Friday, September 5, 2008

State of the Race

Although I am a wholly uninvolved observer (Belgian), I too am tired of the fact that America keeps choosing the wrong leaders. Why is election politics so fickle in its rightful result? From the start, and after initial research, I immediately knew Sen. Obama was the leader right for America and the world in this point of time in history. Just like FDR was right his day, Roosevelt in his, Reagan in his, etc.

The cynical truth however is that election politics is still a game, and both senators have played it masterfully so far. Barack Obama has set up a modern, internet-plugged bureaucratic campaign with grassroots organisation and funding, the topic of change and a calm to constantly analyze new events without being played by them. This is how his campaign won from Sen. Clinton's, who, as a candidate, has immensely more credentials, but whose campaign was ridden with overly strong individuals and an unsteady course and message.

Up until the appointment of Sarah Palin, Sen. McCain campaign was nowhere. He was nominated simply because the other GOP candidates were so weak. The Mitt Romney story however (and his parting concession speech) showed that energizing the GOP base with core conservative values can lock down the majority of red-leaning states swiftly. Sen. McCain has tried to do this, and has partially been succesful, eroding Obama's lead in polls during the summer.

However, I bet this didn't feel right to him.

An independent by nature, holding conservative ideals yet with libertarian morals and modi operandi, any observer could feel that when McCain was on the conservative stump, it wasn't his message. Sure, he's for the Iraq war and Reaganomics, but he does not hold these ideas as absolute truths and undebatable facts, unlike the hateful GWBush-Rove-Rumsfeld administration (the current administration is much more common sense, partly due to the quiet admission of its past failures, but also because of the influence of individuals like Condi Rice).

Both his independent nature and his deficiencies in public oratory have kept enthusiasm levels for his campaign low - compared to the rock star World Tour that is Barack Obama's campaign.

However, with Sarah Palin, McCain has made a choice as brilliant as that of Nerva (Roman emperor who was old, wise, and died quickly, but who did appoint Trajanus - the herald of Ancient Rome's Second Golden Age). As posted previously, she brings to the GOP what Obama brought to the Democrats: vigour and a clear message. And like I said about my comments on Obama, I immediately felt that Sarah Palin was an intriguing and impressive personality.

In the coming days, it was proven that Palin was the full conservative Monty, easily weathering personal attacks (because Democrats are bad at exploiting them) and on the stump on Obama's weaknesses.

However, Sarah Palin pure and simple is a character candidate. Like George w. Bush, her appeal simply comes from the fact that she's identifiable to the electorate she represents (Hockey Moms, Heartland USA), but not as much of the ideas she can bring to changing America for the better.

But again, this is why her choice was so brilliant. John McCain is now liberated from addressing the conservative morality issues and can reclaim his Maverick image. And Palin also brings Obama-levels of enthusiasm to the GOP base.

The big question is how independents will react. In a country and world on the brink of economic recession and unmendable environmental peril, who to choose? There have been signs that Palin is sweeping female voters, but honestly, I hope not.

Sen. Obama is the only candidate with such a clear, yet sufficiently worded and complex answer to the challenges the world faces. Although I respect John McCain very much (more for his years in Congress than for his veterancy), his values would take America to a lesser place than that what Obama would take it.

But this is not the time to sit back and bask in the media glory that is Sarah Palin. We need to appreciate her being as a strong vice presidential candidate and viciously stump Sen. Obama's message while taking apart the GOP's. The road has been long but hope for a better future for the entire world lies at arm's length. Hold the course, react accordingly to current events, and never forget why you've supported Barack Obama in the first place.

It's for the end of politics as it has been played forever. It's for a belief in shared responsibility as opposed to suburban individualism. It's for the ideal that if one tried, one should make it, in dignity and respect. It's for a planet that needs to be saved and that has been ignored a shamingly amount of time. It's for you and me, who trod day by day, just hoping for some common sense and goodwill in America's leaders.

Elect Barack Obama. The time is now.

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