Would I Serve on a Board with Osama bin Laden

In the conversation following my last post on Obama, Ayers, and the Latest GOP Attacks I received the following question:

"Would you serve on a board of an organization that is focused on helping poor children receive a better education with Osama bin Laden?"

The brief answer is that I would. Let me explain.

It would not be about serving on the board with Bin Laden. That would actually be a drawback to being a board member. It would be about me helping the poor to receive a better education. I would not stop involvement in a good thing because of the other people involved in the process. The education of the poor is too important for me to play the disfellowship card on somebody that has done unlawful and despicable acts and holds outrageous beliefs.

This issue might strike at the core divide between McCain and Obama supporters. Obama is willing to meet and talk with those he disagrees with or to work on a common purpose with them while McCain supporters believe in guilt by association and refuse to associate with those they disagree with.

This might explain why I see elderly Democrats supporting McCain. This separationist mentality is definitely a cultural norm in the older generation. My perception might be tainted by the elderly generation in the small town rural Midwest America that I live in.

This refusal to talk to people like Ahmadinejad is also a reason why I do not support McCain (although I am still undecided but just barely). We do not legitimize "rogue" nations by talking with them. We do not legitimize the actions of a man thirty years ago (or even his current actions) by serving on a board for an organization helping the poor. Apparently, McCain supporters believe in this core principle of disfellowship, or they would not keep repeating the talking points. However, I think the talking points on this subject are useless on undecided voters like me. It actually turns us off to McCain. Meeting another person, having a conversation with them, and working together on issues where we share common ground does not mean that I agree with everything about that other individual, organization, or nation. We just have something we need to discuss or share a mission that we can do together.