There is an elephant in the room that everyone is trying to tiptoe around. Oddly though, it is not a large elephant, stomping around or dropping big elephant surprises . . . until now. Most people know that the past Iraqi Dictator’s name was Saddam Hussein, and ironically, Hussein is Barak Obama’s middle name. If Obama’s first name was Osama, would he be where he is politically, or would he have chosen to use his middle name instead? The fact is though, his name is Barak Hussein Obama. When he was given that name he was a few hours old, had never heard of Mohamed or Islam and was only interested in two things, eating and having his diapers changed.
That elephant was suddenly slapped on the rear by John McCain when he chastised a surrogate for using Barak’s full name, apologizing for the implications, while those inclined to possibly vote for him were reminded of why they won’t. Everyone is missing the obvious point of that entire discussion. If we as a nation are off limits as far as mentioning a possible president’s middle name because it might offend him, and others who have that name and possible evil intent against the nation, then it is a no-brainer that Obama should never be close to that office. If we are censoring ourselves, and implying that to mention his middle name is offensive, inflammatory, derogatory or degrading, then how in the world is he to stand in front of the world and answer the question, “ I Barak Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”? Will he interrupt and make the announcement that we are never allowed to mention his middle name?
But, perhaps it was Machiavellian on McCain’s part to apologize and have us discuss the outrage of chastising someone for speaking the truth, because then it serves to remind people that Barak was raised as a Muslim and spent his young years in a Muslim school. In an interview with the New York Times in 2007, Barak Hussein Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth." He recited, "with a first-class [Arabic] accent," the opening lines of this prayer: "Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! I witness that there is no god but Allah. I witness that there is no god but Allah. I witness that Muhammad is his prophet... "
So, if Barak Hussein Obama is not embarrassed to recite the Muslim prayer in an interview with the New York Times, and identify himself that way, why should John McCain apologize for a surrogate saying his middle name? What is it about politicians and their middle names? The edict went out after Hillary became first lady that the press was commanded to use her middle name, Rodham. Then when she realized there was more currency in the Clinton name, she unceremoniously dropped her middle name and clung to Bill’s. But I am sure McCain would not chastise a surrogate if they happened to refer to her as Hillary Rodham Clinton. So what is it about Barak’s middle name that bothers him so much?
If it was not a strategic move on his part to subconsciously draw attention to the “discomfort” some find with Barak’s middle name, risking the exodus of those who despise political correctness at its core . . .. then what was it? Was it an honest display of the type of leader he would be, reminding us of dangerous appeasers such as Neville Chamberlain who wanted to play nice with blood thirsty dictators, only to find these guys never got the same rule book? Was he trying to show the world that he really is not a grumpy old man but does have a soft fuzzy side? One of his advisors should suggest that this was not the hill to die on for that cause. He could, instead, talk about continuing Bush’s work on fighting AIDs in Africa, or another cause that would make everyone pause, breath a sigh of relief and feel comforted by the fact that he has a heart.
The obvious point that everyone is ignoring, and that is causing potential world leaders to flinch at even the hint of, is Barak’s past religious affiliation as it contrasts his current religious affiliation. No one . . . well, at least thoughtful people . . . are suggesting that Barak would somehow revert to his religious past, requisition prayer rugs and ring prayer bells six times a day forcing everyone to face Mecca and show their allegiance to his god. But, because he was raised as a Muslim and since converted to Christianity, we know in parts of the world that is a capital offense. Many Muslim countries in the world are very draconian in their reaction to converts within their borders, and have explicit laws that say you will either be imprisoned or killed if you convert from Islam to Christianity or any other faith. And the recent statement by Obama concerning Al Qaeda, suggesting that they were never in Iraq, could anger their base and identify him as a necessary target for destruction. He must know they have been in Iraq for years and to suggest otherwise impugns their directive, which is a very explicit, and deadly condemnation.
In a post 911 world, America cannot afford to have a president whose name is forbidden to be spoken for fear of reprisal from those who are reminded of his early religious training. And it cannot have a president who is reluctant to utter the name of a fellow candidate because he doesn’t want to appear to be drawing a negative connection between that man and a mad dictator who put people feet first through plastic shredders and gassed thousands of others. And by every rational standard of judgment, Hillary is absolutely not a viable option in any scenario.
So, as we move further and further down this road of infinite twists and turns, it really does seem that the conservative base of the electorate can play the final hand in this game of Machiavellian politics and truly determine the entire election . . . if they can only decide what their ultimate goal and candidate would be. But there is plenty of time. Overnight, millions of people could decide they have nothing to lose by writing in an agreed upon candidate. There would be no fundraisers, no TV ads, no advisors or political hacks salivating at the idea of earning big bucks to run a campaign. And it would give all those millions of people who basically had no voice in the selection of the candidate in the primary, since that decision was made by a handful of states, by crossover voters who analyzed the mathematical probabilities, the low turnouts, and the numbers needed to get the opposition candidate elected.
The majority of the American people, with the stroke of a pen, could change the course of history and totally sweep all the pundits, politicians and power hungry potentates, out the door. It could be refreshing, inspiring and could send a strong message to the world that you can’t predict what and who Americans are. And no matter how much you manipulate the primaries by registering independent, or crossing party lines to influence the other party’s outcome, the vast majority of Americans will fight back. We refuse to be reduced to polls and focus groups that are sliced and diced into an inaccurate reflection of who we really are as a nation. We have a mind, we have a soul, and we have a choice. But do we have the courage to make that choice.