Friday, September 26, 2008
I just watched the first debate between Barack Obama and John MCain. Clearly, I had a bias going in but, since this is my blog and the election is very personal for me this year (see embryonic stem cell research posts below), I will tell you why I think Obama "won" the debate. (If you have a different opinion, you can comment here or feel free to start your own blog. They're free, you know.)
Barack Obama did a fabulous job presenting his strength as a bridge builder. He is someone who will talk and listen to people (and nations) with different beliefs and perspectives, not just people who are already like-minded allies of the US. He clearly sees the US President as an important role model, peaceful coalition builder, and leader in world politics. His opponent, however, seems to think that the President should be the chief evangelist on a mission to spread American democracy, capitalism, and exploitation of all the earth's resources.
To me, Obama came across as smart, thoughtful, personable, innovative, and calm in the face of adversity, even after McCain insulted him several times via comments to Jim Lehrer. McCain never full embraced the freer style of this debate which allowed him the opportunity to address Obama directly. McCain actually never made eye contact with Obama. Weird.
I've decided to draft a post-debate letter to Senator McCain:
I saw your debate with Barack Obama tonight. You know--the one you were going to cancel while you played party politics in Washington? I guess it's been a pretty shitty week for you. First you said that the US economy was fundamentally sound, then there was a major crash on Wall Street. Then, although you suspended your campaign to rush to the nation's capital to finalize a bailout plan, you actually helped obstruct the plan and ended up showing up at the debate anyway. Bummer.
Thank you very much for your many, many, many years of service. I would like to suggest that, instead of spending your final years in the Oval Office where you'll make the rest of the world hate us even more and put more soldiers into harm's way, and invalidate as many constitutional rights as possible, that you instead focus on getting help for the post traumatic stress syndrome that I imagine you are suffering from the torture you endured as a POW. If you love soldiers so much, become a peer counselor. A bracelet and a story of a dead soldier's grieving mother is talking the talk. Trying to bring peace is walking the walk.
I don't really care what your opinion is on abortion. When you grow a uterus, you will have a right to have and express your opinion about reproductive choice. Until then, no one cares what you think. Just keep your hands and laws out of my womb.
Regarding embryonic stem cell research, all I can say is WTF? Neurologists are currently proving that the embryos that would otherwise be thrown in the trash, hold the hope of a cure for MS and other diseases. Why do you reject this exciting scientific discovery? Do you think infertile couples that don't use all the embryos they create, should simply discard them? What about the legal right to abortion and the embryos that are trashed after a pregnancy is terminated? If you believe that embryos are a precious life to be protected, how do you justify putting them in the garbage rather than using them to improve the life of a living, breathing, viable human being?
And, let's talk about the environmental ramifications of your energy plan. You say "exploit our national resources," but what you really mean is drill, pillage, kill polar bears, and generally desecrate the planet. Have you heard of something called wind power? And did you know that, in other countries, there are plug-in electric cars and not just hybrids that still bring in bucks for the auto and oil industries.
Thanks, too, for sending health care back to a bad, bad place of deregulation where poor people may die if they can't afford adequate care. You want to reorganize health care so people purchase their plans across state lines, but what happens to the people who don't have as much to spend? Their insurance premiums skyrocket (if they are lucky enough to have insurance) and they only seek medical attention in an emergency when the problems are more life altering with bills to match.
I'll close this letter with one of the nation's most pressing and timely topics: economics and the crisis in the financial, credit, and housing industries. Screw the people who have lost their retirement funds; jobs, savings, homes--let's pay the CEOs on Wall Street billions more to "fix" what they broke. Seriously, John?
I want the United States to be peaceful and prosperous. I want my country to be a world leader and a friend to other nations. I want all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability status, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or bank account to have the rights that are afforded us in the US Constitution,
Thanks anway, John. I'm still voting for Obama.
Love and Kisses,
A Proud Registered Voter
Posted by Julie M. Baker at 11:24 PM