As we approach the national conventions of the major political parties we are seeing the candidates attempt to position themselves on the various issues as well as keep America in suspense as to who their respective running mates will be.
I have already written about why I believe John McCain would be the best choice for president. I believe his experience, honesty and ability to cooperate across the aisle without compromising core issues would go a long way in helping this country move forward out of our current funk.
As I consider Barack Obama, I see some causes for concern. First, let me say that I find him to be a personable, intelligent man who is a very eloquent and at times inspiring speaker.
Many have attempted, some legitimately so, to point out some extreme aspects of the Obama package. His connections to Jeremiah Wright, slumlords, socialistic icons and others have been well documented. However, it is not his extremism that concerns me. There is too much gridlock balance in Congress for him to be able to advance any radical positions that he may hold. I believe the mainstream of America is probably too solidly centrist to tolerate extremism on either side.
I do take issue with his positions on moral issues such as abortion and gay rights and would have some concerns over what type of judges he would be likely to appoint, but in all fairness, the Republicans have had opportunity to right these wrongs over the last eight years and have failed to do so.
What does concern me is his lack of experience and confidence in where he stands. While it is not unusual for politicians to change their minds over time on various issues, it has been somewhat alarming to see how Obama is vacillating so freely on issues like abortion, gun control, offshore drilling and others. These changes have not occurred over a course of years, but literally in months and even weeks, presenting the senator as a morph from an extreme liberal during the primary to a moderate in the general election. One can’t help but wonder if this is not merely an attempt to appeal to the undecided voters who stand in the middle. Obama has attempted to present himself as an agent of change, and indeed it appears he is.
His inexperience is also coming to light. In his recent trip to Europe, he blew off a scheduled visit to one of our military hospitals. Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and stipulate that his motive for doing this was sincere, I still would submit that it was the wrong choice. Our soldiers deserve the best attention that our leaders can give them. While he has his sights set on being president, he is still a U.S. Senator who has every right and responsibility to visit our troops. I am not a soldier, but I cannot help but think that if I was one and was lying wounded in a hospital far from home, I would even be glad to see one of the Clintons. Whether or not they were sincere would matter little, it would be important to me to know that my country had not forgotten me.
To me, this raises questions about Obama’s ability to make the right decisions where our military is concerned. Contrary to what Wesley Clark would have us believe, I do think John McCain’s military experience is a powerful factor in this case, rendering him much more suited for the job of commander-in-chief.
I am not convinced that Obama is the secret monster that many make him out to be, but I do not feel confident at all about his abilities to lead our country. I believe that as the candidates continue to debate the issues, his inexperience will become even more highlighted.
The question is, will anyone notice?