Friday, October 31, 2008

Campaign 2008 - May the Last Person Standing Win

As the campaign winds down and America is finally close to being free of political advertising I hope you have enjoyed the efforts of the Coltons Point Times to keep you up to date with the many aspects of the campaign that are not in the papers. After being involved in 32 campaigns over the years at various local, state and national levels I can say this one stands alone.

For those addicted to poll watching just remember that the media is famous for blowing it with the polls from the 2000 Gore win to the 2004 Kerry win along with disastrous exit polls both years, so don't take them too seriously. If Obama wins there will be support for the notion that major campaigns can be bought regardless of the merits of the campaign and I hope Congress will adopt campaign reform finally that eliminates once and for all the chance that America is for sale.

I was saddened to see that fear and hatred became much more dominant than previous campaigns and that is unfortunate for our future. Both sides were generous in their efforts to smear, unfairly characterize and trash their opponent and both took great liberties with the truth. Some can be blamed on over-zealous staff and some on idiotic supporters and a lot can be blamed on a media that seemed to have lost its sense of purpose and decided reporting the truth is no longer required of such an honorable profession.

If you followed my articles throughout the campaign you will note I was hard on both candidates at varying times and tried to remain somewhat balanced. I never took sides nor endorsed anyone but I did take exception when I felt the media did not give the candidates the respect they deserved for having the guts and commitment to sacrifice in running for office. Like them or not we all should appreciate what they did and give credit where credit is due.

As for the results, I said way back on March 5 that Obama would win and I spelled out the reasons. That was when he still trailed Hillary Clinton in the primaries. That was also before the oil price crisis, the home mortgage disaster, the economic collapse, and the fact Obama would raise three times as much money as McCain. By all rights Obama should be 15-20% ahead in the polls by now but he failed to break through the 50% barrier like he should have done. I expect his final result to be closer to 54-46% which represents a heroic effort by McCain and Palin.

I could be wrong, the McCain Palin ticket may do better in spite of the avalanche of Obama money that was thrown into the campaign. Still the sitting president and his lackadaisical approach to the economy, war and foreign relations made it almost impossible for any Republican to win. You might say McCain was bushwhacked along the way.

Of course the winner may very well be the loser in the end as I have written many articles detailing how I believe we are only in the beginning of the recession and there are forces at work to destroy our economy. It is entirely possible the new president will be like Jimmy Carter and be totally unable to steer the ship of state through the perilous times ahead.

Compounding the problem for Obama will be the demands from his various constituencies who will all claim credit for getting him elected and demand his time and attention to their needs first. His loyalties will be stretched thin between the unions and Goldman Sachs on Wall Street, between the Buffets and the uninsured Americans, between the Hollywood celebrities and the silent majority that will elect him.

Beyond that there is the far greater threat to his success which is the very result he worked to achieve, a solid Democratic control of the House and Senate, meaning a super majority that will deny the minority party any chance of influencing power. People will read an Obama victory as an overwhelming rejection of McCain when in truth it will mean a very slight win in terms of the American people.

Change we want, but returning the vast majority of Congressional incumbents to office will make it impossible for Obama to bring about much change when the very people who got us into this mess are still here. Bush may be gone, but he never had a veto proof majority in Congress which means the democrats, when they were a minority and majority power, still share the blame for everything that happened. By 2010 Obama will have to run against his own Congress to have any chance of bringing about all the changes he wants.

Regardless of who wins, all Americans owe their support to the new president and the efforts he will have to make to restore our world image, manage our battered economy and heal our many wounds from a government that lost sight of the very people it was meant to serve. That is the American way. We can disagree amongst ourselves but we must stand united in order to face the challenges that will try and prevent us from being the most powerful yet generous and compassionate people on earth.

For those of you who don't think Coltons Point gets much notice in the world you should know that we have about 370 residents of the Point but the readership of the Coltons Point Times has now passed 18,500. If only the new president would read the CPT he would have a much easier time solving our nation's problems.

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