Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Civil & Reasonable Debate

It is such a shame that some are not satisfied to discuss the very real differences in the two major candidates for President. We already see in this young general election race the beginnings of the old Atwater-Rove politics of stirring up hatred and fear of the opponent.

As reasonable people know and as each has verified about the other, John McCain and Barack Obama love their country, want the best for it, and are articulate and reasonable advocates for their points of view.

Some differences are obvious to me and reasonably debatable. McCain at 72 has a longer resume. Obama has a keener intellect and a more visionary leadership style. McCain favors the war that he once predicted would be "easy". Obama opposed it from the beginning and predicted the difficult time we have had. McCain supporters can point to his opposition to the incompetent procecution of the war under Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. They can also reasonably claim a somewhat improved position of our troops since Rumsfeld was sacked and the "surge" was instituted. Obama opposed the "surge" and favors a careful redeployment of American forces out of Iraq. Both have opposed the use of torture, though I believe Barack Obama has been more consistent and definite on that issue. McCain now opposes all abortions, Obama supports a woman's right to choose an abortion if she and her doctors deem it necessary. McCain, by and large, supports the economic policies of the current administration, though he has shown some independence from those policies in the past. Obama believes, as I do that it is unethical to saddle our children with the expenses of a war while we cut taxes on the present generation.

We could go on. I strongly support the positions of Obama, but recognise that honorable people can support McCain, as do several in my family.

Like Abraham Lincoln (two years as a Congressman) and Jimmy Carter (four years as a governor), not to mention Dwight Eisenhower, Zachary Taylor, and others who had no electoral experience, if Obama is elected he will have a thinner elected office resume than average. Some will consider that an important negative. Fine. Argue that.

Some will find his position on abortion a deal-breaker. Fine. Argue that.

Some will find his progressive economic policies anathema. Fine. Argue that.

And I will argue my side. But let's keep it civil.

To those who are so blinded by their own fear, and by distrust of the utility of basic American freedoms, that they cannot tell the difference in disagreement and disloyalty: your views are not credible to me nor worthy, in my opinion, of consideration. John McCain and Barack Obama have each been endorsed by well-known military and governmental leaders, by heroes of our country, by former Presidents, by Democrats and Republicans, by foreign policy leaders respected on both sides of the aisle, etc., etc., etc. If you choose to accuse McCain or Obama of treason, racism, or terrorism, don't try to sell your wares here. I will have no truck with you.

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