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My Take on the Debate - Livin' the Good Life

Sep. 27th, 2008

06:05 am - My Take on the Debate

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We watched the presidential debate last night, and I was quite impressed by the generally intelligent and articulate discussion. I can remember in past debates literally groaning at the bumbling stupidity of the various candidates' comments and demeanor. But, last night I heard two men who showed strong leadership qualities, who were educated on their subjects, and who both sincerely believed that they were looking after the best interests of our country and those abroad. Since the topic was foreign policy, Barack was at a clear disadvantage, and McCain, of course, took full advantage of that fact. McCain is strong and experienced in areas of world conflict, and though I can't say I agree with him on his solutions to world problems, I respect him just the same. Barack, on the other hand, is green. To me, that doesn't mean he is not a suitable choice for president. If he was president, I have full confidence that he would surround himself with smart, experienced people to help him make all the critical decisions a president is faced with. (To be honest, I don't envy either of these guys. Whoever becomes president is going to have a HARD TIME. They will be inheriting a war that is unwinnable and a country whose economy is in shambles. In my opinion, it will be nearly impossible for the next president to come out looking good. I don't wish that on either of them.)
I liked how, once again, Barack stuck to the high road and treated McCain respectfully. He's definitely my kind of guy. McCain, on the other hand, maintained a condescending "you're too young and inexperienced to understand these important world matters" tone. Very disrespectful. He lost points with me big-time for that. I'm sure that people who are easily swayed by fear tactics were drawn to McCain last night. He used a lot of emotionally charged words that powerfully tap into one's deepest fears, like that Barack wanting to sit down and talk with our enemies was foolish and "dangerous". I happen to disagree with that, but his unsuccessful appeal to fear in me made me wonder how it was moving others. It was probably very effective. I think foreign policy is a very complicated and sticky subject, and it's really difficult to understand because you are NOT THERE, and you are dealing with vastly different cultures and ways of looking at things. How can Americans possibly understand what's going on in other countries? It's hard enough to understand and make decisions regarding problems on the home-front, which we are experiencing first-hand. I'll leave those decisions to those who feel willing and able to make them.
By the way, to add a little perspective here: I'm still reading about the kings and queens of England and France in the 1500s. King Henry the VIII was personally responsible for the executions of 73,000 people. If he didn't like someone, he ordered them dead... Beheaded, hanged, burned, you name it. Brutal. (Heck, he even got away with beheading two of his wives! Two royal queens!) And the government officials supported him in his brutality (quaking in their boots, no doubt) Talk about corrupt! It makes our democratic form of government seem very fair and just, and our presidential candidates look like saints.