Accusations of extremism should bounce off Obama

Here is what I would like Barack Obama to say in the final debate tomorrow when John McCain brings up William Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright: “My agenda was never remotely similar to the William Ayers of 35 to 40 years ago, nor the harsh rhetoric of Rev. Wright.

“When I ran for U.S. Congress against Bobby Rush, I was considered ‘not black enough.’ When I was at the Harvard Law Review, one of my colleagues was Brad Berenson, who would go on to become assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush and currently supports McCain. He has pointed out that I was moderately liberal and often at odds with those who were more liberal.

“The ticket of extremism this year is the Republican one. John McCain actually knows what the Bush Doctrine is and supports this disastrous and discredited policy of pre-emptive war. Earlier this year, he sought and received the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee, who has called the Catholic Church ‘the great whore.’ McCain embraced Pastor Rod Parsley, who wants to exterminate the entire Muslim population on Earth. McCain has also associated with other extremists, including but not limited to Charles Keating, Gordon Libby, John Singlaub and Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

“I don’t think John McCain shares the extreme views of Hagee and Parsley, just as he knows I don’t share the extreme views of Ayers and Wright. However, there is a huge difference between us. John McCain has gained the good graces of the radical Right by promising it Supreme Court appointments. Two members of the court’s liberal minority are likely to retire soon. If McCain replaces them with two justices who will satisfy Hagee and Parsley, the court will have a staggering 7-2 conservative majority for a generation. That’s extremism.”

David Hochman
Ann Arbor, Mich.

‘Hipster’ label dismisses a holistic understanding

Eileen Stahl’s viewpoint in the Daily yesterday (Hipster label shouldn’t stick, 10/13/2008) sounded like just the thing a hipster would say.

Sorry, just kidding. I know hipsters. I like hipsters. I break bread with them, and the way I, and many people I know, feel is that we should relax the labeling. No single group, label or fashion completely defines a person. Being a vegan, liking metal music or being in a fraternity is but one component of a larger identity. Being a hipster, insofar as it implies a vague shared aesthetic or musical taste, is the same.

Ironically, one of the things the “hipster” tends to dislike is the mainstream, the labeling, the pigeon-holing. But that should be embraced as a positive, independent-minded feature of “hipsterism.”

Adam Ajlouni
LSA senior

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