Friday, October 31, 2008

Reader's Choice #2

The next topic was suggested by reader 'rivendweller'. She said "I want you to give us your opinion on the McCain campaign vs. the Obama campaign in terms of basic morality. Which campaign displays more compassion? Which campaign really cares about human beings and which campaign just gives lip service?"

Probably a bit of a loaded question, but definitely a good one.

Obviously, in terms of morality, I never could've imagined that the McCain camp would stoop so low in that regard. I thought Bush/Cheney were bad when they suggested that voting for Kerry would invite a terrorist attack. But not only did McCain/Palin (seriously, it was when he nominated her that they went into full slime mode) make that same claim-- during the recent distortion of those Biden remarks-- but they went further into using the Ayers innuendo (etc) to imply that Obama is practically a terrorist himself and is too 'radical' for America. And that's just what these two actual candidates are saying.

Their surrogates and supporters on the campaign trail have been far, far worse to the point where calling it racist and scary is an understatement. Thanks-- in no small part to McCain/Palin rhetoric and conservative media outlets-- if Obama wins, a significant amount of Americans will believe their President is a radical Muslim socialist terrorist who kills babies. Think about that.

They have little to no argument for why their candidacy is superior (no, saying 'maverick' a lot is not an argument)... just rantings about why Obama is scary and bad. In terms of morality, this helps brings out the worst in ourselves.

The Obama campaign has been-- by contrast-- all about... hope. It's a campaign that has inspired millions of Americans to hate and fear believe in their ability to create change and to believe that we can come together to solve the problems our country faces. Whether we ultimately can or not is a good question, but this is what the promise is. And, god, after these past eight years, it's someone we really need to believe.

(The 'Yes We Can video is the epitome of this)

Obama is asking people to vote for something; McCain wants them to vote against something. A key distinction.

As I pointed out in a previous, recent entry, Team McCain talks down to voters and speaks in insulting generalities (Joe the Plumber! The 'real' America!). Obama, on the other hand, actually respects the intelligence of the average American. I saw him speak in person at a fundraiser one year ago this month, and thought his academic, thoughtful way of speaking would be his downfall in the primaries, as he'd be eaten alive by more savage opponents. Obama believed differently. He was right, I was wrong. While McCain and Palin are offering lip service on issues where their records do not match their records, Obama is offering an honest argument for his leadership. Agree with that vision or not, at least it's an honest one.

Now that's kind of a long answer to what was a simple question, but I wanted to clarify in a very general sense what I saw as the overall differences between the two campaigns. It's hope versus fear. And what could possibly be moral about running on the latter?

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