bite pulp people like Mitt and Ron pump out. It's pretty clear that their real views are pretty much like that committed right wing space cadet Todd Akin - just they're not so dense as to come out with it in public.  

Obama seems always to talk complete sense, he's honest to admit that THINGS ARE NOT STRAIGHTFORWARD. He's done things that were unthinkable before a 'black' president got in the driving seat. He's on the case. He clearly understands what the other guys clearly don't. Life is not about soundbites it's about what you do. And he's been doing a lot of Good for a Lot of people.  

Don't vote for Obama because he's black. Vote for him because HE DA MAN! 

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