Skip to content

Let’s Contrast & Compare, Shall We?

September 4, 2008

From Senator Joe Biden’s V.P. acceptance speech:

John McCain is my friend. We’ve known each other for three decades. We’ve traveled the world together. It’s a friendship that goes beyond politics. And the personal courage and heroism John demonstrated still amaze me.

But I profoundly disagree with the direction that John wants to take the country.

From Senator Barack Obama’s acceptance speech:

Now, I don’t believe that Sen. McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn’t know.

It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care. It’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.

But what I will not do is suggest that [Senator McCain] takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.

From Governor Sarah Palin’s V.P. acceptance speech:

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening.

My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of “personal discovery.” This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn’t just need an organizer.

Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems — as if we all didn’t know that already.

We’ve all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers.

Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America … he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights?

Now who’s bitter?

From Senator Barack Obama’s acceptance speech:

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that’s to be expected. Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what — it’s worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn’t work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it’s best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

Bingo: That’s the Republican strategy right there, as exemplified by Palin’s smug, sarcastic, and mean-spirited speech last night. The Republicans have one worn-out playbook, and they won’t put it down. Let’s hope that enough of the country has gotten wise to their game over the past four years that we don’t allow this cynical strategy to work yet again.

Here are another few lines from Obama, to close out this post:

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.

There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?

That’s from the Democratic National Convention—in 2004. He’s been saying this all along, and he’s calling us to something better, something higher. He is saying (and has said), “America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.”

Are we? Do you want to find out? If so, maybe go here to donate $10 or $25 (or more if you’ve got it) to this inspiring, historic campaign.

I’ll close with a story. Back in early 2003, in the run-up to the Iraq War, a big protest was held in Manhattan. I debated whether or not to go. At this point, most people believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, as our government told us they did—and, if they did, well, I wasn’t sure what needed to be done. I had bought some of the lies. But I was thinking about it and I was also wondering, What does it matter if I attend the protest? It won’t change anything.

In the end, I went. I talked to my dad and decided that, whether or not we went to war, whether or not Iraq had WMDs, and whether or not the protest changed anything, that I wanted to be on the right side of history. Five years later, I feel I was on the right side of history, and I’m glad I decided to go into the city that day, to stand and march with hundreds of thousands of others—because “they” really, finally, completely win only when no one shows up to say “no.”

So, in this election, which side of history do you want to be on?

Advertisements
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jake Freedom permalink
    September 4, 2008 5:56 pm

    Good call dude, last night’s speeches (from Rudy and Palin) were just bullshit “frat boy and sorority chick” pep rally stupidity. If you were to edit the audio and replace the word “McCain” with the word “Razorbacks” and the word “Obama” with the word “Ole Miss”, it would have been a lot more appropriate.

    The “Grand Old Party” doesn’t seems to act like much more than that (at least not in this race).

    Also, I watched the Obama/McCain interview forum with Pastor Rick Warren last night and saw a lot more real human feelings and thoughts out of Obama than McCain, and it was refreshing.

    Unfortunately, we may not live in a world that cares about anyone else. We may very well live in a world that is only looking out for Number One.

    I guess we’ll see.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    September 4, 2008 7:31 pm

    i missed palin’s speech last night cause i was watching a special episode of saturday night live. i think it was elaine from seinfeld who was the star, or it might’ve been reese witherspoon, doing a pretty good imitation of her over the top overachieving beeatch of a character in election. man, that was some funny shyte last night. you should’ve seen it. amazing skit: a whole fourth grade level acceptance speech for some governmental office where this whacked out and glassy eyed studio audience was yelling “drill baby drill.” i mean, it was too much! i was rolling. i think they’re doing a rerun tonight so forget the elephant speeches and check it out, man.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    September 5, 2008 7:10 pm

    That’s what they all do man…they BOTH sick the VP nom’s on the other party’s candidate. I think it’s ALL pretty much politics as usual. Yick. Can Nov. 4 come any sooner?

  4. Milton permalink
    September 8, 2008 9:11 pm

    Hunter, it sounds like there is one mean temper behind all those well-written words! This is something I never knew about you (OR Jacob for that matter). Lordy be! I would hate to ever be on your bad side.

    I have to also say while I’m here, that I wonder why you have facebook because to be honest, you seem a little too cool for it (no offense). Come on…prove me wrong. Show me that the tundra, your travels and NYC haven’t hardened you to be a little bit on the mean side.

    P.S. Above all said with tone and jest of Southern tongue. Just in case you’d forgotten… 😉 Also, I hope you’re very well old friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: