Thursday, September 11, 2008

Political Stuff. Obama and Palin... I mean, McCain.

I just watched Obama and McCain give their shpeal to America via a forum at Columbia University. It was pretty good. What astounded me was that... I know this is blasphemy... Obama kind bored me. Look out! I feel the thunder upon me.

No seriously, I like both candidates. I do. About the only thing that I don't like about Obama is his views on abortion and in the end, that just might put me over the edge as far as the voting goes, but I don't know.

What surprised me was McCain. I found that that was first time that I actually "connected" with McCain. He's always been a bit of a mystery to me and I've always said that I felt that underneath the war hero rhetoric was a Ross Perot waiting to charge the Nuke button, but not after tonight.

Just some evening political thoughts from an Okie who's just trying to figure this all out.

What I really want is another J.F.K. But I'm thinking, unfortunately, not happenin' in my lifetime. A few quotes from Kennedy to help us to remember the days when a President could inspire us to do great things as a country and dream big things as a free people.

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

A child miseducated is a child lost.

Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.

I look forward to a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

We need men who can dream of things that never were.

Let us call a truce to terror. Let us invoke the blessings of peace. And as we build an international capacity to keep peace, let us join in dismantling the national capacity to wage war.


nancy said...

Who was Kennedy's speech writer? He has never come across to me as a man that would be smart enough or care enough to write something like that.

Seth Ward said...

Oh nay, my dear friend. Kennedy was brilliant. And yes, he wrote his own speeches. The man was a pretty much a genius as far as that goes. He did have an editor, as most writers do, but the words were his.

They were so poetic that some wondered if he could have written them, but his secretary just happened to retrieve his scribblings and drafts from the trash can. He would also dictate them to a scribe sometimes on the fly.

Great mind.

What ever gave you the idea that he wasn't intelligent or uncaring? I'm seriously curious... He is one of the top five most quoted presidents...

Seth Ward said...

Note: There have been many recent arguments made that Kennedy did not author his speeches, but most believe that much of it was authored by himself, at least the important or memorable ones...

The myth that he didn't pen his addresses has been debunked in Thurston Clarke's recent biography using material that had never before been available. (Like the rough drafts written in Kennedy's hand.)

Sorenson, Kennedy's speechwriting assistant used to claim to be Kennedy's scribe, not ghost writer.

In Kennedy's two short years as president he:

-Helped develop the autonomy of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

-Created the Peace Corps

Sent us to the moon... another great quote made at my Alma mater (puffing a bit with pride as I type. ;-) "We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

-Medicare for the elderly

-Enforced civil rights, abolished segregation despite of what it would do to him politically...

-Avoided nuclear war, and I mean it was real and imminent...

Kennedy started the Vietnam War to help support a budding democracy but when he saw it going nowhere he decided to withdraw. This, along with his courageous views on civil liberty, most biographers agree, got the man killed. Lyndon Johnson, who had not supported the withdrawal, reversed Kennedy's decision to withdrawal and escalated the war to the horrible proportions we know today.

Many of Obama's and McCain's more popular notions where originally penned by J.F.K.

From a speech Sept. 4, 1960

"I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.

I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them."

Popcorn said...

Seth, I'm with you. He was somthing else. As was Jackie.

Chaotic Hammer said...

"What surprised me was McCain. I found that that was first time that I actually "connected" with McCain. He's always been a bit of a mystery to me..."

I always felt the same way about McCain. I was not excited about him as a candidate (and I'm still not "excited"), and had a generally unfavorable impression of him overall.

I've recently seen several different interviews with him, and each time I'm a little more impressed. But in retrospect, just being honest, I'm not sure I had ever actually given him a chance before now. I never actually saw an interview with him before, or heard him speak for more than a few minutes. My mostly negative impressions of him were formed primarily by media reports and 5-second sound bytes.

But really, that's what this whole campaign process is about -- the voters getting to know what the candidates are really like, and whether or not we think they'll make good leaders of our country. Now I'm paying attention, and trying to make that judgment for myself.

I'll also admit that now that I'm paying attention, my impression of Obama is actually much more negative than it was originally. It's not just the abortion issue for me (though that's a biggie). It's the general notion that I get from him that he's planning to change everything the government is currently doing, just for sake of changing it. And inasmuch as I have heard his vision of change and leadership, it's been of a kind I very much disagree with philosophically -- that the government is the solution to every single problem in the world today, and has a great new program to cure all our ills. Without any mention of how he intends to pay for all this new found government largess.

Susanne said...

When I hear Obama talk, what I hear is all talk with very little real meaning to it. He's good at using big words to impress people, but does he really know what he's talking about? I don't see him as being any better than Bush in that department. He completely bores me to tears, so I try not to listen to him. I'm not impressed with the guy. And I'm no Kennedy fan (I can't get passed his antics in his private life...what a big jerk of a husband he was), but even I agree that this Barack Hussein guy is no Kennedy!!

Tully said...

Amen, brother! I would love to see another JFK myself, and I'd even settle for a Bobby Kennedy for, even though he never made it to the White House (although was on his way), he shared many of his brothers beliefs and ideologies! If only...