August 5, 2008
By Hank Bostwick - Star City Harbinger
[posted with full permission]
Twelve Tribes of American Politics - By John Green and Steven Waldman - Beliefnet.com
The Matthew 25 Network, a union of progressively-minded Christian activists, has launched a campaign to use public pressure to convince the McCain Campaign to withdraw its controversial “The One” attack ad:
“This ad, released on the web last Friday, tries to portray Senator Obama as some kind of Messiah and mocks those who support him as cult-like followers looking for a new Savior. Even more troubling, many view the ad as a dark attempt to portray Senator Obama as an anti-Christ figure. The McCain campaign has said that the ad is meant to be humorous. But make no mistake about it: this ad is targeted at Christian voters with a very dark message.”
Jacques Berlinerblau of Georgetown’s On Faith blog has a detailed analysis of the McCain Campaign ad and why it may be effective:
Senator Barack Obama, as some of you may have noticed, absolutely owns the religious card. He effortlessly delivers soaring monologues filled with scriptural allusions. Rendered in churchly cadences, his rhetoric mongers hope and electoral good will far and wide. The McCain people, I surmise, would like to put a stop to that. With this commercial they try to condition voters (and the media?) to roll their eyes every time Obama “goes there.” Thanks to “The One” an image of a goofy Obama/Charlton/Moses casting a spell over the sea and swarms of liberal dupes will pop into the heads of Obama’s auditors when his rhetoric gets too highfalutin. Going where the Clinton people never dared or imagined to tread, Team McCain has made Obama’s faith-based politicking itself an issue. From the soulful gospel organ accompanying his winged words, to the implication that the Senator has a messiah complex ( “I have become a symbol of America returning to our best traditions,” and the voiceover, “And the world shall receive his blessings”), to the charge that his aspirations are not particularly realistic (”A nation healed, a world repaired”), this ad is nothing less than an attempt to nuke Obama’s religious appeal and credibility into oblivion. There were other casualties–and don’t call them “collateral damage” or “road kill” because they were deliberately victimized. The first are the Obama faithful who are made to appear as if they just sleeve-dried the Kool-Aid off their lips (At the college where they teach directors to film political attack ads is there a required course entitled “How to Make People Who Don’t Agree With Your Client Look Like Unbelievable Dorks?”)
Independent voters, without a doubt, were invited to this smirkfest. As for Obama-curious Evangelicals and Catholics, they were confronted with an image of an arrogant false prophet, speaking vainly in the name of the Lord. The frame that most struck me was that of a staircase ringed by Obama’s cheering fans and ascending into the clouded heavens. Are the false messiah and his flock about to walk the celestial plank?
If you are interested in joining the movement to remove McCain’s ad, sign the ONLINE PETITION at The Matthew 25 Network website.