Sunday, August 17, 2008

On The Presidential Forum

I’ve been thinking a lot about the presidential forum the other night on MSNBC. I have been especially concerned with the commentary. Makes no bones, McCain came off better than he has in a very long time. I enjoyed listening to him. He felt human and real and even a bit vulnerable. It was a great venue for him.

The commentary about Obama is unfair and I think it has a lot to do with world views. Allow me to ramble in big generalities for a moment (and let’s remember that these generalities do not apply to all). Conservatives tend to be very black and white about issues: this is right and this is wrong and that is all there is to it. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to be very grey about issues, seeing variations. I think that difference was seen by the commentators as weakness or flippancy on the part of Obama. That is an erroneous assessment; he is merely representing a different worldview, one that is common for more liberal-minded folks.

A perfect example is the discussion on when life begins. McCain stated simply it began at conception. Period. For Obama, and for many of us, that is not such a clear-cut answer. His hem hawing was not wish-washy or flippant, but was an honest display of the turmoil that occurs for liberals when defining such a grey issue in our minds.

I related to his answer and understood his reaction. The so-called liberal media did not. That’s because they are there to make headlines and not for clarity. That’s another issue. When I was young, I thought a lot like McCain and my father: Life was clear, defined, categorized, and the boundaries between right and wrong, good and evil, were very distinct for me. As I have aged and my worldview has changed, those lines have blurred.

For instance, I am a liberal that does not support abortion is most cases. Late term abortions disgust me. Abortions in the first trimester, on the other hand, are a different matter for me, although I still do not like the idea. Stem cell research does not bother me, although I understand why it bothers others. So when is life defined? That is a hard question for me and I think it is for lots of liberals.

That was the most interesting and compelling two hours of presidential television I have seen in a very long time. I enjoyed so much seeing the real candidates. Although both meandered into stump speeches and tangents, only Obama was asked to stop. That’s not too big a deal.


Sugar Britches said...

Gee, Jack. You just put the correct words in my mouth. I have tried in vain to articulate myself politically and have a difficult time. As I get older and my world view broadens, I discover beautiful shades of grey. I still have some conservative tendencies, but I find myself leaning farther and farther to the left.

Though that means also leaning pro-choice, I still believe unwaveringly that life begins at conception.

...thus my moral dilemma.

admin said...

Sugar Britches,

It is a dilemma for many liberals, despite the characterization that we are happy-go-lucky baby killers.

By the way, love the name.