At the end, President Shepherd finally takes a stance, and fires back. The speech is more than inspiring (despite a somewhat liberal political agenda ;-)), but I'd like to use it as the basis for my own diatribe this morning.
I have a high school friend who loves to debate me on the current election, the Iraq war, and Obama being our "next chosen candidate" in his eyes. But I'm starting to get fed up with the one-liners. So forgive me Hollywood, for my copy-cat nature.
For the last couple of months, Senator Obama has suggested that to be president of this country, you have to tug at the peoples' heartstrings with words like HOPE and CHANGE and THE TIME IS NOW. And although we have yet to see him up against a Republican in a real debate, John McCain is now the nominee and he can tell you from his own 25 years of experience in Congress and with multiple presidents: Being President of this country is and has already been entirely about hope and change and the time is now. For the record: John McCain is an upstanding citizen, a former POW and war hero, and a credible senator in our Nation's Congress. What is Barack Obama in comparison? Isn't the argument of leadership and the ability to bring change brought about by time and experience in a governing body, of which he has very little? Where have the words Liberty and Freedom gone in the debate for the Democratic nominee? Why would a senator, a state's leader and spokesman to the national government, and candidate for President, dismiss protecting our liberty and freedom as relevant issues by refusing to wear the American Flag, the symbol of all this nation is for- hope and change- on his lapel? If you can answer that question, folks, then you're smarter than I am, because I don't understand it.
America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then you can't just argue that all Americans should have healthcare at the expense of other Americans' time and energy; you have to recognize that Americans want to keep the money they make and determine their own investments, not pay in more tax dollars to support the lazy welfare-dependent. They want to invest themselves and make strong choices for their families, without worrying how much more money the government will take from them.
You want to say America is the "home of the brave"? Let's see you stand up in the face of the War on Terror and vow to defend our nation so it never settles on our soil again; not slink down in your chair claiming you can negotiate with terrorists and hold up a sign that says "End the War!" so the hippies will cheer and let you hold another rally . American soldiers are dying so you can fly from city to city without the fear of being hijacked, or you can drink the water without fear of contamination. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free" and the "home of the brave."
We've seen Barack Obama now since 2004 on the national scale, and we've been operating under the assumption that the reason Barack devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply doesn't get it. Well, we were wrong. Obama's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Obama's problem is that he can't sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Barack Obama is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you pay for it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about affordable universal health care, "better education," and ending the war. You draw upon the liberal leaning campuses and gullible students who still don't worry about jobs and home ownership and insurance policies, who think you're glamorous and will fix the world. And you point your finger at a picture of President Bush and you tell them, he's to blame for their lot in life, and you go on television and you criticize Americans saying they are bitter and clinging to religion and guns.
President Bush is not what the 2008 presidential debate is about, Barack. HE has nothing to do with how you will lead the country going forward, or how your lack of experience will jeopardize our security. You want to be Commander in Chief, Senator Obama? You better have something better to say then "End the War." Because inspiring and carrying out TRUE Hope and Change - yes, with actual substance, ideas and plans, underneath those words? Well, that's way out of your league.