Halloween is right around the corner but my thoughts have been on the upcoming elections. I'm getting ready to leave for New Mexico, to help the McCain/Palin ticket get out the vote. I leave on Halloween, so that is, I guess, how I came up with this thought.
As all the little, and not so little, trick-or-treaters come and go from my door each year, I always wonder who the little guy in the monster costume, or underneath all the Dracula makeup is. I know most of the kids in my neighborhood, at least by sight, and I try to guess which one is hiding behind the mask. I get them to talk so I can have a better idea of who they are.
But each year, when I see them riding their bikes or skateboards, or playing ball in the street (we live on a cul-de-sac), and I ask them about their adventures on the previous night, I find that my ability to guess which one was what creature is way off.
Right now, as I sit on my patio listening to the desert night, I am wondering what the man who wins the election will look like after all the hullabaloo of the campaign season is over. What will he look like the day he is sworn into office? Who will he be when he steps up to the podium to address us, as a nation, for the first time? Who will he be six months later?
When I imagine John McCain there, I get pretty clear ideas about what I will see, and who he will be. When I imagine freshman Senator Obama in that setting, I get blurred vision and I find myself unable to paint a portrait of the man. I mean, what do I have to go on, really, when I attempt to put brush to canvas with him? Am I to use his vast experience in Illinois, or do I have enough information about what he might do based on his track record in the United States Senate? Um, not really. The candidates are busy putting what they perceive to be their best foot forward as they work to gain our trust, but as my father always told me when I was arguing for an opportunity to get out of the house on a Saturday night, trust is something you earn.
Senator Obama has not earned the trust of the citizens of this nation. Oh he talks the talk, he tells people who they want to hear but, like old Tom Martin, my fathers former business partner once said to me, "talk is cheap, it takes money to buy whiskey". He saw through me back then like I see through Senator Obama now. Barak Obama talks a good day's work, but I haven't seen him do it. John McCain, while far from perfect, has a track record. He has been "over the mountain", he has walked in the boots of the ordinary man. He has put his country ahead of his own desires, yes, even the desire to live to see another day.
If I was to have the opportunity to serve my country in war, and I had the choice of one or the other candidate to go with me into the fray, it would be an easy decision. Heck, I would take John McCain at 72 years old over Barak Obama at ANY age.
This country is on the precipice of an ugly, ugly place. Most of the rest of the world hates us, at least a third of it wishes we didn't exist and, in fact, has sworn a religious oath to wipe us from the face of the earth. This fight is being brought to us, we are not the bully on the block looking for someone to torment. If we show up with a bouquet of flowers, instead of an army, and ask them if there might be some way that we can all just learn to get along, the messenger will not be coming back. Just look at the history of the world. It has happened time and again.
Remember Iran in 1979? It had already started back then. Jimmy Carter was in the white house then and Iran was NOT afraid of us. But after the election, when Ronald Reagan was voted in, suddenly Iran wanted to talk their way out of the situation. Yes Jimmy Carter was given the opportunity to receive our hostages back from the Iranians, but it was almost simultaneous with the swearing in of President Reagan, who had made it clear that, first and foremost on his agenda as President, we would be going in after our people, come what may.
That is where we stand again today. At least, that's how it looks from my backyard.
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