Progressive Revival

I know he can’t do it, but I wish he would.  Just once.  Wouldn’t it be nice if Senator Obama responded sharply to Senator McCain’s efforts to paint him as inexperience – as the naïve young man who dared to run for the presidency?  Last night I was initially annoyed and then angered by Senator McCain’s repeated use of the phrase, “You don’t understand.” It was condescending. And, more importantly, a mask for a hawkish foreign policy that eerily resembles George W. Bush’s first few years in the white house. Neocon nonsense! McCain’s use of the phrase rarely, if ever, reflected a moment of genuine naivety on Obama’s part; instead, the phrase worked to shut down conversation. It seems that if you substantively disagree with Senator McCain on foreign policy than you are naïve or you lack adequate understanding.  I suppose he has ALL of the right answers to the problems of the world.  No debate is needed. No substantive conversation required. All of this sounds too familiar.

 I anxiously waited for Senator Obama to respond directly to McCain’s assertion that he didn’t understand. He could have said more forcefully that what McCain doesn’t understand is that policies like his have fundamentally lead to a decline in our standing in the world.  He could have asked, after repeated mischaracterizations of his positions, when did McCain become afraid of the truth? He could have even said, in moments of obvious contradiction, that McCain simply has lost his way.  But I know this is not the temperament of Senator Obama or it can not be his temperament.  He has to be calm. He can not show any sign of annoyance or arrogance.  He simply has to take the nonsense and respond with a smile.

But can we not serve as proxies for Senator Obama?   Can’t we get angry at an economic and foreign policy that threatens our children’s future? Can’t we dismiss as nonsense the claim that experience in the wrong way of doing things constitutes the only experience needed to change the direction of our nation?  Can’t we call out McCain for playing fast and loose with the truth, because we know that truth crushed to earth shall rise again?   What Senator McCain does not understand is that we have grown weary of the kind of politics and policies evidenced last night.  And if Senator Obama can not make that point forcefully, we need to state it loudly and clearly come election day!

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