On Tuesday night's "Hardball", Chris Matthews praised the current Democratic frontrunner's speech on race as "Worthy of Abraham Lincoln," and also claimed it bypassed Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" address as the "best speech ever given on race in this country." Of Barack Obama's speech in Philadelphia today, Matthews went on to declare: "I think this is the kind of speech I think first graders should see, people in the last year of college should see before they go out in the world. This should be, to me, an American tract."
The following comments from Matthews on Obama's speech occurred on the March 18 edition of MSNBC's "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS OPENING THE SHOW: A divide as American as the Grand Canyon, a speech worthy of Abraham Lincoln. Let's play Hardball!
MATTHEWS: Did Barack Obama distance himself enough from Reverend Wright? Did he calm the fears of the white voter? How did the speech play? We'll have much more on this momentous day and what I personally view as the best speech ever given on race in this country. One that went beyond "I have a dream," to "I have lived the dream but have also lived in this country."
And that's where Chris Matthews' idiocy, in comparing Obama's speech to Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech, comes in. Matthews, like many other folks caught up in Obamamania, fail to see that at the end of day Barack Obama is still a politician. Dr. King wasn't a politician, far from it. Dr. King was a Christian man who lived and died for what he believed in. He was a man that truly loved America as well as the ideals that motivated America's founders. He wasn't cynical about America and he didn't claim the founding ideals of America were misguided or unrealistic or unworkable or impractical somehow. Dr. King believed in freedom for all and thanks to his Christian roots, he was brave enough to say so during one of the most racially turbulent eras of this country. Dr. King didn't make racism an issue when it was convenient, he dedicated his whole life to fighting ignorance, misinformation and prejudices that have been passed down in America for decades. Barack Obama is not Martin Luther King Jr., nor should he ever be mentioned in the same sentence.