Dr. K’s Blog Endorses Barack Obama For President of the USA
Yesterday, while working on my new book, I stopped to write my opinion of the whole campaign and where I am at with it. In today’s post, I’ll share with you what I wrote and make an official endorsement. I don’t expect this to persuade anyone, but I’ve been getting emails asking me about this, and it seems like it is time.
I love my country, and believe our best days are still ahead of us. We’ve yet to fully live up to our highest ideal, to be a light unto the nations and a beacon for freedom and dignity, but we have made great strides. The last few laps are the hardest. So even though we live in a divisive time and in a polarized country, the good news is we seem to be coming together again (I’m going by polling numbers and party defections.)
I hope my fellow citizens will make me proud. I hope our voting system will make me proud (no monkey business this time!) and I hope that our choice for President will restore our reputation in the world and the persuasive power that gives us to effect positive change for humanity.
I want to thank those of you who interacted with me about this election in a respectful way. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to share an overview of the election, discuss differences around persuasion, and find common ground with our communication. Only one person let his temper get the best of him in his comments, and he’s gone to greener pastures (No doubt this has something to do with the fact that I blocked him from commenting. His parting shot was to call me ‘intellectually dishonest.’ Thank goodness for free speech. He’s free to speak of it on his blog, and not to on mine.)
So here’s my endorsement, and why.
Straight talk: McCain has run a pathetic campaign, with a strategy that was diametrically opposed to the way he promised to position himself. His excuse, that Obama wouldn’t engage in Town Halls with him, is just bogus. The guy we loved in 2000 got derailed by some bad Bush mojo, and John McCain took it on thinking he needed it to win in 2008. The guy we loved in 2000 moved to the fringes of his party and our country in 2008. He may have been prepared to lead in the last century. He clearly doesn’t understand this one.
And now, what a pickle he is in. No matter which way he goes, it doesn’t mean enough to count for anything. All the hollow phrases have already fallen short, though he keeps using them. Palin is failing by any reasonable benchmark, with all but the most partisan and extreme. She was never more than a thin veneer over an inadequate resume. Now they’ve dressed her up, But pardon the metaphor, because lipstick on a pig doesn’t change the underlying nature of the beast.
I can see a whole different direction this could have taken. It’s a very sad ending for a good American, a villainous fall for an American hero. It’s sad, and he did it to himself. When leadership was required, he abdicated for petty campaign tricks. When straight talk was required, he bottled himself up and cut himself off, and gave evasive and nonsensical answers. He is personally guilty of almost everything for which he’s accused Obama (including associations with unsavory types of the worst sort.) The doublespeak (Palin saying we don’t know who Obama is, after 14 months of campaigning, when she limits herself to two interview? OMG) the mixed messages, the demonization and character attacks built on the thinnest of foundations. After 8 years of failed government, America wants something better.
There were many themes used to try and define this race. Is Obama all style and no substance? Is McCain a real maverick or a reformer? Is Obama a reformer or a radical? Is this a race about personality or issues? Is McCain too reckless? Is Obama too prudent? The debates gave us all a chance to hear for ourselves from the candidates. Obama won all three debates, not on style, but on substance. McCain failed to make a case for himself. And he failed to make a case against Obama. The only case he made was that he can’t make a case, because he kept undermining every case he made himself. Even his latest artifice, Joe the Plumber, has failed to hold up as a symbol, because Palin was dressed up to counter the symbol. His former allies are now jumping ship, and for very good reason. This is no steady hand at the tiller. This isn’t the kind of thoughtful person you want in charge when everything is going to hell in a handbasket. This is not the right man for our time. If McCain knows how to capture Bin Laden and solve all our other problems, then he should have run against George Bush 4 years ago. His time has passed.
I wish John McCain well, I truly do. But this country needs leadership now more than ever before. The qualities of leadership that I’ve been looking for include wisdom, because for me, wisdom always trumps experience. Obama has demonstrated wisdom by knowing when to respond to attacks and when to let them pass. He has offered a willingness to use diplomacy before going to war. He has recognized our obligations to future generations. Leadership requires discipline. Obama has demonstrated discipline. Leadershp requires vision and Obama had it when he took on the formidable challenge of running for the highest office in the land.
2300 years ago, Plato spoke about the virtues of temperance, fortitude, justice and prudence. I detect these in Obama, not in McCain.
Samuel Adams wrote that “The liberties of our country, the freedomes of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation -enlightened as it is-if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or the be cheated out of them by designing men.”
John McCain has embraced the the Bush adminstration’s challenges to our constitution. Obama has challenged the administration. On this most fundamental item, Obama is right. McCain is wrong.
Obama has run a disciplined campaign, he makes sense, he inspires many, and most importantly, he has the intelligence to actually think about the problems we’re faced with and come up with ideas and answers, or find the people who can come up with ideas and answers. If he runs our country even half as well as he’s run his campaign, we have a bright future ahead. He’s won my vote. That happened a while back, though I stayed open to persuasion. Not a single persuasive argument has materialized, only partisan anger and disinformation. My mind is made up. I’m voting for Barack Obama. Let’s see what a smart guy can do.
Here’s a little video from the Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days that I think makes this case in a wonderful way!
Do you think I got it right? Or am I missing something? Who are you voting for and why? Your reasonable comments are always welcome.