American Values: GOP's Strategy to Win Back White House
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - United States Studies Centre
Until 9/11, few in the United States cared that they had a large Muslim population. In fact, some of the firefighters and police that attended Ground Zero were Muslims themselves.In this Sydney Ideas address delivered at the University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre, Jack Miles argues that demagogues have taken hold of Obama's assets -- particularly his colorful, well-documented personal story -- and "turned them into liabilities."Yet, as Jack Miles observes, many now distrust or can't accept their President's declaration of his Christian beliefs. During the Presidential election campaign, the Democrats worked tirelessly to downplay their candidate's distinctive background and instead publicized Obama as a man with good old fashioned American values. But as Miles points out, that's harder than it seems when you're a non-white on the political left with a Muslim parent, and facing a country dealing with simmering racial tensions.