Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama--Peacemaker or Partisan?

From what I've heard of Sen. Obama's speeches, I like the view he proposes of accepting and working with people of different beliefs and not throwing anyone under the bus--even when they say things that are offensive to others. There should be a slim line of rhetoric that is off the charts--real hate speech like that of Stalin, Hitler or Ahmadinejad.

The troubling thing is that Obama's past political life doesn't demonstrate that he really is accepting of others and willing to work with those he disagrees with.

What in his four years in the U.S. Senate has shown a difference between the way he acts and the way other senators have acted? What has he done to bring the two parties and the nation together? His voting record has been partisan. Is there a single time when he voted with the majority of the opposing party against his own party? Can't remember it.

The only major candidate left standing who has actually worked with those of the other party and different political views is Sen. McCain. There is McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy (which Sen. McCain has paid a political price for), but where is the Obama-(any Republican name) bill? Has he ever paid a price for working with Republicans when the majority of his own party was against a measure?

It's long past time for a change. The baby boomers brought political hatred into the arena with the student protests and riots of the late 1960's and early 1970's. That hatred continued to ramp up. I remember one otherwise reasonable young woman saying she was glad Pres. Reagan had been shot. The politics of hate had seeped deep down.

Can the younger generation turn that around? Can Barack Obama turn it around? Will he really try?

Long ago I initially supported a young changemaker who promised a different sort of politics. He turned out to be the worst president in the last 50 years. The nation was left a mess. There was double digit inflation, the highest interest rates under any US president, high unemployment, oil shortages and the only time I remember in my lifetime when U.S. gas stations had signs out that they had no gas. You had to wait in long lines at gas stations and hope there was still gas by the time you got to the pump. President Jimmy Carter was partisan and self-important. He still is critical of anyone who doesn't bow to his viewpoint--even huffing about President Clinton not allowing him to be more active in foreign policy during the Clinton administration.

One hopes whoever the new president is, he or she will actually follow a new politics mold that brings something better instead of leaving something worse.

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