While Wright is clearly an impressive and powerful speaker, his recent public speeches have the potential to do impressive and powerful damage to Obama. While Wright was once Obama’s mentor, Obama has been cast into the unfortunate role of having to speak against his friend.
This must be a hard thing for Obama. After a the two men seem to have had an excellent relationship in the past-right up to the point where Wright started becoming a liability to Obama. Naturally, this current situation raises many questions.
One that is no doubt on the minds of many Americans is the truth about Obama’s views. As many conservatives have pointed out, Obama seems to have kept some fairly radical company in the past. Some have suggested that Obama actually shares the views put forth by Wright. As evidence, they point to the fact that he was part of Wright’s church for a long time and even wrote of him as a mentor. His book, Audacity of Hope, drew its title from a Wright sermon. As such, it might be suspected that Obama is only turning against his old friend because he knows he must do so in order to have a chance of being President. After all, most voters would not support a person who believed that AIDS was created by the US Government or that America seems to have brought terror upon itself.
Of course, it is quite possible that Obama’s outrage is genuine and that he honestly disagrees with his former mentor. After all, people do not always agree with their former mentors. Further, Obama claims that Wright has changed-that he is not the same man that he knew 20 years ago. This is also possible. People do change and sometimes change in ways that might be regarded as a change for the worse. Interestingly, many great philosophers went on to endorse some very odd things. For example, George Berkeley espoused the medical value of tar water and Jeremy Bentham advocated the use of preserved corpses as statues (called “Auto Icons”). Most people also know of friends and relatives who take up rather odd views later in life. I am not, of course, suggesting that Wright has gone mad. But, perhaps his views have changed considerably over the years and hence Obama is correct in saying that Wright’s views now are not the ones that he had when they first met.