*Posted October 25, 2008*
What the joke the wall of fame was in high school, at least I think it was called the wall of fame. It was only proof that nobody of any significant value ever graduated from Mount Pleasant. John Murtha and Jess Stairs, the federal rep in Washington DC and our state rep in Harrisburg, two individuals who actually live in the vicinity and were “forced” to attend school somewhere in the Mount Pleasant Area.
When looking at Murtha’s record he doesn’t seem to be all that bad of a guy. He has been a moderate democrat with a leftist economic agenda as well as socially conservative beliefs. Pretty much from 1974, when he entered Congress, to the 1990s not too many people knew about Murtha other than his own constituents. And then in the past ten years or so the Democratic Party as a whole has turned hard to the left, and Murtha has gone with them. During the 2004 Bush/Kerry campaign season, Murtha was quite vocal in his opposition of the Iraq War, this was after he voted for it, sound familiar. Not only did he oppose the war, he wanted the troops out of Iraq, without a timetable, pure stupidity. Some people thought he was expressing his opinions, others contend that he wanted to impress then Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in his bid to get a seat on some Foreign Relations Committee. Only Murtha knows for sure.
And now he is calling the very people that have voted for him for roughly thirty-five years racist. Why? Does he believe it? Maybe he secretly wants his fellow Vietnam War Vet, John McCain, to actually win and he is using some reverse psychology. Doubt it, he might be just stupid, a typical Washington politician who is out of touch with the common man. I am from Western PA and am voting for John McCain, but I’m not racist. I have made some jokes directed at black people, but I don’t inherently hate them. Last weekend I was watching a special about Joe Paterno on ESPN Classic, and he was talking about his childhood in Brooklyn, New York. He said his best friends were either Jewish or Italian like him, and they always made fun of each other using ethnic slurs that are frowned on today. Why can’t we have some playful fun without someone throwing the racist label around. People have called me a dago or a wop and I don’t get too mad. People need to lighten up sometimes.
This seems to be a microcosm for an even greater issue. Who is playing the race card in this election? If you complain about Barack Obama then your labeled a racist, if you complain about John McCain then your are exercising your freedom of speech. Let’s look at polls. Probably between 40-45% of whites are going to vote for McCain. Between 85-90% of blacks are going to vote for Obama. So who is voting along racial lines? If it wasn’t for the black vote, than Obama would be an afterthought and Hillary Clinton would be battling it out against McCain.
The Murtha remark as well as its place within the Obama campaign shows a dangerous tactic by the Democratic Party. Most African-Americans are Democrats and the Republicans are labeled as the party of racism. By saying that western PA is racist, Representative Murtha totally disrespects a region that has opened its arms to all cultures and races since the founding of this country, even fighting against slavery during the Civil War. These comments offend me as a proud western PAer and will hurt both John Murtha and Barack Obama in two weeks.