For some time, it was been extremely necessary to have a discerning spirit when it comes to politics. Actually around 1800, the mud being thrown makes the 24/7 attacks on Presidents Bush and Clinton over the last 16 years and candidates Obama and McCain look a bit mild.
People believe that repeating things over and over again makes them true. People believe almost anything if they hear it often enough - they believe global warming and macro-evolution are incontrovertible facts but seldom ask why dissent is so aggressively sublimated. They are told that Christians are the most intolerant of all peoples, but nations with Christian majorities are consistently the most tolerant nations of all. They call it hateful to speak up against the practice of homosexuality, but the hatred of homosexuals toward Christians who stand on the Bible is very defining of what true hatred really is.
The extended battle between Hillary and Barack left John McCain largely untouched. I believe that Republicans who supported others are even more wary of John McCain than Hillarycrats are of Barack Obama. Here is a man who likes to say he crosses the aisle. The problem is, whenever he crosses it, he adopts the positions of those he partners with in some of the worst legislation imaginable. McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Leiberman.
Where is the McCain part of these bills? So are our worst fears realized because McCain actually has adopted the radical positions of his partners?
McCain has a storied POW story, but does he truly respect the fighting soldiers by wanting to bring enemy combatants onto US soil to enjoy the largesse of the US Court system for the first time in hisory? Yikes, Abraham Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus during our CIVIL war.
McCain wants to drill for oil here, which most Americans support as the most sensible thing to do - after all, even environmentally and politically-correct Norway is energy independent because of responsible off-shore drilling. We all are looking for new ways to reduce our need for oil, but fuel cell cars and other options are still a few years away for the masses. Responsible drilling in Anwar and the continental shelf will give us a generation to perfect what is now still not ready for prime time. Yet, McCain, without a shred of scientific acumen, throws his lot in with the deeply flawed Al Gore arguments for man-made global warming. All the bureaucratic mess that will result would offset the gains made with new drilling. It really IS possible to be consistent, John McCain. Please try sir.
McCain also wants the conservative Christian vote, but he sticks his finger in their eye whenever he gets close enough to any of them to entertain dialogue. He is unenthusiastic for moral causes even if he votes right much of the time on those issues. We aren't looking for a vote, we are looking for a leader who will passionately and enthusiastically batter the opposition through truth to gain support. I get the feeling there is little passion - this is the job he wants to retire with (not a bad pension plan so he doesn't have to beg Cindy for money).
We need discernment to look past the stuff.
For a while, people were repeating ad nauseum that Barack Obama was a Muslim. Then he started saying he had always been a Christian. Well, Barack did go to mosque for a while, but so what? Children usually go where directed. The only relevant question about that now would be whether he has sympathized or still does sympathize with radical Islamic elements. That question has yet to be fully answered because of his obvious and extended tardiness in disassociating himself from those parroting Islamic mantras and his own contradictory statements in talking about Israel and the middle east. Which is right - the books or the campaign speeches? And the campaign speech designed for Jews or the campaign speech designed for those who want the United States to lose in Iraq and lose whatever prestige it has left in the middle east?
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, much pillaried for his conservative viewpoints not shared (at least publicly) by most blacks, went to Yale because of affirmative action and was a Black Panthers organizer. Many of yesterday's radicals are conservatives today. Some say sarcastically that a conservative is a liberal who was just mugged. We cannot look to a person's past as a sole qualifier - or disqualifier. John McCain's experience as a POW is yesterday's news. What he is saying now is critical. The same could be said of Barack Obama's more radical associations over the years or in fact the positions of many people - Harry Byrd and his years in the Klan, John Murtha's disgusting turn on the troops and many others.
McCain should have to state how he is different from the past if indeed he is different. He also should be truthful about WHY he is so quick to compromise. Will he do that with our sworn enemies as well?
Where Barack should be taken to task NOW is in his statements about his Christian faith. His book got it right. His time with his mom was that of an atheistic upbringing, which is NOT Christian! He should have simply said he was raised an atheist except for a time when he was taken (or sent) to mosque. Later, as a young adult, when seeking, he found a spirituality he liked in a nominally Christian church and has been pursuing that since. What is so hard about that???
We simply have to be discerning by being aggressive about finding lots of credible news sources. The mainstream media is certainly not telling the whole story, but only a tiny sliver.
Its sins of omission greatly slant public opinion. It is glaringly obvious to any objective person.
When Mr. Obama talks about cutting our military to second or third world status, it says volumes about his thoughts about the United States becoming as irrelevant as Europe in the world theatre. When Mr. McCain talks about crossing the aisle, we should not expect excellent Supreme Court Justice nominations such as John Roberts or Antonin Scalia. Instead, we could easily end up with another Sandra Day O'Connor or Anthony Kennedy (both appointed by Ronald Reagan). These two hardly have been models of strict constructionist interpretations of the constitution.
It takes a lot of work - but keep probing, keep researching, and see where it leads you! Do not take anything at face value, but look deep below the surface. A whole lot is at stake!