COLUMN: Focusing On Obama's Middle Name Misplaced

This story was written by Nicole Green, The News Record
Comments made by Republican Rep. Steve King made me rather nauseous last week.

In what I deem a rather blatant generalization about the connotations of names, King suggested that electing Sen. Barack Obama as president would arouse celebratory actions from terrorist groups.

The Daily Reporter, a local newspaper in Spencer, Iowa, reported: "His middle name [Hussein] does matter," King said. "It matters because [radical Islamists] read a meaning into that in the rest of the world. That has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They will be dancing in the streets because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: Pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict."

Are people still debating the importance of Sen. Obama's middle name? It is embarrassing that members of the Republican Party cannot refute the Democratic presidential hopeful with more intelligent and relevant attacks.

A voter's decision should be based not on heritage and names but rather on character, intelligence and qualification. For a political figure to disgrace the integrity of the system by inducing scare tactics with the prediction and suggestion of approval and excitement from terrorists is rather petty and manipulative.

Perhaps the United States should amend the Constitution to require monosyllabic "American" named individuals in order to be elected for presidency. Forever let the Johns, Jims and Georges lead.

That has been effective recently.

Additionally, I wonder when American politics became tainted by the approval of foreign nations. Are we controlled by fear?

A Democratic president will create major changes in our nation and its relations with the world. I am optimistic, however, that the changes will bring a more positive light to the United States.

Attack Sen. Obama's slate, his voting record, his optimism, but let us not lower our maturity to silly name associations. As is evident, not every King is just.
© 2008 The News Record via U-WIRE