Sunday, August 17, 2008

I was tempted not to watch the political forum sponsored by the Saddleback Church and its pastor Rick Warren last night, suspecting that most in the audience were conservative Republicans and that audience reaction would be heavily weighted in McCain's favor. The moderator claimed to want a civil discourse, however, and promised there would be no "gotcha" questions, so I tuned in.

Obama's answers were thoughtful, articulate, and substantive. McCain's answers were more simple, black and white, pandering even, at times, to his base with key phrases and talking points. That he didn't stop to think about any of them before answering reminded me too much of "shoot-from-the hip Bush," (even though he clearly slammed Bush on some of his policies and actions) and I couldn't help but wonder if he got the questions in advance, contrary to the claims of the moderator. His quick, slick answers were atypical of the stumbling and stuttering we've seen him do so frequently in similar informal settings. They were too quick and too slick, but the cheering crowd loved him. Whereas the response to Obama was warm and polite, except when he defined marriage as between one woman and one man - that went over really well with this crowd, the majority clearly heard what they wanted to hear from McCain, and rewarded him enthusiastically.

What bothers me beyond the implications of last night's forum is the number of voters in this nation who prefer black and white thinking and simple answers to everything. Doesn't our staggering national debt, our dependency on foreign oil, our war in the Middle East, our failing infrastructure, etc. indicate a need for leaders who are courageous enough to admit we're all going to have to sacrifice to solve these problems, or else we'll be turning over to future generations a world in much worse shape than our parents and grandparents left for us?

Wake up, My Friends! Obama has the best plan for getting us, ALL OF US, out of the hole we're in. McCain will just dig the hole deeper.

1 comment:

C J Garrett said...

comment from a friend:

Read your blog this morning and I have thoughts similar to yours regarding American voters. I thought the forum showed a clear difference between a thoughtful, reflective person who looks at all sides, angles, and implications and one who seems to see things in terms of black or white. Like you, I fear that many Americans want simple answers to complex problems. And if that is what they want, John McCain may be their man.