Bill Moyers interviewed the Reverend Jeremiah Wright last night on Bill Moyers Journal and we were treated to a glimpse of a man of depth, complexity, charisma, erudition, commitment, and faith who lives up to the name Jeremiah without apology. What he has done at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago is wonderful … and I made an on-line contribution to them this morning. Listening to him reminds me of why I was drawn to major in Religion these many years ago.
Yet Reverend Wright has been vilified in the press and by the Republican spin machine (as well as the Clinton spin machine) in a tireless barrage of misleading, truncated sound bites. And of course, his vilification is more about Barack Obama than it is about Jeremiah Wright. But it also strikes me as being more about us and our culture … and about power and what people will do to grasp it … than it is about either Obama or Reverend Wright.
I come away particularly disturbed by the Clinton campaign’s attacks. It’s my guess that Hillary perfectly well understands and likely agrees with Reverend Wright’s analysis and, in sunnier times, might support his work and relate to the place he is coming from. But in some sound bites she saw an opportunity to gain points against Barack and she seized it … appealing to the worst in us. She may have gained votes in the process – but she lost me entirely.
She knows full well that what Reverend Wright was preaching was not as the sound bites appear … and I realize that I am showing my naivete in expressing my shock at the tactic. But I am shocked. The ugliness of this episode is not that far from many of the ugly excesses of the Bush Administration, IMHO.
Watch the Moyers Interview. Reverend Wright is a thoughtful and interesting person who makes compelling and reasonable points about the behavior of our government … and he is being dressed up as a menace by a woman who has often complained about right wing conspiracies and the misconstruing of facts.
Hillary, you know better. I can only see this as a cold-blooded tactic that might also be used against me, were I or an associate perceived to present a threat to your success … or were it in your self interest to misconstrue my views and pillory me. Come on, Hillary … you should be above that; but apparently you are not.