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Tim Downing Headshot

Catching Up on the Election

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I just returned from a two week vacation to Spain where I was on a self-imposed news embargo, especially of the race for president. I spent the better part of the weekend reading blogs, newspapers, magazines, etc. catching up on all the coverage and here's what I've discerned (while I can't take credit for all of these, they accurately describe my observations of the corporate media's coverage of the Presidential race while I was gone):

* If you grow up in Hawaii and are raised by a single Mom and your grandparents, you're "exotic, different " and not a real American.

* Grow up on a number of military bases outside of the United States or in Alaska shooting moose and eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim; name your kids Bristol, Willow, Trig and Track, you're a real American and a maverick.

* If you graduate near the top of your class from Harvard Law School then you are an elitist who's not a real American and certainly not qualified to be President of the United States; finish close to last in your graduating class from the Naval Academy or attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded and the most qualified to hold the two highest offices in the U.S.

* If you spend 3 years as a community organizer, become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you're a not-to-be trusted pointy-headed intellectual and don't have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, you're the "real" leader and qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you can look out your window and claim you can see Russia, you're a foreign policy expert; however, if you've served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, traveled the world and actually met foreign heads of state, you're not only an elitist "celebrity" who cannot relate to "real" Americans, but completely unqualified to be president of the United States.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a maverick and someone to be looked up to as promoting Christian values.

* If you teach children about sexual predators, you are irresponsible and eroding the fiber of society but if while Mayor of your small town, you charge rape victims for rape kits you are to be applauded for your leadership.

* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's ; however if you can't remember how many houses you own, your wife is one of the richest people in America who inherited her money and wears dresses every day that cost several hundred thousand dollars, the two of you have more in common with and can relate better to "real" Americans than the snooty Harvard Law graduates who paid their own way through college and law school.

* If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude," with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that hates America and advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

* If you repeatedly lie about your own record and that of your opponent while your opponent refuses to make up lies about you, you're a maverick who is to be admired while your opponent is a weird, out of touch elitist.

I hope on November 4, Americans are not as stupid as the McCain campaign and the cynical corporate media apparently believe they are.