Month: September 2008

Of the People, For the People, and By the People

The primary reason I love Barack Obama is because I believe he is the only presidential candidate in this election who remembers Abraham Lincoln’s immortal words.  Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain appear to have the attitude, “Vote for me, and I’ll take care of everthing.”  As if they are running for the nation’s parental figure.  Obama has not painted a rosy, easy solution, rather he inspires us, as citizens, to organize and remember that We are Our nation’s government… We, the People.  He reminds Us that restoring Our nation to greatness is a challenge, and a worthy one, and together We can turn things around.

As inspired as I feel by Obama, I find myself proportionally furious at John McCain, personally offended that he deems it unnecessary to allot the time to debate his position on our nation’s financial situation when he is suggesting we elect him president.  

Tomorrow night, John McCain has an appointment with the entire nation.  His suggestion that consensus must be reached in Congress before he deigns to communicate with the People of the United States of America is a slap in the face to the American people.  Congress will be okay without John McCain for two hours, and if he were to be elected President, I would expect him to be able to handle a debate with another world leader while still managing our domestic needs.  Call me demanding.

It is worth saying that I have been an Obama supporter since the Democratic primaries.  I believe he exhibits cool-headed leadership that is the best medicine for an America that has been irrationally  (if understandably) fired-up for the last eight years. He has inspired me to become more involved in the political process, and reminded me that I am a participant in American politics, whether actively or passively.  His leadership ability is evidenced by the masses he has inspired in this way.  He actually brings out other people’s leadership ability.

McCain hasn’t really moved me… at all.  He hasn’t given me any reason to believe he is the maverick he claims to be.  His politically brilliant, but ethically bankrupt, selection of Sarah Palin and her unwillingness to engage with the press is frightening.  This is the person who would become president in the likely event of his death, likable but not at all presidential material.  He hasn’t offered any information on his plans for health care reform, education, or the suffering economy since the Rebublican National Convention, as far as I’m aware.  (Please educate me, if I’m wrong.)

But to tell the American People that he will not debate before them at the appointed time unless things go his way.  That’s too much.  I felt John McCain was out of touch before, but this is just unbelievable.  He casts aside a rare opportunity for voters to see their presidential choices side by side as if it doesn’t matter.  This debate is important to our ability to discern whom we want to lead this nation.  After eight years of a truly awful administration, no one wants to mess this up.  We may disagree on the details of a society that works, but we know that ours is suffering, and we need to choose the best leader available.

 

Mr. McCain, you and I have an appointment Friday night with 100 million other Americans. You are asking Us to appoint you to the highest position in the land. I appreciate your patriotism and determination to resolve the financial crisis. Though the situation is indeed urgent, it is not sufficient reason to renege on your commitment to the People of the United States of America.  Your participation in this debate is mandatory, and you will be held accountable by the People for failure to appear.  Think of it as a job interview… the first of three.