Sunday, July 27, 2008

US President Missing In Action

As I watched the satellite pictures being beamed back of Senator Barack Obama’s world wind tour of the world or better known as the “Obama-Palooza Tour” by the Republicans and other haters, I was struck by the reception he received from the other world leaders and leaders at home. The purpose of the trip according to conventional wisdom was to see if Senator Obama could “appear” presidential. How does one appear presidential? Well, I guess for starters he wouldn’t vomit on the shoe of another leader, I would imagine he would not be confused about the countries or leaders he is meeting with, and I guess he probably wouldn’t try to cop a feel of some foreign dignitaries’ wife.

Here is the problem we are facing as nation, our President George W. Bush has through ineptitude abdicated the office of President and currently there is a void in power. This void is palpable and was visible at every stop that the Senator made. The world is also hungry for change. The world is anxiously waiting for America to once again assume her role as the beacon of the world and not the bully. The reception that Senator Obama got was overwhelmingly more responsive and congenial than the receptions for both President Bush or John McCain. If the test was to “appear” presidential then I think the Senator passed with flying colors.

There was a lot of talk about the Senator “negotiating” troop withdrawals in Iraq with the Prime Minister. This of course was merely a smoke screen to cover up the current lack of leadership on the part of the current administration. Let’s face it George Bush is the lamest lame duck President we have had in recent memory. He isn’t even wanted by his own Party’s nominee for anything more than fundraising on the campaign trail. With the current officeholder in a state of limbo, the world and the nation is looking for someone to step in and fill the void. Rightly or wrongly that someone today is Senator Obama, he has been thrust upon the international and national stage by events that were predictable and avoidable. The problem is that no one tried to avoid them.

Unfortunately we are a nation without a leader, maybe it is the cost of democracy with our revolving Presidency or maybe it is the result of a leader who was not prepared to lead. Either way we have to deal with the aftermath of a leader with no one to lead. It is almost as if everyone is holding their collective breaths for the day when George Bush can go back to trimming brush in Crawford, Texas and we can move forward again as a nation. Even many who were once Republican stalwarts are calling for a change in direction and for all intents and purposes that change appears to be Senator Obama. As we saw with the foreign tour many of the world’s leaders share and believe in the type of world vision and America’s place in it as does the Senator. The world can see the storm on the horizon waiting to explode if we continue down this path we are on.

The world is looking for leadership and for too many years America has not provided that leadership. We have promoted negotiations and fairness as weaknesses, instead of a carrot and a stick we have just being using the stick. Despite the Bush administrations last minute stabs at negotiations their moment has passed. They had over 7 years to conduct these negotiations and opted not to, no one is going take them seriously at this late stage in the game. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has logged more miles for negotiations in this last year than she did all of the previous years combined. We are currently set adrift for months until the election decides what direction we will take as a nation. Will continue with the failed policies of the 50’s and 60’s or will we embrace a new direction for the complex issues that face our nation and our world?

Whether you believe in it or even like it, you cannot deny that the Senator is gaining momentum and with it power. The thing about power is that those with it always want to be on the winning side, they are sizing up their choices and Mr. McCain is not inspiring a lot of confidence. Anyone familiar with athletics knows that once you get momentum on your side few things can stand in your way, but they also know that momentum is fickled. It can switch in a moments notice, you are riding high one minute and the next thing you know it’s gone like a jilted lover. Right now the momentum is clearly on the side of Senator Obama despite the current poll results. There is a feeling, an aura if you will that speaks clearly to those willing to hear it.

In my opinion, the Presidency is Senator Obama’s to lose. This doesn’t mean that the Republicans will concede without a fight. There is a lot drama to be played out and this will not be the campaign promised in the primaries. You remember the one based on issues and not personalities. The one were there would be no more “swift boating” and a gentlemanly discussion of the issues, ain’t going to happen. We mustn’t believe that we will not be needed in this election, that our efforts and our enthusiasm are unnecessary, the Republicans will be counting on our overconfidence. We must remain vigilant until the very end, we must close the deal. There will be many who at the moment where vision meets reality will have second thoughts, we must calm their fears and press our case. Unfortunately being right isn’t always enough in this world, we must also be persistent and unwavering in our commitment and our support.

No comments:

HTML stat tracker