by James M. Wall
Maybe you have to be a Boomer to really appreciate this clip. But anyone is welcome to watch.
Ron Howard started as a kid fishing with the sheriff. Now he is a famous movie director. The other day he took time off to make a short movie.
Listen for the theme music. Ron’s little film should bring back memories to those who remember Opie, Andy and the Fonz.
After you view Ron’s video, take a moment to reflect on the impact of an Obama victory on November 4. Will it be a victory that rejects the toxicity the New York Times’ Gail Collins identifies along the campaign trail? Or. will negative campaigning prevail again, as it did in 2000 and 2004? Here is Collins:
. . . Opening for a McCain rally in North Carolina last weekend, Representative Robin Hayes said he wanted “to keep the crowd as respectful as possible.”
In order to pursue that goal as efficiently as possible, Hayes then announced that “liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.” This was an especially unfortunate turn of phrase given the fact that he had begun his remarks by saying he wanted to “make sure we don’t say something stupid.”
All this was a direct outgrowth of Sarah Palin’s own comments in North Carolina, in which she praised the “pro-America” areas of the country. But Hayes had clearly been absent for the day in scurrilous campaign school when they explain that you aren’t supposed to specifically name the anti-American parts. . . .
Collins calls our attention to even more toxicity which emmated from an interview on the Chris Matthews Hardball program where Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota launched into what Collins calls her “Obama/terrorist spin when she suggested that the news media should investigate ‘the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America.’
Matthews later ran a clip from Bachmann’s Democratic opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg, who had been lagging far behind Bachmann in the polls and in money raised.
After Bachmann divided the nation into people who are pro-America and anti-America, Tinklenberg received close to $1 million in contribution. His poll numbers improved immediately. Bachmann also lost support from the Republican National Committee, which withdrew its support from her campaign.
Tinklenberg and Bachmann are running in the Minnesota Sixth District, a race to follow on November 4. And a word for you religiously-inclined readers, Tinklenberg is a United Methodist clergyman.
The other day I had a conversation with a Beijing friend and I mentioned that Barack Obama was leading in the presidential race:
She: Obama? But he’s the black man, isn’t he?
Me: Yes, exactly.
She: But surely a black man couldn’t become president of the United States?
Me: It looks as if he’ll be elected.
She: But president? That’s such an important job! In America, I thought blacks were janitors and laborers.
Me: No, blacks have all kinds of jobs.
She: What do white people think about that, about getting a black president? Are they upset? Are they angry?
Me: No, of course not! If Obama is elected, it’ll be because white people voted for him.
She: Really? Unbelievable! What an amazing country!
We’re beginning to get a sense of how Barack Obama’s political success could change global perceptions of the United States, redefining the American “brand” to be less about Guantánamo and more about equality. . . .
Think about it. Less than two weeks before election day and many states offer early voting. Is every member of your family voting early? If not, what sort of parent are you?