Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A little voice of caution has entered my mind recently regarding Barack Obama, for whom I will vote on Tuesday. Deliberately failing to vote is unacceptable, and so I am interfaced with an electoral choice. (That of course is not the only choice we must make; whether we know it or not, we must choose whether or not to let other people dictate our diction. I would not use the word ``interface'' unless I was trying to have fun, which I was.)
Only individuals of great fortitude can't be corrupted by adulation. I'm not sure that Barack Obama is one of them. I've chosen him over John McCain, because McCain has left no doubt that he is a man of little principle. Time and time again during the campaign, McCain has misrepresented Obama's policy proposals; the idea is to employ the notion that if you repeat a lie often enough, people who first understood it to be a deception will begin to consider it to be the truth. This is his gambit to bring in the undecideds, the swing voters, whatever you want to call them.
The primary example is McCain's claim that Obama intends to ``spread the wealth.'' He lets Sarah Palin -- she has not repudiated the racism displayed at a rally she led this month -- label Obama, as a consequence, a socialist.
So, although there is a glow that surrounds Obama and that probably obscures our ability to get a clear vision of what President Obama's temperament and respect for accountability might be, we already know McCain's history of political inconsistency, his disregard for the truth, and his pugnaciousness. That's enough to drive me to Obama. Full disclosure requires me to say that I have never voted for a Republican -- I first voted for Kennedy over Carter in the 1980 primary -- I never considered voting for McCain, and have held Obama in high esteem. He is thoughtful and deliberative, and he seems to be a man of conviction.
McCain's tactic (did I get that right, John? Should I have called it a strategy instead?) to stigmatize Obama has worked on at least one individual, the obviously right-wing TV reporter who implied that Obama is a Marxist.
The Republicans have played up Obama's association with William Ayres, a former domestic terrorist who was a member of the Weather Underground. Then they hoped that repeating the loaded term ``spread the wealth,'' which Obama used with Joe the Plumber, would drop Obama. But after neither worked, they called him a socialist and now, as I said at least one TV reporter has implied that Obama is a Marxist. Yesterday, Fox News ran an investigation of Obama's affinity for Marxism and associations with Marxists. But Fox News never answered these questions: Even if Obama is a Marxist, so what? What would this mean, in concrete terms, for Obama's policy initiatives? What would be the consequences? And is a revision of the tax code necessarily Marxist? Could it be when accomplished by way of a democratic process? Does Fox News fear that Obama would have the audacity and employ the stupidity required to attempt to change the code by executive order?
Would Obama promulgate about covert acts of domestic violence?
And has it ever been a good idea to have such a percentage of wealth controlled by a small percentage of the citizenry? (I think I know how the powers that be at Fox might answer that one.)
The right would never have bothered to call Barack socialist or Marxist, never would we have been reminded of Bill Ayers, if the electoral polls had not consistently and heavily favored Obama. The Republicans don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. At this time I would not bet that Obama will be elected, but I would bet on him with less worry that I would lose my shirt than I would on John McCain.

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