Friday, June 6, 2008

Why the Audacity!

I firmly believe that when looking at the issues and voting record of a political candidate I’m not going to find a perfect fit with everything I’m passionate about. In fact, I would venture to say that for every candidate I’ve voted for (on both sides of the aisle) there have always been issues we differed over. The trick I believe is finding the candidate that is most like me…the candidate that has a voting record I can live with.

What about character? Does character count when looking for a presidential candidate? It does with me. Especially with regards to how the candidate treats people.

My husband received an email today from a Navy buddy of his. The contents of the email was written by the friend’s father, Tom Clynch, who resides in the great state of Texas. Mr. Clynch states, “You see….character is what’s shown when the public is not looking.” I have to agree. This is a maxim I have used over and over to my students.

Mr. Clynch ended his email with a reference to Barack Obama’s book Audacity of Hope and in relation to the story related in the email I began to think about the word “audacity.”

When you visit the dictionary it provides two entries for the word audacity. The first definition involves boldness or daring involving confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions.

Mr. Clynch relates a story involving John McCain that occurred in New Hampshire. He states there was no press or cameras invited to a meeting between McCain and the woman he visited with. Along on the visit with McCain was his youngest son, James McCain, 19, who at the time was about to leave for Iraq.

From the email:

One evening last July, Senator John McCain of Arizona arrived at the New Hampshire home of Erin Flanagan for sandwiches, chocolate-chip cookies and a heartfelt talk about Iraq. They had met at a presidential debate, when she asked the candidates what they would do to bring home American soldiers - -soldiers like her brother, who had been killed in action a few months earlier.

[The two McCains] sat down to hear more about Ms. Flanagan's brother Michael Cleary, a 24-year-old Army First Lieutenant killed by an ambush ... a roadside bomb. No one mentioned the obvious: In just days, Jimmy McCain could face similar perils. 'I can't imagine what it must have been like for them as they werecoming to meet with a family that ......' Ms. Flanagan recalled, choking up. 'We lost a dear one,' she finished.Mr. McCain, now the presumptive Republican nominee, has staked his candidacy on the promise that American troops can bring stability to Iraq. What he almost never says is that one of them is his own son, who spent seven months patrolling Anbar Province and learned of his father's New Hampshire victory in January while he was digging a stuck military vehicle out of the mud.Two of Jimmy's three older brothers went into the military. Doug McCain, 48,was a Navy pilot. Jack McCain, 21, is to graduate from the Naval Academynext year, raising the chances that his father, if elected, could become thefirst president since Dwight D. Eisenhower with a son at war.

Mr. Clynch’s message goes on to state: I chose to share this with those who I believe will pass it on, to others who will pass it on. We hear so much inflated trash out there. How about a simple act of kindness ... and dedication to others placed above oneself?

Yes, I get it. How audacious of Mr. McCain.

The second entry for the definition of audacity provides that to have audacity one must exhibit effrontery, insolence or shameless boldness.

Mr. Clynch provides the other side of the coin in his email by writing:

Has anybody heard if Barack Hussein Obama has served in The American ArmedServices?

This is for all you Barack voters.

From Barack's book, Audacity of Hope:"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an uglydirection."


While I do feel military service is not a necessary ingredient for filling the desk chair in the Oval Office I want my leader of the armed forces to understand our military’s importance and to have high regard for them. The quotation from Mr. Obama’s book causes me great concern as a Christian and as an American. Hints of Socialism litter Mr. Obama’s comments… least those comments that have any meat to them and are not some round-about mish-mash of platitudes about hope and change. I haven’t heard very many references to HOW he is going to change anything. I'm not sure if I want to. His "hows" will probably scare me even more anyway.

The most glaring difference I currently see in the two present candidates for president is their love for our country. Mr. McCain is audacious in that he loves our country but understands change is needed.

Mr. Obama is audacious in that he has exhibited little love for our country and has little shame over that fact. Everything is wrong and there is no good. He has the audacity to believe that love for country and love of God are just panaceas middle America holds onto. He just doesn’t understand what those concepts mean. He has the audacity to allow his family to remain members of a church where hate is preached from the pulpit. He has the audacity to read from a well prepared speech, but doesn't speak from his heart.

I want my president to be capable of being audacious. However, I choose definition one over definition two.

UPDATE: Later in the evening I saw this:

The AJC’s Jim Wooten states Obama's flimsy resume gives national liberal cause for alarm....

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