Wednesday, October 22, 2008


(Note: This is not a political site. When there's political commentary herein it's invariably from the perspective of marketing because politics, in a sense, can be defined as the marketing of statesmanship and ideas.

A couple of months ago, the West Boca Forum, my local weekly "throw-on-your-lawn" paper ("shopper"), ran several guest political commentaries. After stewing a few weeks, I wrote my own.

As much as I enjoy arguing in print, I tried to be low-keyed, relatively formal and fact-based. Name-calling can be fun, but when the facts are so powerful and damning, why bother?

I sent it in and was told it was too long and had to be cut. I resubmitted it and then was told that they didn't want to run any commentaries for a few weeks. No problem! Last week, I was informed that it would run today.

I asked the editor to put the link to this site so that interested readers could see the longer version of this commentary, which follows. Your comments are welcome.)

In the upcoming election, it's important to focus on facts and issues rather than on personalities and images.

Unfortunately, McCain and the Republicans do not want American voters to do this. They think you're stupid and have a very short attention span and memory, hence the "lipstick on a pig" silliness and "hockey mom" nonsense.

It's worth remembering that Sen. McCain triumphed over a very weak field of rivals to win his part's nomination. When he did, there was disdain and revolt from the party's so-called conservative base. They were unenthusiastic until he chose former sportscaster and mayor Sarah Palin as his running mate. That's an important decision, given McCain's age and health. Was that the best choice he could have made? Does anyone believe that he couldn't have found a better running mate?

Despite her claims, Gov. Palin welcomed that famous "bridge to nowhere" until it was killed and then said she didn't want it in the first place. Now, she lies about that (among other things). Examining her qualifications (or lack of same) is another story for another time, but the information is readily available, if you care to look.

Let's review the larger issues of this election.

Do you favor continuation and extension of the disastrous Iraq War? McCain does, and has advocated similar attacks on other countries. Iran may pose a potential threat but should we start a war with them, given our depleted military resources and exhausted troops? If you think provoking and fighting another unnecessary and costly war is a good idea, vote for McCain.

The economy? We had a trillion-dollar surplus in the Federal budget before Bush took over. Our economy was expanding and new jobs were being created. Now, most people consider themselves lucky if they haven't been laid off. Gas prices have skyrocketed and food costs increase. We have inflation and are in a recession.

The ongoing failure of major financial institutions can be traced to their deregulation, spearheaded by former Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, McCain's main economic adviser. That's the same man who said people who complain about the current disastrous economy were "whiners." Would you like him in charge of the economy under McCain, who admits not knowing very much about the subject? If so, vote for McCain.

Republican tax cuts invariably favor corporations and the top 1% of wage earners. If you are wealthy, you will benefit, but if you're a wage earner with an annual income less than $250,000 you will not. How about tax cuts for the middle class? That's what Obama and Biden advocate. McCain is against them.

The next president will nominate several Supreme Court justices. Do you like Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts? Do you favor civil liberties, individual freedom and women's rights (including the right to choose — or not choose — to have an abortion)? The McCain-Palin Supreme Court will be far more restrictive and activist in stripping away constitutional protections and civil liberties.

Do you fear global warming, favor stem cell research and an open discussion of scientific issues? The Republicans oppose these things and are in strong favor of the destruction ("privatization") of social security by handing the accounts over to Wall Street.

Health care? McCain's plan to treat employee health insurance benefits as taxable income is a giant, radical step in the wrong direction.

Barack Obama may not walk on water or be perfect. But how will Sen. McCain, who voted with Pres. Bush 90% of the time, change the country in a positive way? His candidacy represents a continuation of the present government, not a change.

Is McCain a "maverick"? Well, in addition to his voting record, his campaign is riddled with — and run by — corporate lobbyists and special interests.

"Straight talk"? Even Karl Rove declared that McCain's campaign rhetoric has gone "too far" and surprisingly, many conservative columnists agree. Yet the attacks and name-calling continue.

Values are important in this campaign — but real values, not just saying one thing and doing something else. How McCain's first marriage ended is a good indicator of his values, as is Gov. Palin's success as a parent. Do a little research if you're interested in the particulars. Feel free to compare those "values" with Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden, and their families. Obama was raised by a single mother and his grandparents, put himself through college (with scholarships and grants) and became a U.S. Senator. Biden commuted to Delaware from Washington every day to raise his children after his wife was killed in an auto accident. Neither one is perfect, but action speaks louder than words.

The next election is a critical one. Can this country really afford more of the same — or worse?

Can you? Can your family?

If you're still confused and uncertain, think of it this way: if Al Gore had taken office in 2001 and the country was in its current state, would you vote for the candidate who's eager to continue those disastrous policies?

I hope not.

-Richard Pachter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good points. If the 2000 election hadn't been stolen and Gore was president and started a fake war like Bush, he would have been impeached. Or lynched.