richardmcculloch2web.gifFrom the day I first heard that the young senator from Illinois would be making a run for the White House, I knew that his candidacy would be historic.

It would be historic, I knew, not only because of his African lineage, but also because of the depths to which his opposition and certain factions of the media would stoop in order to malign his character, and distract America from the business at hand: resurrecting our country from eight years of presidential incompetence and inefficiency.

Had the young man who spoke so eloquently at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston been a militant throwback a la Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, his candidacy for president would be viewed as no more threatening than the mythical Don Quixote chasing windmills.

If Sen. Barack Obama did not represent such a drastic and charismatic change to a stagnant and increasingly unpopular Republican mindset in Washington, his candidacy would be written off as the manifestation of political affirmative action that would serve to appease the African-American masses seeking a sign that “things are changing.”

Since Senator Obama has proven that he has more than a fair shot at becoming President Obama, his detractors and opposition have delved deep into their cache of the trivial and their stockpile of the absurd to try and taint the image and character of the man who would be president.

Remember the great flag pin controversy? Political pundits and broadcasting spin doctors somehow hypothesized that Sen. Obama’s lack of an American flag on his lapel was synonymous with a lack of patriotism.

In the weeks and months after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, it seemed as if every other car that I saw was adorned with the American flag. After the dust settled at Ground Zero and we as a nation moved on, many of those flags disappeared. I don’t recall a national outcry for the return of flags to our vehicles as proof of our national allegiance.

Then there was the fist bump that shook the nation. On the night in which he had secured the distinction of being the presumptive
Democratic presidential nominee, Obama bumped fists with his wife, Michelle, before taking to the podium. In the true spirit of unfair and unbalanced journalism, FOX News anchor E.D. Hill teased a segment about the fist bump by asking the American public: “A fist bump?  A pound?  A terrorist jab?”

A terrorist jab?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  Well, I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised. After all, I have seen emails that assert that Obama is the anti-Christ.

I suppose that the terrorist link is consistent with the perpetuation of the belief that he is secretly Muslim, and what better way to stimulate America’s fear factor and prejudices than to paint the picture of a terrorist-jabbing Muslim who refuses to wear an American flag lapel pin as the next resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Call me crazy, but going into an election I ask myself one important question: “Am I and my fellow Americans better off today than we were when the current administration took office?”

Despite Republican posturing, and fist-bump analysis notwithstanding, the unequivocal answer to the question at hand is a resounding, “Absolutely not.”

Supporting Obama because of his color is as nonsensical as not supporting him for the same reason.

Frankly, I’m just tired of seeing our country continue to regress under the political bumbling of our Republican president, and whether the blind followers of the Grand Old Party realize it or not, it will take more than assaults on lapel pins and fist bumps to distract Americans from foreclosures and $4-a-gallon gas prices.