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The Right View

By Doug Taylor · October 22nd, 2008 · Living Out Loud
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America has a monumental decision coming up Nov. 4. Do we elect as our president — the theoretical leader of the free world and the individual who we expect to lead us to the Promised Land — an old guy who’s been in public/political life for more than 25 years and believes in following his own agenda or a golden-tongued relative newcomer who promises overwhelming change?

My take is that as a country we’re fed up with the status quo. We’re fed up with being promised a chicken in every pot and getting instead roadkill with a hint of garlic.

Politicians, by definition, lie. They tell us what we want to hear, make promises they can’t possibly keep and do their best to lure us into their lair.

Unfortunately, Democrats and Republicans aren’t remarkably different from each other. That leaves the electorate in a pickle. Whose lies do we believe most? In whom do we put our faith?

I can be somewhat of a cynical and sarcastic bastard — or so I’m told. I don’t mind being lied to as long as the person perpetuating the lie doesn’t think I’m so stupid that I actually believe him or her.

I think Democrats believe more of their lies to be truths and also think we the people are stupid enough to believe them. I resent that.

Republicans, on the other hand, don’t necessary lie less, but more of their lies fall within the boundaries of possibility.

With Republicans, I believe they think I’m not going to look to “Big Brother” to solve every ill I have. I believe that Republicans give me a little credit for having at least half a brain that will tell me to come in out of the rain or wear layers of clothes in the cold.

Democrats are like TV weather babes and boys: “Rain is a possibility today, take an umbrella and, if your hair gets wet, open the umbrella to its full operational position.”

Republicans are like a Viagra commercial: “If you need some assistance, use us. But if the assistance lasts more than four hours, don’t brag, go to the hospital, pay the emergency room fees and smile.”

This brings me back to this election: the old and stoic Republican John McCain or the young and glitzy Democrat Barack Obama.

I admire Obama. He can talk the stripes off of a zebra. He’s intelligent, articulate and believable. He’s also inexperienced, noncommittal and without much depth or substance.

Obama talks a great talk, but he hasn’t walked enough to actually put into place even a miniscule amount of what he purports. I believe if he takes the time to actually be an elected representative rather than a perpetual candidate he’ll be a viable candidate for higher office in four or eight years.

McCain, I respect. He comes from a military family that’s made public service a legacy. He was educated at the Naval Academy, was not a stellar student but made it through a regimen that few can do.

McCain understands chain of command and knows that he’s only as good as those with whom he surrounds himself. His second career, after the military, has been as a member of congress. That in itself isn’t necessarily positive, but during his two serious attempts to gain the Republican endorsement for president he’s fallen in and out of favor with the Grand Old Party. Perhaps that might be a sign of a bad politician, but maybe it’s the measure of a man who stays true to his convictions.

Experience is the key to me. Call it life experiences. McCain has been around the block, rode hard and put away wet. Obama still has training wheels on his Secret Service guarded tricycle.

Experience is the key to me. Call it life experiences. John McCain has been around the block, rode hard and put away wet. Barack Obama still has training wheels on his Secret Service guarded tricycle.

I’m willing to vote for Obama, but not until I believe he can navigate his own way and not the path of least resistance. This is not his year.

I was in Rabbit Hash, Ky., recently for the election of the mayor. The previous mayor died, and so there had to be a new election since mayors there are elected for life.

The campaign slogan for one of the candidates was “Vote for change.” I’m not ready for change in Rabbit Hash; things are going pretty good now.

The mayor has always been a dog of the four-legged variety. One of the candidates was a three-legged dog, for whom I voted.

The candidate for change was a feline. This cat had no experience, no qualifications and no pedigree. The only reason to vote for the cat was to vote against the old three-legged dog.

Some of my acquaintances voted for the cat because they didn’t understand the ramifications of their misguided judgment. They have to live with the fallacy of their ways, but so do I unfortunately, as the cat prevailed.

The old dog was the better choice in Rabbit Hash, and he will be for the United States of America as well. Still, vote for whomever you choose — it’s the right thing to do, even if you do it wrong.

DOUG TAYLOR is the former editor of The Downtowner newspaper. Contact him at letters@citybeat.com



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