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As Long as We Remember...

October 23, 2008

Down The Trodden Path

Chris Cavey

Election Day is two days short of two week away and the candidates are coming down the home stretch of the oddest presidential race in history. Do the two presidential candidates drive these oddities, or does the current situation of our economy?


One year ago no one would have predicted the presidential nominees to be Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Sen. Barack Obama (IL). The odds makers would have been given the best chances to a Romney/Clinton November ’08 match-up.


The Democrats and the press basically had Hillary Clinton inaugurated and the Republicans were holding debates, at the time, with a “cast of thousands,” all trying to be the “most like Ronald Reagan,” and all purporting they could beat Hillary.


Fast forward to today. We have had three lack-luster presidential debates where each side has claimed victory, but neither candidate has really hit a three-run homerun in the ninth inning. The best rating for all debates was the vice-presidential debate where everyone tuned in to watch Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska – out of curiosity.


Today we have lesbian feminists as speakers at McCain/Palin rallies. We have union Democrats putting McCain signs in their yards on the eastside of Baltimore; and people who have never helped a Republican before working phone banks.


The Democrat side is the entirely the anti-war crowd, screaming liberals, Bush-haters and the entire African-American community. It is the same crowd being lead by the media as before. So, why is this such a close race?


The race is close because of the confusion and lack of believable direction Middle America is witnessing from political parties and their candidates.


Issues are complex and made overly complicated in our overtly partisan system of government. Little is straightforward or easy to digest by “Joe the Plumber.” An economic bill might be wonderful until it is filled with partisan earmarks, then half of our Congress votes against it – for the wrong reason.


Few cast votes that cross party lines. Senator McCain has done this many times and – because of that fact – there is some lack luster effort for his candidacy on the part of some of his colleagues and members of his party. Washington does need change.


The average voting family in America has a low opinion of all things political in Washington; just look at the ratings for President George W. Bush and for the Congress. There is no trust with the economy tanking. Skepticism in government is rising proportionally to the market fallings.


If the American people were hiring a CEO, they would look to experienced leadership and check résumés; they wouldn’t gamble their economic future on a rookie. But in the chaos of wanting change and the pain of a falling economy, confusion reigns.


Change will come to all of us. We will have a new President of the United States in January. The question is who will that president be?


Will the voters go blindly for the smooth talking senator from Illinois, and give his party total control of both the legislative and executive branches of government? Or will they seek balance in the two branches of government and go for a more experienced hand on the tiller to mend our economy?


My hope is for the latter. Marylander’s especially should know from experience that power corrupts and the power given to single party politics corrupts absolutely.


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