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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Biden versus Palin?

Or is it McCain versus Obama? More than one of my friends has asked me why I'm not saying much about the political process to elect America's next president. Whoever fills the position will be arguably the most powerful person on earth. Early in the primaries, I did speak about Hillary and Barack. To be honest, at that time I'd concluded I wouldn't vote Republican regardless of whom they nominated.

The friends who ask why I'm not writing wonder what I have to say. (They've never seen me at a loss for words!) No, I'm not at a loss for words here. It's just that, as the process moves forward, I find it extremely sobering that the American people have gotten so distracted from the truth, from the things that matter. I had high hopes for this election. But then I realized that the decision wouldn't be made on who could lead our country forward in positive ways. I realized we won't elect someone who can help solve our problems. Perhaps the most sobering thing is I realized how the President of the United States can declare war and manage diplomacy around the world - but he (or she) cannot really run our country.

You see, we have filled our House and our Senate with a bunch of cronies who will play games at the expense of the American people. They are afraid to live their values. Most of them, thrown into this cesspool of a government, can't live their values. Even if they tried, they would be defeated by all of the others who don't. So they try to compete instead. They compete for the pork. They compete for the voice. They compete for the influence. Collectively, the Senate runs the country and the House approves. Mostly they seem to do battle with whatever president we have. They say a two-party system is the best for government. Quite frankly, I see little evidence of that.

Our country is spiraling out of control. Our national debt and fiscal irresponsibility has grown to unimaginable proportions. It is to the point that the entire world is starting to wring its hands and wonder what to do about the United States. Can our mess be fixed? Can we learn to live within our means? Can we stop meddling in the affairs of the world - and still love our neighbor as ourselves? Can we manage public debt responsibly? Can we legislate a sound financial (banking) system? Is the dollar really a reliable, sound currency on which to base the world's finances? Those are the questions of today.

I've said before that I don't know who Barack Obama is. I watched the debates and still didn't. The last McCain - Obama debate was useless. The facilitator was useless. He tried to pit them against each other and nobody won. Most of all, the American people didn't win. Nobody learned anything about either of them. I found myself listening to their bickering - instigated by the moderator - and wishing that neither of them had ever held any public office. At least that way we wouldn't have to waste time haranguing on about their record on this or that, or how they've voted for this or that.

The Biden - Palin debate seemed to go much better. I thought the moderator, though she is biased and self-serving and shouldn't have been picked for this job, did a good job. She seemed fair and asked good questions. Most of all, she didn't try to pit the candidates against each other as if they were in some sort of dog-fight. We learned about the candidates and we got to hear what they stand for. We learned a lot about both of them and who they are. I found myself saying to my wife, "Wow! I'd vote for Joe Biden for President. He's way more convincing to me than Barack Obama!"

Now whether Sara Palin is qualified to be Vice President or President I'm not sure I know. But I have to say, I like her character. It is good to see someone who doesn't have a record that we have to argue about. I'm glad she's never been in the Senate. We don't have to waste time fighting over what's she's voted for 20 years ago.

There is much to say about this election. But there is much more to consider. So I think I shall continue to spend more time considering than talking. Care to join me?

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