Many of us have developed a newfound interest in the world of politics these days. It is a wonderful thing and certainly about time we become engaged. But as a fellow newbie to the political world, inspired mainly by my two young children whose future is on the line, I have learned that you need three very important things to survive this process: thick skin, the courage of your convictions, and a lie detector.
I have spent a great deal of time obsessing over this presidential election. It is truly a test of one’s patience to whole heartedly believe in what we know is right and good, and to see it attacked day after day in a blatantly deceitful manner. It is not just unfair and insulting, but it is dumbing us down as a society. Over the last few days, I had to listen to the McCain campaign attempt to label Obama as a sexist because he used the admittedly ridiculous saying about “lipstick on a pig”. They spent the whole day making this an issue, and by dinner time, every political pundit (outside of FOX news) was airing clips of John McCain using this same silly expression over and over again and citing the book with this same title, written by one of HIS campaign advisors. I imagine they were a bit ashamed of themselves at the end of the day, but they will never admit it and will instead relish in the idea that this shamefully hypocritical tactic may have even won over a few ignorant voters.
I teach my children to always tell the truth, and then I watch expensive false political ads on television, with the stamp of approval at the end from the PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (not yelling, just emphasizing) whose unapologetic intention is to lie in our faces in a desperate effort to trick us into trusting them with the future of our country. And worst of all, it has proven successful. The latest bold face lies have suggested that Barak Obama voted for sex education for first graders, and that he is a “baby killer” who voted against a bill designed to help babies that survive partial birth abortions. The “sex education” as the Republicans craftily tag it, was actually funding for programs designed to teach these young children about pedophiles; the “don’t talk to strangers” type stuff that I for one have been drilling into my four year olds’ head ever since I realized she could understand what I was saying to her. I certainly hope her early education will include reinforcement of this crucial, life saving lesson. It is a huge and obvious difference that these people hope we can’t decipher.
Obama’s argument against the bill designed to protect babies who survive partial birth abortions was that the wording in the bill did not protect a woman’s right to choose, and that if passed, it could open the way to reverse roe v. wade. Maybe he is wrong, certainly he is justifiably paranoid. It is no secret that the Republicans want to reverse this historical ruling that brought a huge blow to its party’s ego. And despite his “lack of experience” he is wise enough to be cautious of the fine print on such a crucial issue. I agree that these babies should be protected. But I too would be very leery and infinitely cautions of any bill regarding abortion and the Republican agenda. They have only themselves to blame for this paranoia via their record of agenda pushing deceit. Last night, Obama was asked why he suggested that he might have felt more inspired to join the military when he was younger if there were a war going on. He answered (without script) that he believes it is only natural, during war time, to look at the people who are asked to risk there lives for the sake of this country, and ask yourself “why them and not me.” This was an honest answer and certainly not the response of a cold hearted “baby killer”.
I also trust that Obama, being the open-minded man that he is, would reconsider this bill if given the opportunity to fine tune it, ensuring the protection of a woman’s right to choose. And he will then be tagged a “flip-flopper”. Fortunately, this name calling has not stopped him from using logic and reason in the past. If only the “baby killer” Republicans who send our 18 year old CHILDREN off to die in a careless war were so willing to learn from their mistakes.
Barak Obama is not perfect, but he is good. And it is a sad state of affairs when his party fears for its chances of winning this election because they cannot convince him to be vicious enough towards his opponents and engage in “politics as usual”.