We are seeing some disturbing events in this political race. A part of me blames the introduction of Chicago style politics into the mix. A lot of it has to do with uncertainty and anger at where we are as a country today. It is ugly out there.
While it is easy to blame the side for whom you do not cheer, it is the fault of both sides. I think fear has brought us to a bad place. I actually saw a person, whom at one time I considered a friendly ally in the blogosphere, say 'God bless Betty' White for calling Sarah Palin a bitch on a late night television show. When the left side of the aisle tsk-tsks the right side of the aisle for being 'angry' or 'mean' about the other side, just think about the level of discord that is out there now. It is out there now from people who, under regular circumstances, would be looked upon as stable, logical thinkers.
It's out the window. We have Jimmy Carter, the worst American President in modern history, out there claiming the current financial crisis is all President Bush's fault. Jimmy Carter? My husband and I bought out first home with 16% interest, thanks to his economic policies. Is this the time to take shots at the President for gratuitous sound bites. Added to the stack of other inane comments by Carter during the Bush presidency, many hateful ones said overseas as we are at war, and Carter does his legacy no favors.
We have the charge of racism lobbed anytime someone wants to end a discussion, change a subject of conversation. It is not racist to support Senator McCain. It is an ideological choice. It was Senator Obama's wife, Michelle, of whom we are told is the campaign "closer", who first brought the race card to the contest, back in primary season. She is on the campaign trail saying ugly statements, with a sincere looking smile, and it is heralded by the press as refreshing truth-telling. It's all ok because Obama is the chosen candidate of the press. What passes for journalism in this country as reached all time lows, if that was even possible.
Just as when Bill Clinton ran against Bob Dole in 1996, we were told character and judgement are not really an issue. Remember when Dole said, "where's the outrage?". Dole couldn't believe he was losing the race to a morally bankrupt man with questionable judgement and the voters didn't mind, as long as the stock market was humming along. Our country was under attack but it was mostly overseas so no one was alarmed, if it wasn't a loved one of theirs that was killed in an embassy attack or on the ground in a foreign country. Or on water.
Clinton, too, was the age of Obama and yet his resume was different. Clinton had been Attorney General of is state. He had been a multi-term governor. I don't recall Democrats pooh-poohing his experience governing a 'small state' when he ran, as they belittle Governor Palin's experience of a quite large, energy producing state today. Interesting, right?
Peggy Noonan has an excellent column in The Wall Street Journal. While the left likes to point out when Noonan, a conservative, criticizes the McCain campaign, will they take seriously her points about the Obama campaign, too?
Peggy Noonan said, "Both campaigns, in the closing stretch, seem not fully worthy of the moment." It will be easy for either side to point now and say, aha! Peggy Noonan said your side isn't worthy of the task!" That's not what she said at all. She said this has all degenerated into something that is not productive to the challenges the next president will face.
Think of the mess the next president will deal with. Economic crisis, a congress so bitter and divided that the American public no longer listens to them, foreign leaders looking for a glimmer of security in our leadership of the tough issues, those wishing us harm are emboldened by our discord. There is not enough money in the world to entice most of us to step into that job.
As Noonan points out, one advantage McCain has is that congress is controlled by the Democrats and will still be after the election, possibly with even a larger majority. Americans prefer divided control in Washington. Voters may realize an Obama presidency will mean complete dominance by Democrats and decide that is not the answer. Especially since the Democrat controlled congress, at the helm since 2006, are at all time lows in polling.
Soon we will be at voting polling locations, casting our votes. Our country remains strong in fortitude, the American spirit is not lost. With victory of either presidential candidate, our nation will survive. The world will not end for any of us.