Talk about controversial issues… Obama’s race and McCain’s age certainly are two. So, personally, I think the official moratorium on these topics should be lifted.
I think the two major party nominees apparent have been pretty good about steering clear of these topics. Don’t you agree? Except for Senator Obama’s major speech on race issues in America during the Democratic primary and vague references to race in speeches he made last month, i.e., not being from central casting or looking like all those Presidents on U.S. paper currency, I can’t recall either candidate violating their campaign pledges to avoid these topics. Of course, McCain’s campaign was quick to claim that Obama’s central casting/paper money comments was playing the so-called race card. But recall that McCain has responded to the age issue in the past, saying that he would only seek to serve one term because of it, claiming to be physically fit and mentally alert, promising to work hard. Tit for tat, I’d say.
Although Obama and McCain have both been playing pretty fair, at least in my opinion, it cannot be denied that supporters of both candidates, as well as the media, are not. Why, just last night I got another forwarded political email claiming, tongue-in-cheek, that Senator McCain’s age (71 by the time that he would be sworn-in as our forty-fourth president) is actually an advantage to American taxpayers. The argument goes like this: A president’s pension currently is $191,300 per year. Assuming the next president lives to age 80. Senator McCain would receive no pension if he were to serve two terms since he would reach 80 shortly after the end of his second term. Senator Obama, who would take office as our youngest president ever, would be retired for 26 years after two terms and so would receive $4,973,800 in pension money from taxpayers.
So, a vote for John McCain is a vote for reducing the cost of government… POE-LEEEZ! This makes about as much sense as McCain’s claim that he can balance the budget just by eliminating earmarks and other “wasteful” government spending. The Washington Post had a good article on this last month. $5M wouldn’t pay for 30 minutes of our current presence in Iraq.
About Senator Obama being African American — we can all fathom that this is why the polls still show the candidates in a statistical dead-heat even with over eighty percent of Americans saying that they think the nation is on the wrong track, socially, economically, militarily and diplomatically, and even with John McCain offering very little apparent change. Obama’s rallies and town hall meetings draw tens of thousands and McCain’s draw at best a few hundred. Why, McCain even has to schedule speeches at events where large numbers are already planning to gather such as this week’s gathering of Harley-Davison bikers in Sturgis, SD. Enthusiasm for Obama is high among likely voters, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey, and low among McCain’s supporters. Notwithstanding, CNN’s poll of polls shows Obama ahead by only a five percentage points. Why? Give a listen to what Richard Trumka, Secretary/Treasurer of the AFL-CIO has to say about this.
Given that they are serious issues people care about — rightly or wrongly — and that they are likely to affect the outcome of the presidential election this year, I personally think the moratorium on addressing Obama’s ethnicity/race and McCain’s age should be lifted. Instead of talking about these issues in hushed tones, making jokes and cartoons about them and having them alluded to by the likes of Senator Clinton and the former President, they should be exposed to the light of day. Should it take playing the race card and the age card to win, so be it.
If America must be denied the brightest, most articulate states- man to come along in decades to serve as our next President simply because of his race, then I will truly be ashamed of my country.
I invite your comments whether supportive or un.