And yet, for all of these rhetorical errors, that was not the most glaring nor revolting mistake of the speech. In McCain's bid to try to make American tax law, McCain's past policies, and Obama all sound socialist, McCain is now bringing up an old radio interview of Obama's, where Obama also used the R-word- redistribution. But here's where McCain has entered truly dangerous waters.
In this interview, Obama very clearly is speaking of the legacy of slavery. He speaks of how the civil rights movement lead to freedom for blacks, and the right to vote, but didn't redistribute income- and this still remains to be done. He speaks of mistakes the founding fathers made- as everyone acknowledges who has any understanding of the ammendment process in the US constitution. This is of course particularly true with ammendments like the 14th.
I recognize that some conservatives feel that everything is now right with the world, between races, and in regards to civil rights. I suspect- I hope- that those conservatives are a minority even among conservatives. Most recognize that one of the horrible legacies of slavery has been lingering racism and a continued relegation of the majority of blacks to the lower economic classes. Beyond that, there is the slightly more controversial proposal of compensation for slavery. After all, not only was there the broken promise of "40 acers and a mule", but all the wealth in terms of human productivity that was stolen from African lands, and stolen from the Africans themselves, made into slaves. To date there has been no true payment to those defrauded by the American government and American people. But the proposal is not so controversial that is has not been considered by the American Congress at times.
Some combination of these issues is what Obama was obviously referring to in his radio interview. From the context, I suspect that it was more of the former- establishing economic parity between the races in America, to remove the blemish and stain of slavery that shackles us all- rather than the more touchy issue of compensation. He was trying to seek a more just society, and make up for the wrongs that America has perpetrated on her citizens of colour.
And this...this is what McCain was referring to today in his speech, when he said that Obama was being socialist.
Before McCain denigrates calls for racial equality, it might be helpful for him to remember the immortal words of Frederick Douglass.
No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.