Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Values Straight From the Kansas Heartland"?

Barack Obama opened his general-election ad campaign Thursday with a TV spot trumpeting "his love of country" and the values he learned "straight from the Kansas heartland."

Here's a sampling from the ad:

"I’m Barack Obama. America is a country of strong families and strong values. My life’s been blessed by both. I was raised by a single mom and my grandparents. We didn’t have much money, but they taught me values straight from the Kansas heartland where they grew up. Accountability and self-reliance. Love of country. Working hard without making excuses."
What kind of values did he learn growing up in Kansas?

In his autobiography, "Dreams from my Father", Barack Obama gives us a glimpse into some of the values he picked up:
"I spent the last two years of high school in a daze, blocking away the questions that life seemed insistent on posing. I kept playing basketball, attended classes sparingly, drank beer heavily, and tried drugs enthusiastically.

"I discovered that it didn’t make any difference whether you smoked reefer in the white classmate’s sparkling new van, or in the dorm room with some brother you’d met down at the gym, or on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school, and now spent most of their time looking for an excuse to brawl.

"Nobody asked you whether your father was a fat cat executive who cheated on his wife, or some laid-off Joe who slapped you around whenever he bothered to come home.You might just be bored or alone.

"Everybody was welcome into the club of disaffection. And if the high didn’t solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world’s ongoing folly, and see through all the hypocrisy and bullsh_ _ and cheap moralisms.

"To avoid being mistaken for such a sellout, I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.The foreign students.The Chicanos. The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.

"We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Euro-centrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling constraints."
"Values Straight From the Kansas Heartland"? Boy, those Kansas people sure have some kind of values!

The preceding content was taken from a YouTube video. However, due to some irrelevant material that was in the video, I decided to omit the video and to post only the excerpts from the ad and from "Dreams From My Father".

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