Friday, July 25, 2008

Another explosive topic

Politics. It's that time again in our country, and it seems every time I turn around I'm hearing someone ranting, pontificating or arguing about the upcoming Presidential election. I figured I should join in as well.

Don't worry. Gimme a shot here and see if this is different than the political opinions you usually come across.

If you're like me, then 95% of all political discussions you hear are simply attacks on the "other" side. Nobody ever seems to tell me why they like a candidate -- only how evil the other guy (or gal, while Hillary was in the game) obviously is.

I don't do that. It angers me, and is playing right into the hands of our modern media. They know that happy times and supporting storylines don't get the high ratings. If a TV station or website wants the big bucks, they need to break scandals and tap into the more bitter, empassioned instincts within us.

So I won't do any attacking here. No criticisms at all. I won't even tell you which candidate I like. I'm simply going to list all the ways I agree with what each side (Democrat/Republican) uses as common talking points. Here we go:

Republicans often say that our country is in pretty good shape, that we're the best country in the world and are not in need of massive overhaul. I agree. Our economy, civil rights and safety are higher than almost any other time in our nation's history. See this article by Gregg Easterbrook for more detail.

Democrats often say that it's time for change, and that our country needs to shift gears in some major areas. I agree. Our economy is showing some signs of real weakness and is far too dependent on foregin oil. Our lower/middle classes are far too represented in prisons and slums. Our resources are being stretched and extended across the world in a way we can't support long-term.

Republicans often say that Senator McCain has proven himself to be a seasoned and effective political leader, a man who can work across party lines to solve problems. I agree. His credentials are impressive and he seems to be a man of integrity and strength. He would probably serve us well as President.

Democrats often say that although Senator Obama's tenure in the Senate has been much shorter than McCain's, he also has an impressive resume. I agree. He has sponsored many very important bills and shown empathy and foresight in making some tough calls and votes.

Republicans often say that McCain can truly relate to mainstream America, and that he really gets it and cares when it comes to the worries of the individual. I agree. He genuinely seems to care about people, and I think that is a core part of what makes him an attractive candidate.

Democrats often say that Obama's eloquence and intelligence allow him to inspire great crowds of people, and that this kind of charisma would bring many benefits to our country. I agree. He is a powerfully effective speaker, and envisioning that type of person representing our country is an attractive thought.

This is the way I like to talk about politics. Focusing on whom I like, what I want to see, and where I'd wish our country to go.

I hear Democrats using the name "McSame" and berating the man for the occassional verbal slip, basically saying he's as smart as a bag of walnuts. C'mon now.

I hear Republicans using the name "Osama' and berating the man for his race and his popularity, basically saying he's the antichrist just waiting to emerge. C'mon now.

We can do better.


MamaRose said...


And, I DON'T KNOW WHY our MEDIA can't at least give us MORE, POSITIVE stories--about everything--I'd LISTEN to them & I know a LOT of other folks would & MAYBE it keep us 'CALM-er' AS A NATION!!!!!
Not keep us so STIRRED UP!!!!!!!!!

I know our folks here in KC LOVE the segments on our NEWS Stations when they talk about the 'GOOD THINGS' going on HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our National Media SEEM to be 'in LOVE with' Obama right now--but, November is a LONG WAY away!!!!!!!!
In a way, I feel sorry for him, already--because you just KNOW someone's going to bring up something we haven't heard yet & it's NOT going to be 'positive'--that's what I think, anyway!!!!!

And, the same for McCain, too--he's probably got even MORE things someone could 'bring out' that's not positive, simply because he's older & lived longer!!!!! SAD!!!!!

I really hope & PRAY that it doesn't get TOO UGLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It MIGHT be BETTER for us to 'leave it' in the HANDS OF ONE GUY--like the recent movie that's out!!!!!!!!!! Just, maybe.......

LOVE YOU & HAPPY 80th BD to Jamie's GrandDad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hal Johnson said...

Wow. I'd like to see a massive popular movement get underway based on what you just wrote.

Politics really has become a game of WHO is right in our nation rather than WHAT is right. And, the main casualty is truth.

I'd like to cut and paste this to my blog. If you don't answer, I won't do it. I promise I won't take credit for it, although I want to.

Redlefty said...

Go for it, Hal -- that would be an honor.

Mom, I remember when Dad said this a few months ago during our vacation:

"Michael, I think some big scandals are going to come out on both sides. But Obama's will probably be more damaging. And what's sad is that most of the scandals probably won't even be true."

It's like whomever has less dirt from five years ago will win by media default, instead of who is the better candidate for 2009-2012.

Redlefty said...

I misspoke -- that was just weeks ago, not months ago!

debby said...

Good post. You are right.

~aj~ said...

Well said, Michael.

I have to admit that politics is my very least favorite topic of discussion. Ever.

You did a good job with this one.

JP said...

I hate politics!

That pretty much sums it up.

Completely off topic but are you a fan of the Urge? I noticed you had them listed below.

The Scotts said...

Damn, that's the truth, isn't it?
Well said!

MamaRose said...

Well, I didn't know Dad said that at the lake this year, but I THINK he's right--EXCEPT, I think it MAY BE McCain that 'gets it' worse, merely because he's LIVED LONGER--I could be wrong--we both could be wrong--WOULDN'T THAT BE NICE???!!!!

James W said...

Good strattle the fence post! :)

Don said...

Okay, which one for pres. and which one of them for V.P.!!!
I know what you mean. I have been a Republican all my life, until now. At present, I am nothing! No reflection on either candidate. It's just that my perspective has changed tremendously since 2004 and the last election.

Bob said...

I read your post on Hal's blog and wanted to come here and compliment you. So very refreshing to see political commentary stated positively.

Since you posted this, the asinine ad comparing Obama with Britney and Paris has come out, and Obama made the asinine statement about how McCain will try to depict him as not looking like the presidents on the dollar bills. He wasn't trying to paint McCain as a racist though . . . (oh please).

You might enjoy the book "God's Politics" by Jim Wallis. I do not agree with all of his theology but he makes some good points about coming together rather than constantly dwelling in the gutter.

Great Post. Thank you.

Hal Johnson said...

"Good strattle the fence post!"
The view is usually better up there.