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Barack Obama – In Defense of himself and an attempt at reason

Posted by on October 16, 2008

The final debate between Senator Obama and Senator McCain has come and gone. I now sit patiently to see how Republican pundits around the U.S. will put on their imagination caps and claim McCain won by a landslide.

Last night’s debate was far and away more effectively moderated than the previous confrontations.  Bob Schieffer finally put both candidates in the hot seat, and I believe did his best to finally open up some helpful, informative, and telling discussions. Minus the repeated mention of Joe Plumber, this was ridiculous and it was unfortunate to see Obama lower himself to those standards.  Next time, at least for entertainment’s sake I would like the candidates to speak to Jill Stripper, and Murray Masseuse.

Aside from shouts outs, the topics I appreciated most were those on government spending, campaign etiquette. and the always good for a chuckle, your favourite and mine…abortion.

I personally see government spending as a necessary part of each and every well formed democratic government.  Like it or not we all NEED the public system.  Be it for education, fire and police, infrastructure as well as civil and social services. We need the government to spend the money they have so happily collected from us. However, the key is intelligent and prioritized spending (ie. no real-life games of RISK to invade sovereign nations). McCain wishes to cut all government spending except of course for the DoD and other veteran services.  If the government is not spending its revenue, Washington effectively becomes a  broken arcade game;

Joe Plumber’s son joey– “Excuse me sir, I keep putting quarters in but the game won’t let me play”

George Government – “That’s because I’ve turned it off Joey. This way I can use all of your quarters to buy a new rifle to protect you and me, and security cameras to spy on everyone inside the arcade.”

Joey– “But why are you buying a rifle and installing cameras to protect an arcade with broken games nobody wants to play with anymore”

George Government– “Because otherwise the terrorists win”

In any case, McCain’s “across the board freeze on government spending” is the most impractical campaign promise I’ve yet to hear. I was just glad to hear Senator Obama call him on that fact when McCain tried to pander to families with special needs children promising more support; because without funding I guess McCain just meant Palin would be praying more.

When the candidates addressed campaign etiquette I sat by and happily watched as Barack Obama calmly and intelligently vetted himself on both his association with William Ayers and ACORN, two issues the GOP have been holding onto like a crazy person holds onto their favourite fake hat.  I mean sure its only tupperware, but if someone puts it on their head and tells everyone its a hat, still doesn’t make it a hat.

William Ayers is a University professor, the 1997 Chicago Citizen of the Year, and has also won nearly $50 million for public school reform. Now because of his past and slight connection with Obama his name has been dragged through the mud by the McCain campaign and I find that appalling. I can only imagine the impact on his life and those important to him.  I thought America was a place of second chances, where anyone can turn their life around if they truly want to?  I guess that doesn’t apply to those people that can be used as weapons three weeks before an election.

When the candidate began discussing negative campaign ads and rallies, I was extremely happy to hear Senator Obama bring up the Palin rallies where there were shouts of “Kill him” and “Terrorist” at the mention of his name. I felt it was important the Obama mentioned these remarks went completely unaddressed.  It was too bad that John McCain, did not take that opportunity to be a respectable man and apologize, or at least admit those rallies and shouts were inappropriate and wrong.  I was however, shocked that McCain instead found it appropriate to sit there and cry that his feelings were hurt both by John Lewis’ and the fact Obama never repudiated Lewis’ statements.  This was an out and out lie.  I read the response statement from the Obama campaign the very next day, so it surprises me that the statement went directly to CNN and the Associated Press yet somehow McCain didn’t receive a copy.

Senator McCain had a chance to be a stand-up man and instead chose to side with the lowest common denominator of American citizen: The ignorant, the uninformed, and the obviously racist.

As the candidates neared the end of the debate, the question of Roe v. Wade came up, yet was worded so that both candidates, if they wore their tap shoes, had plenty of room to dance out of the way and avoid giving their direct opinions on abortion.

I will admit, it was at this point I was slack-jaw shocked that Obama looked into the camera and gave his full unwavering explanation on his stance on Roe v. Wade.  That segment of the debate, for me, was easily the most inspiring and moving part of the entire campaign.  Not because I agree with his sentiments, but because through his thought process I see the type of leader Barack Obama has the potential to be.

The problem with most topics such as political perspective, policy debates, ethics, and abortion is that both sides only speak in absolute truths. Black. White.  There is never any middle ground,  never any possibility  the other side may have mentioned something worth while.  Within this mentality, not only do we as human beings become more narrow minded, but the biggest tragedy becomes our collective loss of intellectual progress.

Senator McCain continually referred to Senator Obama as Pro-Abortion, opposed to the much more accurate title of Pro-Choice.  I found this once again, a complete disrespect to the progress Obama has been trying to achieve.  Obama even made the statement, “No one is pro-abortion”, and went on to describe practical ideas about adequate sexual education to avoid irresponsible sex and therefore reduce the amount of women placed in those unfortunate and life altering situations.   After all of this, Senator McCain refused to lay down his “pro-abortion” label, and to me, sounded like the bigot grandfather you try to keep away from guests at thanksgiving.

It seems that the McCain campaign is running full steam ahead on bold faced lies and incomplete information.  Each and every statement McCain made was logically and effectively explained and defended by Obama only to have McCain counter with the exact same argument. From my perspective, Senator McCain was two questions away from, “I’m rubber and your glue…”.

To watch Senator Barack Obama sit before the nation he wishes to lead and not only defend himself from the callous remarks and attacks from his unscrupulous opponent but also try to make an attempt at reason and common ground was remarkable.  It seems no matter how low his opponent or the American people may stoop, he is ready with an unconditional belief in hope and the possibility of a future common ground.

Personally, I think Obama’s beliefs are idealistic and completely crazy, but its the kind of crazy we should all aspire to.

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