Senator Barack Obama made speaking gaffe at some point when speaking in San Francisco. Senator Obama managed to insult small town voters for clinging to guns and religion.
Praise: Senator Obama admitted, without question, that he, in fact, made such statements. Attributing the controversy to the manner in which he phrased his criticism, Senator Obama reinforced that he truly believes the gist of his insult to small town citizens however he did not articulate it very well.
Unfortunately, Senator Obama overlooked the First Rule of Political Speechmaking: say what you mean, do not under any circumstances say what you actually think. In other words, spin your opinions into a speech that offends no one and will be widely praised for making unpleasant statements in such a way that no one notices the unpleasantness and praises the speaker’s insight into the human condition.
Thank you, Senator, for your honesty in this matter.
Folly: If Senator Obama believes that his apology will change how he is perceived by small town folks, he has sorely misjudged small town voters, and those of us who grew up in small towns. Senator Obama’s apology no matter how sincere reinforced his feeling that small town voters hold fixed, unmoving opinions. In spite of the three dollar words and semantic gymnastics he used to apologize, all these voters will hear is I said what I think but I could have said it a different way. Guess what? People who live in small towns have college degrees. People who grew up in small towns grow up, move to larger communities, obtain advanced degrees, and still appreciate where they grew up. All of us small town folks do not reside in small towns. We may not cling to our guns and our religion in the same way, but we do cling to our upbringing and our roots.
So, Senator, if you believe that your insult is limited to that small percentage of people who live in marginalized sections of the country where their votes probably will not impact your delegate count, you are living in More’s Utopia. Small town values, small minded or not, raise children who are prepared for the world and contributing members of society, who obtain education and leave the small towns. Leave small towns alone.