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A President for Our Dangerous Times

[digg-reddit-me]In dangerous times, we cannot let the larger issues out of sight:

The day to day grind of this campaign – months and months of fights over demographics, over gaffes, over lobbyists, over media bias – has distracted most of us from the essential issues at stake.

The essential choice we face is whether or not our country is going in the right direction.

There is an economic component to this – which will rightfully take up much of the country’s attention in the next few months, and between McCain and Obama, the economic differences are stark.

Perhaps more important is the question of whether or not America should embrace it’s current role as an imperial power, as a neo-empire. McCain clearly accepts this view. One of his foreign policy advisors has explicitly accepted the American empire. Another McCain advisor explained how McCain is planning on creating a League of Democracies to destroy the United Nations and marginalize Russia, quite possibly provoking a new Cold War1 . McCain has said that withdrawing from Iraq – which is what the Iraqi prime minister is requesting of us – would be a surrender to our enemies. (He still doesn’t seem to have noticed that many of our enemies are warring amongst themselves – Sunni extremists, Shia extremists, Al Qaeda, Iranian factions.) At the same time, he has threatened war with Iran while claiming it is naive to consider meeting with any Iranian leaders. (McCain never mentions the candlelight vigils in Tehran after September 11 or Iran’s efforts to come to a comprehensive settlement of all issues between America and Iran immediatly afterwards that were ignored using the same justification McCain now uses to avoid dealing with Iran.) Instead, he jokes “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran…)

As Andrew Sullivan wrote:

After the last eight years, we simply cannot risk a continuation of the same reckless, belligerent, argument-losing, ideological and deceptive foreign policy of [the Bush administration.] From his knee-jerk Cold War posture over Georgia to his Rovian campaign tactics, McCain is simply too close to this disastrous record to contemplate… McCain’s trigger-happy temperament, shallow understanding of the complexities and passion for military force as the answer to everything is the bigger risk. He is a recipe for more, wider and far more destructive warfare.

As the conservative curmudgeon George Will explained, invoking Barack Obama’s historic candidacy as a marker:

[I]t illustrates history’s essential promise, which is not serenity – that progress is inevitable – but possibility, which is enough: Things have not always been as they are.

In other words, we can change. We were not always an empire, and we need not always be an empire. We were not always at war, and we do not need to remain at war. Barack Obama will not change anything overnight (we will not all be given bicycles) – because that is not the type of leader he is. He is not a revolutionary urging us to storm the barricades. He is an imperfect leader. He is a sensible pragmatist who believes we are in a unique moment in history in which we have an opportunity to establish meaningful changes by reforming our political, economic, and governmental processes.

The alternative is stark. While I have long been an admirer of John McCain – because he stood up to the President on torture, tax cuts, swiftboating, and global warming – he lost my vote some time ago. He has fought this campaign without honor – ever since his campaign went bankrupt and he began to repudiate every stand he took that hurt him with the Republican base (including on torture, tax cuts, and now apparently, swiftboating.)

In the end, as dire as our economic strength is, this election will be remembered as the the moment when America decided if it was going to remain an empire, or if instead we would return to the best of our traditions, and take our place as a leader in the world community.

In these dangerous times, one candidate poses too great of a risk, and the American people cannot afford to allow a party which has undermined our national security at every turn to remain in power.

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  1. N. B. Fareed Zakaria is not an Obama surrogate as this YouTube video claims but a journalist for Newsweek with his own show in PBS. []

3 replies on “A President for Our Dangerous Times”

Easy target for propaganda; evberyone hates George Bush and his lying cronies, but how can we throw the baby out with the bathwater and bring in this aloof ethnically provincial academic.

Only some immature peach-fuzz-faced kid still basking in the warm afterglow of high school could think that someone like Obama could function as any kind of American President. He stands for nothing and says what some poll suggests will get him elected. Has he EVER taken a courageous stand that would prejudice his standing with his teenage and early 20s supporters? Let me respond nonrhetorically NO! – with the possible exception of the refusal to buy into the gas tax suspension, in which case he was wrong.

Obama is a coward and to prove it, look at his supply cringing address to AIPAC the Zionist lobby group. He sold out every rational aspect of Middle East realpolitik that he could have brought to the table, and showed that he is no leader or even thinker, just an invertebrate blob of browner-than-usual “progeressive” flavored goo.

McCain is an idiot, so he will probably vote for Obama, but nobody else should.

a few quick points:
Although Obama does have a significant base of support among the youngest demographics polled, he is doing extremely well among all voters aged 45 and under. CBS has him winning 55% to 33% among voters under the age of 45 (http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/JUL08B-Elec.pdf) So – that means quite a few more Americans who have out-grown their peach fuzz support Obama.

You contend that he has never taken a stand which would “prejudice his standing with” his young supporters. I never understood why it is considered important to take steps alienate groups of people that support you. But, if you want to play that media game, Obama voted in favor of the FISA compromise (which sparked a Facebook revolt against him); he has used tough language regarding Iran; he favors a moderate Iraqi withdrawal plan rather than a more aggressive one.

Regarding his AIPAC speech – he emphatically did not reject a realpolitik approach to the Middle East, although he couched the conflict in stark terms.

Referring to a somewhat elderly poll from April – OK an eon ago – the ratings were

voters age 18 to 29 – 57% Obama to 37% McCain
voters age 30 to 49 – 46% Obama to 46% McCain
voters age 50 to 64 – 44% Obama to 47% McCain
voters age 65 to death – 35% Obama to 51% McCain

this shows us two things 1. younger people are stupidly invested in this election, with only 6% not for O-Man or McCrusty compared to a healthy 14% of the elderly who dont give a used Depends about either of them; and 2. Obama is supported by young inexperienced people who don’t have enough real world experience to see what a vapid phony he is. If only the people over 30 voted, McCain would win in a landslide. He probably still will, actually.

Yeah, Obama took courageous positions on FISA, Israel, Iran and Iraq. HAHAHAHA! He is just trying to cover what is called “the center”, meaning the sort of average between the two opposing positions on national security. The center is a gray place with no principles or analysis – it is the place where people who have no sense of ethics go. Obama want stheir votes too.

Obama were he President would just be more business as usual in DC – no new ideas, no honesty, just demagoguery and hate – albeit of a different flavor from the current one.

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