30 October 2008

WE ARE THE WHEAT


The images rolled forth with sober and simple beauty: a tinge of gold swaying on endless Plains; a hint of brown. . .and billows of grain. They focused on acres of wheat, then to vast swaths of farmland that seamlessly merged with a sea of hands — then faces, then flags.

The video whispered, “We are the wheat; the strength; the Hope; the sustenance of America.”

Thus began the poetry of Sen. Barack Obama’s paid advertisement in the most expensive real estate on television: prime time. It was meant to be his sonnet for America, his closing argument, a reminder to his countrymen about the immensity of our promise and the peril of our current reality.

It was, quite possibly, the finest half hour of television possible in a world of 300 TV channels. It was emotional and empathetic to the working class, and fully centered on the kind of personal stories that have been lost in this season of pettiness and mean-spirited debate. It was the antithesis of Joe the Plumber, the phony air-filled carnival prop who is now, by published reports, seeking everything from book deals to a country music recording contract to a seat in Congress.

The adage “don’t quit your day job, Joe” might be applied here.

If Joe the Prop really wanted the kind of change he espouses, then he should have voted for Ron Paul — not John McCain, who despised everything the good Congressman from Texas represented. Rep. Paul was the candidate for change in the Republican Party — not McCain.

With five days remaining, Obama’s long form ad will certainly be under attack until November 4th. But did he connect to the American people? Only time will tell.

As a filmmaker, and as an American, I saw very little to disagree with in Obama’s presentation — and even less to criticize. As one who has devoted his professional life to sharing the stories of common people, I was particularly touched by Obama talking about his mother, who died after a violent struggle with ovarian cancer. I identified with Rebecca Johnston of North Kansas City, Missouri who spoke about how her family is part of a new class of the working poor, despite two working salaries. I was moved by the humble elderly man in his 70s who had his pension reduced from $1500 a month to $379 a month — after his employer squandered $19 million of pension money and went bankrupt.

These are the stories of America — this is indeed “how the other half lives,” although I suspect that today, it is far greater than merely “half.”

I have stated many times in this blog that I am a registered Independent voter, and have been since 1990. I first interviewed — and then voted for John McCain in the primaries of 2000. But that ship sailed out of sight long ago. He has taken the honor so many Independents hoisted upon him in 2000 and squandered it — invoking the work of Karl Rove by suggesting Obama is really Karl Marx. He has replaced his genuine populist past with the nonsense of Joe the unlicensed Plumber. He has forgotten the pain of unemployed factory workers and hardworking Americans who are drowning in a sea of debt — and who once supported him.

This is the tragic truth of John McCain.

I have read that Sen. Obama paid millions of dollars for his prime time pitch. It was worth every penny. With a simple but moving narrative, with a tinge of gold swaying on endless Plains, and billows of grain, he reminded us all that “We are the wheat; the strength; the Hope; the sustenance of America.”

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Lynn Huston said...

Mr. Miller,

With all due respect, I was truly surprised to find your favorable treatment of Barak Obama.

I fully expected, given your ardent concern for the lives of our children and youth (and the other lives affected by the rampant diagnosing and near-criminal drugging of them by the medical establishment (no small thanks to Big Pharma and the FDA), that you would view someone like Sen. Obama in a similar light, for here is a man who is radically in favor of abortion - the so-called "right" to painfully and calculatingly take a life in utero, a life innocent of any wrong-doing and totally helpless to defend itself. A man dedicated to protecting the rights of women to kill their unborn children at any stage of development, and favoring infanticide in the "unfortunate" event that any of these innocents should happen to miraculously survive the abortionist's efforts to end their life.

To me, this is a remarkable inconsistency on your part. Do we seek to expose the dark doings of the FDA and Big Pharma for wreaking havoc on the lives of those lucky enough to already grace our planet, but then turn a blind eye to those intent on keeping the murder of the most vulnerable among us -- the unlucky unborn -- easy, accessible, and even "acceptable"? Call me naive if you wish, but I fully expected you to be one who would take a stand for life all around, man.

To support a dedicated pro-abortion candidate like Obama (with his proven commitment to the legalized butchery and murder of innocent lives, by some of the most heinous means)... Well, it's beyond my ability to understand.

