Among the most useful exercises to ward off mental plaque is to imagine reversed circumstances. Now a provocative version of that exercise has popped up on various message boards, written by someone who wonders how America would receive an Obama family that was … well, more like the McCain and Palin families. It is especially useful for those who imagine that racial prejudice has magically disappeared:
What if Barack and Michelle Obama had paraded five children across the stage, including a four-month-old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
What if John McCain had only married once, and Obama had left his first wife after she suffered a disfiguring car accident?
What if Michelle Obama were the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?
What if Michelle Obama’s family had made millions from beer distribution?