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A character issue!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-10-16 08:34:26
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Sometime in the next few hours on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, John McCain will face Barack Obama in their third and final debate. I suppose for the next couple of days hundreds of analysts and reporters will write a series of articles about this last debate and the bets will raise over the winner, actually in cases like that both candidates and their staff will support that they won the final debate and they both will prepare for the final two weeks.

So a few hours before the final debate, and knowing that when this article will be published the debate will be over and what will be left is waiting for the winner, I can only hope for the first time that John McCain will raise one issue, avoiding all the others, the character issue. I know now you are wondering how I can talk about it but the last few weeks and after Ms. Palin joining the McCain campaign has turned all about character and the supporters of the Republican Party brought the issue to a gigantic issue. In the beginning Barack Obama was just the liberal but the last two weeks the man has become, ‘him’ or’ that’, ‘the Arab’ or ‘the terrorist’ and more and more Republican Party supporters think that ‘kill him’ is one way to express their democratic feelings.

And please don’t tell me that this started alone, it was …how to say it …spontaneous! I suppose Palin was spontaneous when she took off the white cape and made it her main issue of her speeches, she was screaming in every level hysterically that Barack Obama is dangerous, is a terrorist. Of course McCain was not so forward; it works better when a woman says it after making sure that everybody thinks that any attack on her will show sexism and prejudice. Sexism? Prejudice? I feel like using the forbidden words.

Please, calling somebody a terrorist just because he was active in the same place with a former revolutionary – to Ms. Palin’s information that’s how the man was identified in '70s, terrorist was a different category and by the way how does Ms. Palin call the members of KKK? Social club or six pack Joes? Then again I suppose all that raises a character issue and I hope McCain will talk about it in the debate.

Actually I hope he will talk about the day after, and he will say how he feels when he might be responsible for the next ambitious Oswald. Is this the United States of America Mr. McCain is dreaming of? Is this the United States of America Ms. Palin is dreaming off but most of all is this the United States of America all the Americans are dreaming of?

That’s the point I have the feeling McCain and Palin missed and I just hope somebody will remind them while there is still time. A few years ago somebody tried to kill Ronald Reagan and a few decades ago somebody did kill J. F. Kennedy, in both cases despite all the conspiracy theories the motive was one wrong word, one wrong gesture, one twisted idea. And this time McCain and Palin are arming the motivation with arguments and it really makes you think if they have realized that. Most of all it makes you wander if these two are the right people for any job. After all that only the thought that the one serves in the congress and the other is a governor brings shivers in my spine.

At them moment let’s wait for the winner of the debate and let’s hope that democracy will win and not the democracy Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin twistingly understand.

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Asa2008-10-16 08:44:01
When it comes to character debates, I always think of Michael Douglas' final speech in "The American President":

President Andrew Shepherd: For the last couple of months, Senator Rumson has suggested that being president of this country was, to a certain extent, about character, and although I have not been willing to engage in his attacks on me, I've been here three years and three days, and I can tell you without hesitation: Being President of this country is entirely about character. For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But the more important question is why aren't you, Bob? Now, this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: Why would a senator, his party's most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, folks, then you're smarter than I am, because I didn't understand it until a few hours ago. 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 the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free". I've known Bob Rumson for years, and I've been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob'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, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of 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 family and American values and character. And wave an old photo of the President's girlfriend and you scream about patriotism and you tell them, she's to blame for their lot in life, and you go on television and you call her a whore. Sydney Ellen Wade has done nothing to you, Bob. She has done nothing but put herself through school, represent the interests of public school teachers, and lobby for the safety of our natural resources. You want a character debate, Bob? You better stick with me, 'cause Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league.
President Andrew Shepherd: I've loved two women in my life. I lost one to cancer, and I lost the other 'cause I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job. Well, that ends right now. Tomorrow morning, the White House is sending a bill to Congress for its consideration. It's White House Resolution 455, an energy bill requiring a 20 percent reduction of the emission of fossil fuels over the next ten years. It is by far the most aggressive stride ever taken in the fight to reverse the effects of global warming. The other piece of legislation is the crime bill. As of today, it no longer exists. I'm throwing it out. I'm throwing it out writing a law that makes sense. You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security, and I will go door to door if I have to, but I'm gonna convince Americans that I'm right, and I'm gonna get the guns. We've got serious problems, and we need serious people, and if you want to talk about character, Bob, you'd better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up. My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I *am* the President.

AP2008-10-16 11:40:01
Oh, please... Palin shames all women, so there's nothing sexist nor prejudiced on recognizing the whole truth about her - at all!! A hoax is a hoax independently of the gender, it doesn't really matter if she dupes by winking or calling Osama to Obama.

McCain-Obama the tortoise and the hare:


AP2008-10-16 11:54:43
The protagonist of the debate was Joe the Plumber!

Emanuel Paparela2008-10-16 14:31:59
More than twenty five hundred years ago Heraclitus said it all about character in three short words: "Character is destiny." It certainly applies to the individual, especially the individual who thinks we are determined by our circumstances, but sometimes it applies to whole societies and nations, even whole civilizations who have forgotten their values and that not to choose is also a choice.

AP2008-10-17 01:24:08
Another high moment was McCain's tongue out dripping poison:


Sand2008-10-18 12:28:45
And, of course, to those whose values have so ossified that they are brittle, inappropriate and useless in current times.

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