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Obama versus McCain: winner take all

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By The Staff

Hannah Hayes

Spending several nights in a Roy Rogers themed hotel room recently took me back to the childhood room my brother and I shared. Just think turquoise and brown. I loved all the ’50s Western TV shows, so, to further indulge nostalgia and my interest in politics, I watched a few episodes of “Maverick” when I got back home. Bret Maverick was an entirely different legend of the West than Roy was. Bret was always scheming, gambling and being run out of town. Roy Rogers knew it’s how you ride the trail that counts.

Watching the presidential campaign of “a maverick with a record of reform” has been hard to stomach. From the demeaning and divisive tone to the influence of corrupt lobbyists, the bad guys continue to give away their greedy motives. Voters seem poised to reject endless war and erratic ways. Another late ’50s Western was “The Rifleman,” which featured a rapid-fire weapon wielded by another McCain, one who knew not to go looking for a fight. Surely John McCain has lost any calm, straighter-shooter status. As much as he has tried to distance himself from the bank robbers, his policies sound like more of the same.

But let’s get down to why you can feel good about voting for Barack Obama. It’s a global society now. Most of the world is hoping for the changes a President Obama will herald. Scroll through any pictorial listing of U.S. presidents and then add a mental portrait of President Obama to the roll call. What a breakthrough moment in history. Obama will also contribute the most ethnic name in the list with its vowel-sound ending. Are these changes a hint of hope, inclusion and tolerance that things will be different in some important ways?

The contest comes down to tone and competence. Graduating from Columbia University and Harvard Law School are elitist credentials to be admired. Candidate Obama has studied the issues, gathered the experts and put forth specific plans. Health care as a right, alternative energy and conservation, college educations for all and many other optimistic plans inspire his positions. He clearly presents the temperament for the job. Brains and eloquence will be a welcome shift.

It’s being argued that Democratic control of both Congress and the executive branch is a negative, but it’s essential to counter the extreme negative effects of the recent administration. The stakes become even higher when you factor in the future makeup of the Supreme Court.

Obama has waged a remarkably well-organized, competent campaign. There’s even a feeling that our votes will be secured with his early voter protection efforts. While he speaks of a culture of ethics and responsibility, those changes will only come if our new leader is held accountable to those old Western traditions of honor that Roy Rogers portrayed. Barack Obama will bring happier trails for us all.

Rebuttal

No one likes to lose, but in the U.S. presidential election there can only be one winner. On Colorado’s ballot that means there will be 15 losers. Most of them will go quietly along with their special interests. It seems that Barack Obama’s uniting centrist spirit and demonstrated abilities are poised to triumph.

Kelly’s nightmare, John McCain, continues to grab desperately at evil tactics to salvage his boggled campaign. The tools are familiar — attack ads and disenfranchisement. Americans aren’t buying it, but as a proud, read stubborn, people, it’s hard to admit defeat. President Bush and candidate McCain can’t see that their bullying, stealing and policies of domination in foreign and financial arenas have been their ruin. Many still cling to the notion of victory in Iraq when it’s clear that occupation has brought hatred not safety.

Winston Churchill said, “The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.” Let’s join behind a President Obama to usher in a new period of optimism and compassion. These are values to stand behind.

Hannah B. Hayes is a small-business owner and an activist for peace and justice. A recent graduate of Leadership Evergreen with a master’s degree in education, Hayes has remained active in this community through her writing and organizing for 35 years.

 

Kelly Weist

“I am underwhelmed by the candidates on the Republican side, and only hope that one of them grows on me sometime soon.”

I wrote these words 14 months ago on this page, and unfortunately, nobody grew on me. Even though I voted for Gov. Romney in the primary, it wasn’t an exciting choice for me, and of course, we knew by then that Sen. John McCain would be the Republican nominee. I also wrote in that column that “I have never liked John McCain, based on my years observing him in Congress and his push for restrictions on free speech through campaign finance.” McCain has a reputation as a maverick, which mainly means that he jumps on bandwagons before real reason or thought has come into the picture, and he refuses to reevaluate his boneheaded stands even after the evidence has come in. (see McCain-Feingold.) And here I am, stuck with voting for him.

I do respect McCain for his service to this country and his unwavering support of America. I’m not 100 percent sure that he will make all the right decisions to protect America, but I believe that he believes he will. Apparently, that’s the most I can ask for this year.

Sen. Obama, on the other hand, is no Sam Nunn Democrat. He cynically ran to the left of Sen. Clinton during the Democrat primary on keeping America safe, claiming that he would remove troops from Iraq within 100 days of being sworn in and that he would “sit down” with dangerous dictators with no preconditions to better understand what their grievances against America are. Talk about truly boneheaded.

He seems to understand that, though, since he has started retreating from his Iraq withdrawal plans and claims that he really meant he would be the uber-diplomat with our enemies around the world, tough but compassionate. Or something. God help us.

I don’t trust McCain completely on judges, life issues or taxes, things that really matter to me, but I trust Obama less. He clearly will pander to his constituency of leftist elites and make crucial policy decisions based either on the left’s agenda or what’s most convenient for him. The last thing we need in this difficult, dangerous time is a president who is out for himself alone.

Obama’s economic policies are equally, if not more, dangerous for average Americans. Between his healthcare mandates, tax increases on small business and entrepreneurs, and his extreme union agenda, small and medium businesses are doomed, not to mention the people who start them. In an economic recession, this is not only dumb policy, but truly dangerous. Creating a Great[er] Depression might give him the opportunity to spin himself as the savior, but it will cause all of us a lot of grief.

So, I’m for McCain. God only knows what I’ve done to deserve this, but I promise to repent, if only I could wake up from this ridiculous nightmare.

Rebuttal

So the reasons to have “hope” when voting for Barack Obama are the color of his skin and his “ethnic-sounding” name? What in the world has America come to when hope for our future is based on these two things? If this had been said about a white person and his Anglo-Saxon name, wouldn’t that be more than enough evidence of racism?

Voting for Sen. Obama because of his race is not racism on Colin Powell or anyone else’s behalf, but voting against Obama, even if you vociferously disagree with his policy proscriptions and worldview, must be de facto racism.

And speaking of worldview, we are not voting for “celebrity of the world” here. We are voting for U.S. president, which means that the winner must have America’s interests first, not world elite opinion. In fact, in my book, if the Nobel committee is in love with a candidate, that’s the ultimate reason to vote against him.

A U.S. president can protect America, her interests and her allies, or he can chase the love of the world’s elites. Can’t do both. (see Clinton, Bill).

Attorney and political activist Kelly Weist has served on the board of directors of the Colorado Federation of Republican Women and is the co-founder of Mountain Republican Women. She is an adjunct professor of political science at Metropolitan State College of Denver.