A friend sent me this today. Unfortunately I can’t link to it as it was written by her college roommate Stephane, a law student in Cleveland, and posted on the Stephane’s Myspace blog. This is very well written. This blog entry doesn’t support one particular candidate, rather addresses the ridiculousness surrounding the hype and negativity over Barack Obama’s name. The author also reminds us that we need to look at the issues being addressed rather than focusing on the trivial matters. So whether you’ve decided to vote for the Donkey, the Elephant or something else (Mickey Mouse anyone? How about Homer Simpson?), please remember to focus on the issues rather than something a candidate had no say in. And, without further ado…I give you, What’s in a Name.
What’s in a Name? Scare Tactics and Ignorance in the 2008 Election
While working as a community service work crew supervisor for the
juvenile court this past summer, I heard the kids discussing politics.
Regarding the upcoming election, one said of Obama in an outraged
voice, “Dude, do you know what his middle name is? It’s Hussein.
He’s like, a terrorist.”
I’d like to be able to brush that off with a quick “They’re teenagers
– and they can’t vote. No big deal.” But I can’t. I can’t because
I’ve heard those sentiments echoed by the voting public as a reason
Obama should not be President.
Are we seriously going to say that a candidate’s middle name is an
indicator of what he’s like? First of all, Saddam Hussein did not come
into power in Iraq until Obama was eighteen years old. Saddam was 24
when Obama was born, and unless Obama’s parents were Nostradamus and
Cassandra, they couldn’t have known how some 24 year old guy in another
country was going to turn out in a couple of decades.
Thinkbabynames.com gives the meaning of the name Hussein as “good; small
handsome one.” His parents just thought he was well behaved and cute.
Oh no, how awful.
While I couldn’t find any listings for evil men with the name Sidney
(McCain’s middle name), I found numerous murderers by the name of John.
John Norman Collins, the Co-ed Killer. John Wayne Gacy, the Killer
Clown. So why don’t we make these associations as reasons why McCain
shouldn’t be president? Oh, right – because your name (or the name of
someone you know) is John, and you know they’re not a killer.
Well plenty of people know Obama too. His wife, his kids, his friends,
his colleagues. Just because there are thousands of Johns and only a
scattering of Husseins doesn’t make Hussein an evil name.
If someone with the last name Apple commits a serious crime, are we
going to persecute Gwenyth Paltrow’s daughter, Apple just because she’s
the only other person to have it? No. Because it’s ridiculous.
Think about that for a minute.
And while we’re taking this line of thought, why not just pass a law
that says no President can have a middle name that is in any part of a
famous, evil man’s name? Dwight David Eisenhower would have been right
out of there, thanks to David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam. If Obama’s
parents could be expected to know about Saddam Hussein and what he would
do ahead of time, Eisenhower’s parents should have been expected to do
the same with Berkowitz.
Just to be safe, let’s start judging everyone whose middle name is
Timothy (McVeigh) or Joseph (Stalin). It certainly can’t be that their
parents liked the names that they gave them, or that it was a family
name. It must be that they were destined to grow up to commit
atrocities and be terrorists. Or that their parents were hoping for
that, and so they purposely named their kid after an evil man. That’s
good sound logic right there.
I also saw a clip of a news item reading “Obama – Biden, Osama
Bin-Laden: coincidence?” Banking on the letters in the name. I can
make things up too. Just watch – one word that you can make out of
McCain – Palin is Clan. They’re both white, they’re against a black man
who’s not a Christian, and she likes to shoot. Put that all together,
and clearly they have ties to the Ku Klux Klan. “Clan –
Klan: coincidence?” Both make the same amount of sense – none.
In the two short months that remain until the election, I urge you to
consider the issues these names support, rather than making an issue out
of their names.