Obama's record of unfettered support for abortion and even infanticide in the case of those babies lucky enough to survive late-term abortion does not paint a picture of a caring human being. Abortion is largely an act of convenience these days. It is performed for the convenience of those "not ready" for the intrusion of another life into their own, and for the unquenchable greed and bloodlust of the abortionist. It is murder, legalized or not, and it takes cruel and deadly aim at the most vulnerable of us.

I'm finding it very hard to harmonize, on the one hand, concern for the lives of those lucky enough to have been permitted to live among us in the first place, with the deliberate and violent discontinuance of life on the other for those conveniently deemed "expendable". Is one form of life any less valid than the other? Both are victims of decisions and actions taken against them by others, not with their well-being in mind, but with selfish intent and always for the benefit someone other than them... I ask you: Aren't both worth fighting for?

Speaking for the value of every life, and the responsibility to seek the good of others even at our own inconvenience,

Lynn Huston

Postscript: There is a video presentation of just 1 min. 55 sec. in length which I recently discovered and found to be both insightful and deeply thought-provoking. It is the work of an African-American man speaking eloquently to the issue of the history of Planned Parenthood and specifically 'The Negro Project.' Very intelligently presented, it exposes the dark underbelly of Planned Parenthood with the agenda of its founder, Margaret Sanger, both from its inception, and as it exists today. (I will send the link separately. It is an amazingly short and yet effective clip.) - L. Huston

1:23 AM EDT  
Blogger kevinmiller said...

DDear Ms. Huston:

Thank you for the articulate and respectful letter. I truly appreciate not only the way you presented your counter-argument, but how well researched it is.

Let me begin by saying that my Mom isn't too thrilled with my comments either. Obviously, I love and revere her, but thankfully, she raised her children to be independent thinkers. . .and thus respects my choice, even while disagreeing with it vociferously.

Since I am an Independent, I will begin by saying that during the primaries, I had not one, but two favorites among the choices of the GOP and Democrats: Ron Paul and Gov. Bill Richardson. You may note that here too is a "contradiction," to use your terminology, at least regarding the issue of abortion. Ron Paul is against abortion, but believes that it should be an issue for each state to decide. Bill Richardson is decidely pro-choice.

Suffice it to say that I am not — nor do I believe I should be — a 'one-issue voter.' If I were, I could not vote for any major candidate for President, because it is quite clear that NONE of them understand or endorse the issue that I believe is "most vital to us" and to our future — and that is medical freedom of choice. I am most committed to loosening the stranglehold on scientific information about natural remedies and so-called alternative medicines...and truly providing the information to citizens so they can make their own informed choices about which medicines to use in their own lives. Our failure to do so has led to tens of millions of unnecessary deaths, not to mention unfairly providing a monopoly to conventional medicine. . .and putting out economy on the brink of disaster.

I have written extensively about this in my blog. Except for Ron Paul, no candidate has ever aligned with my ideology on this issue, except for Paul and Bill Richardson.

There are so many things that led me to write what I did, but the abortion issue in not the deciding factor for me. It dies not mean that I endorse or support abortion — I do not — but I also don’t support the Iraq War nor our presence in the middle east. Neither does Ron Paul, by the way, whom I consider to be a conservative of the highest order.

I have dozens of friends — very dear friends — who have raised millions for Sen. McCain. Ditto Obama. I personally donated to Paul and Richardson, not Obama or McCain. I realize that abortion is a hot-button issue for you and many others, but if we are to truly follow the Christian path — as so many of our ‘leaders’ espouse — then we would have never allowed Abu Gharib or Gitmo or torture of any kind. We wouldn’t allow the death penalty either. We would “serve the poor” as a first order of business, as is written in Isaiah 58. Please read my blog HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES for more on that), and we would never allow men and women who served in the military to sleep on the streets (please read my blog called THE PROMISED LAND).

So you see, elections, and our ‘morality issues’ are full of contradictions. I respect your position, Ms. Huston, and the thought that went into composing it. I hope you can respect mine and while not agree with it, perhaps understand it a bit better.

Many thanks.

Kevin

12:25 PM EDT  

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