Obama vs. McCain – the home stretch

Forget the polls and stop listening to pundits.  I don’t trust polls anymore and the pundits keep saying things like “Voters don’t know that much about Barack Obama”.

First of all, yes we do know about Barack Obama.  Or at least we should.  Aren’t we all responsible for doing our own homework.  Or are we just going to let media outlets spoon feed us small amounts of information about things they think we should know about.  It’s time to grow up.  We’re all adults here, supposedly.

It still boggles my mind that some people believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim.  Not that it should matter if he is.  Remember “the separation of Church and State” or is that another part of our Constitution that Bush 43 changed when nobody was looking.  The sad part is that the right wing conservatives are trying to put a sliver of doubt in the mind of dumb, uninformed, or already-prejudiced people, that Barack Obama is secretly part of a terrorist organization and you just can’t trust him.  And the super sad part is that some people actually believe it all.

And we know about John McCain; what he’s done and what he hasn’t done.  He has been part of the Washington machine for whom McCain himself blames the condition of America today.  He has been part of the machine that said “we need to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here” and then wiretaps and put surveillance on Americans over here.  He is part of the Washington machine that says we’re fighting for democracy and freedom and then repeals or ignores those rights for Americans here at home.

I keep thinking about how ridiculous it all is.  We already know what the issues are.  We already know where Obama and McCain stand on these issues.  And we know which issues aren’t really issues at all.  I don’t want to watch another debate. I don’t want to listen to another speech.  In my opinion everyone should just shut up until voting day in November.

When I think forward, into the future, maybe a year, or maybe two years from know, what do I want to see?  What do you want to see?  First and foremost I want the economy to be in good shape because the President and the Congress made the right decisions.  I want America to be the strong, respected nation it once was because the President and Congress behaved in the right fashion and set the correct foreign policies in motion.

The next President will inherit quite a mess: a war, a stupefying deficit, big unemployment, and 50 million Americans without health insurance.  And who do I see standing in front of it all, really caring about these issues?

I honestly believe that at this point in America’s history, we need a charismatic, intelligent leader.  Right now, this election is about more than just the issues; it is about making difficult decisions, knowing what battles to fight, and knowing how to work together, with our countrymen and with other countries, to solve the big problems.

We, as a nation, have not been asked to sacrifice anything since World War II.  Back then, the nation came together as a whole for the common good.  There were food rations, businesses reconstituted themselves to be effective in the war effort, and women went off to work to take the place of our fine men who went off to fight.  There is a good reason why people refer to them as “the greatest generation”.  Can you imagine what would happen if Americans today were told that their milk and butter were going to be rationed because of the Iraq war?  There would be complete chaos.  I, myself, would do it for a justified war in Afghanistan, but not for an illegal, unprovoked war in Iraq.

I want a President who is elegant and persuasive.  I want somebody who is accepted around the world with open arms.  I think it actually might take someone who is received and treated like a rock star to get the job done.  Celebrity isn’t a bad thing if used for the right reasons.  

Obama got a lot of slack from Republicans for how he was received by the Germans.  Are they jealous?  When have the Germans ever gathered like that to hear what an American had to say?  As far as I know, only John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan received such an ovation.  And why?  Because those two men, and Barack Obama, represent fresh, new ideas and a strong vision for the right kind of change.  All three are persuasive orators, well-liked by people around the world.  They are people whose positive outlook and determination to take on the toughest issues transcended politics and spoke directly to the hearts and minds of human souls.  It is a special gift and one that John McCain just doesn’t have.  He is a nice person, I assume, I don’t know him.  But, unfortunately, he has never uttered one word, one sentence, or one idea that inspired me to be a better American, or a better citizen of the world, filled with hope and optimism. 

The bottom line is that no matter who you elect for President, taxes will go up.  But what does that really mean?  We’re not talking about sales tax, or you local property taxes.  We’re talking about income tax and payroll tax and things like that at a federal level.  And if that’s the only sacrifice that Americans are being asked to make, then I say let’s do it.  Don’t let either candidate fool you.  We are in serious trouble financially and taxes will go up.

The second bottom line is that a single President can not bring about all of the changes and fix all of the problems by himself.  He must deal with the Senate and the House.  So no matter what agenda the President has, chances are he won’t accomplish all that he wants to accomplish.  That’s just the way things are.

But what a President can do is offer a vision for our country, and build alliances around the world.  We live in a global economy.  It isn’t us versus them any more.  We’re all in it together.  And if there is one person whom I feel can represent me as an American as he deals with the world, it is Barack Obama. 

For all those who might say I’m living in a dream world, bring it on.  Because for the last eight years, all of you people who voted for or supported the Republicans have been living in a dream world; a world where you thought America was being taken care of.  Do you really still feel that way.  I can’t wait to see the look on your faces when ALL of the truth comes out someday about what has gone on during the Bush Administration.  Maybe then you’ll get it.

I honestly mean no offense to Mr. McCain but he is old.  He looks old and he looks tired.  I’ll bet any money that he lives in pain every day because of the abuse he withstood as a prisoner of war.  Those are lasting scars, both physically and emotionally.  And while I respect what he has accomplished I simply can not give him my support.  He does not inspire me and does not inspire the rest of the world to root for the success of America. 

The conservatives of America will try to scare you into thinking that Obama is scary.  But think about 4 or eight years from now if you were to look back and see that nothing has changed.  We are still on the same course we were way back in 2008.  Now that is scary.


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