Two years ago Barack Obama, a freshman Senator from Illinois launched his bid for the Presidency of the United States. He campaigned on a message of change. Two years ago John McCain launched his bid for the Presidency of the United States. He campaigned on a message of experience. Today, each candidate talks change and reform. There is a reason.
The single message that has resonated with the American public is change. Of course, there are the traditional tirades about ‘tax and spend liberals’ and ‘Big Oil, Big Business conservatives” – but this is all fluff.
After McCain won his party’s nomination last spring he dropped off the media map. He continued to campaign – but drew small boring crowds. The Democratic Convention shook the world with record viewers and startling enthusiasm. This was not because of Obama’s long history of legislative leadership. McCain responded by choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate – the crowds went wild. People loved her – not because of her proven record – but because she was from as far away from Washington as a person can get.
Of course we do. Liberals and Conservative alike. We are all on board this life boat. The Titanic has sunk and the American people are crowded on one life boat – that boat will either make it to safety or we will all go down.
The Titanic metaphor is apt. Well constructed but poorly handled by the crew, from the Captain down to the lowly congressman, the Titanic operated out of self interest of the crew – trying to set speed records, surging forward, and crashed. Little interest or concern was given to the passengers. The passengers are in the life boat and the Titanic crew is floundering in the icy water – each pointing their finger at the other.
Some passengers had tried to tell the crew to slow down, to use discretion. Some passengers denied the trouble – even after the gut wrenching slam into an iceberg. But the Captain was not available for discussion. One of the captain’s Lieutenants stood up and said, “Slow Down!” But Obama was chastised as being inexperienced. “Sit down,” the old establishment said – we will do the boat driving around here.
The passengers began to revolt – but the Captain surged ahead. Yesterday the Ship of State hit the iceberg. We are cold and wet and crowded together – our only hope is the Junior Lieutenant who tried to warn the Captain.
Let’s find him in the cold water and invite him on board.