Building Bridges

There were many parts of Obama’s acceptance speech tonight that were really appealing, but near the end he spoke about common ground and our need to move into the future, not dwell on the politics of the past. I was very proud of him for not shying away from the issues that Republicans have used like so many blunt weapons in recent elections. Barack grabbed them and addressed them as only he could. He speaks to the “better angels of our nature” and as Marla Erwin said on Twitter tonight, if we do not elect Barack Obama as our President, then we do not deserve him. I agree 110%.

“We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don’t know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This, too, is part of America’s promise — the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that’s to be expected. Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.


  1. ged,
    your fooling yourself brother.
    “The Record Shows Obama To Be A Fairly Doctrinaire Liberal Democrat …” (Editorial, “Obama’s Rhetoric Soars, But What Does His Record Suggest?” USA Today, 1/28/08)

    In 2007, Obama Voted With The Democrat Party 97 Percent Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website, http://www.cq.com, Accessed 3/3/08)

    In 2006, Obama Voted With The Democrat Party 96 Percent Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website, http://www.cq.com, Accessed 1/27/08)

    In 2005, Obama Voted With The Democrat Party 97 Percent Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website, http://www.cq.com, Accessed 1/27/08)

    compare that to mccains record. has the “one” ever been called a dino? now that the rock concert is over, theres going to be alot more people looking harder into obamas past records. and don’t forget the treatment of the reporter outside the hotel in denver as well as stanley kurtz. if the media turns on him, hes done.
    and “if we do not elect obama as president, we do not deserve him”?? deserve him?? quite frankly, does he deserve me? does he deserve the honor of representing this nation in its highest “elected” office? so far, i am not impressed.

  2. We’ll have to agree to disagree Jim. Obama calls on us to be better than we are today. He’s worked with Republicans in the past to get things done and I believe he’ll do it again. As far as the media goes, it hasn’t been all peaches and cream with Obama either and he’s still drawing crowds of tens of thousands where McCain can’t give his tickets away.

    If you believe this country has been doing okay these last 8 years with all the problems we’ve had, and that Bush’s policies are worth extending for another 4 years at least, then go ahead and vote for McCain. No one is going to change your mind.

    I intend to vote for change. That change might be the riskier choice, but I don’t see it that way. To me, risk means plummeting us further down the road of Bush’s ideals. We’ve lost a great deal these last 8 years. The country has had enough.

  3. man o man, mccain just slapped the hell out of obama. palin? with what they (dems) did to hillary, i’d say barrack just got his hat handed to him. its a fine line the obama campaign must walk now as so not to come off as sexist.
    and the conservative christian base? impressed.
    let the games begin.

  4. Jim, the pick is interesting for sure but I think you over estimate what she brings to the table. McCain already had most of the conservative christian base, this isn’t bringing anyone new into the fold, especially not Hillary fans who are pro-choice since Palin is staunchly pro-life.

    It will be interesting for sure. The best part of the pick is that either a woman will be vice president or an african american will be president. Both are historical. So in that sense it’s a win win for moving us all forward.

  5. You seem to have a knack for attracting commenters that disagree with you. 🙂 That’s my opening salvo:

    You know, I found myself agreeing almost completely with what Obama was saying during his speech, but I don’t think that everything he was talking about is the governments responsibility. Of course I don’t want to see poor people out on the street, that’s why I put them up in hotels, feed them, buy them groceries; but I think it’s a citizens responsibility to take care of these people, not the government’s responsibility.

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