Decision 2008

So who “won” the debate? Although I don’t want this to become anything close to a politics-only blog, this is a significant moment. Are there even winners in these events? If so, what do you look for … how a candidate makes you feel, how he or she responds to certain hot-button issues?

Because of my schedule and the inability to TiVo the event, I was only able to see the last half of this third and final debate. From what I saw, Obama was able to come across as much more in command of his platform and policies–which means, frankly, only that he does well in this particular forum. McCain on the other hand came off as defensive and somewhat agitated. Again, what does this mean? Maybe nothing. But this is only based on what I was able to watch.

If you watched any of the analysis afterwards it seemed like the consensus was that McCain scored more points while Obama played it cool–even “presidential” (with a nod to all the liberal media out there). Even so, McCain has been given the status of “winner” both in the post-debate analysis as well as the Thursday morning papers. Though most seemed to be in agreement here, the question then became, “But is it enough?”

Most interesting to me, however, and most notable to me was the Democrat post-debate posture. I felt like it was very arrogant–especially given that they have won only 3 elections since 1964. It’s real easy to sit back and take shots at the current administration without acknowledging the extreme adversity that President Bush et al has had to manage. Sure, we can talk about change. Every candidate seeking an office at this level talks about change. It’s not a new tactic. But the collective lack of humility that I see from the heart of the Democrats has begun to grate on me.

The Democrats’ lack of success in presidential elections over the last three decades is indicative of their inability to strike a chord with Americans. Like so many, my family and I have certainly absorbed the blows of reality over the past few years. But this is not a time for being pollyanna. This is not a time for fairy tales. Yet this is exactly the tone I detect in the Obama rhetoric even though I tend to agree with him on several points. So here’s the deal. For various reasons I would like to vote for the Democratic ticket. Yet I still struggle with their apparent stubbornness to be sincere in pursuing my vote. I am really bothered by what I see as a lack of humility. I remain unsure about whether I can really trust Barack Obama. And finally, it still seems like the Dems are looking for bigger government–which is downright antithetical to how this nation was created. And even though I believe we need a breath of fresh air as a nation–in fact, very much; John McCain still best represents my values and ideologies.

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