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Christopher Wilde
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Friday, June 6, 2008

McCain or Obama?

by Christopher Wilde

Up to and until Obama cinched the nomination I held that either Obama or McCain would be good Presidents. To the extent that nothing horrible is likely to befall the nation under either man I still hold that both could sufficiently lead the nation, though in different directions. Those directions are important but I’m not gauging them against what they could accomplish rather than exonerating them from the likely harm they would cause. As both men are progressives among their parties they will endeavor to make some positive changes for the nation. My opinion of McCain started to turn south on Tuesday when he established the tenor of his Presidential campaign.

McCain proposed that the upcoming election is about one thing more than any other. His speech Tuesday night started an argument to divide the nation.

He said, “I have a few years on my opponent, so I am surprised that a young man has bought in to so many failed ideas.”

That’s right your vote in this Presidential election is about his generation versus my generation Baby Boomers versus Generation X, Y, and whatever the latest title is for those just now gaining the vote. McCain’s generation has had it’s time to lead and it’s important to recognize that it is not his generation that has propelled a black man into the Presidential election. It’s mine.

When it comes to the issues and causes these men take up in office there is a low level of risk for voting for either man. For McCain’s sake I believe that he will bring a level of competence to the war that we have not seen. I foresee him establishing a level of peace and workability in Iraq that will allow him to withdraw troops with a kind of victory. He is also likely to deploy Special Forces and bring back Osama Bin Laden with out hesitation.

Obama, for his part will also withdraw troops and I trust his judgment to do so under a time table that will most likely exceed his hopes at this time, but will never-the-less put the right pressure on the Iraq government to get it together.

Obama will work to give us a Health Care system that is badly needed and McCain will work to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington. Both are sorely needed and one is not likely to be more successful than the other.

By continuing the generational argument McCain is guaranteeing to lose my potential vote. This may seem trivial point to turn on but what struck me when he made the argument was how it was fundamentally the same argument Hillary had been making. Hillary promoted her experience over Obama’s change, tried to claim her time in the White House and her association with Bill Clinton made her the better candidate, and like McCain acted as if the office was owed her. Yet in all their time in office and all their promises neither has been able to bring about the kind of coalition to make those changes.

John McCain and Hillary Clinton are, in a way, outsiders of their own party. Neither individual has been able to make the changes they’ve wanted within government and believe that this is possible by holding the top office of the land. However in both of them there exists a beleaguered arrogance that suggests they want the office for the sake of their ego’s and not the good that they could perform. That is the curse of their generation.

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