Skip to main content.

Back to: >> Editorial

Editorial

13 February 2008; Updated 28 Feb 2008

Roadtopeace.org calls the Democratic primary for Barack Obama. Although there is life left in the Clinton campaign, Obama has generated real momentum since Super Tuesday, and now leads the absolute delegate count. What Clinton has is a struggling team. She is favored to win several more contests, but only in New Hampshire did she do better than expected. Except for New Hampshire, Obama has exceeded expectations. Obama's speeches electrify. Hers sound a bit too establishment to reflect the real Hillary.

Clinton is a good person, smart and able, but what comes though is bland if not muddy. To recover, she has to project the new and the daring. We wonder if she has the personality to do it. We will applaud if she does.

With record numbers of Democrats voting in the primaries, we believe it is time to look at a general election where Senators Barack Obama and John McCain vie for the top job. Since neither is extreme, either will improve prospects for world peace. [As of 28 Feb., Obama has now won 11 straight primary elections and looks even stronger than he did just two weeks ago when we first posted this page. Clinton will need a very dramatic event to prevail.]

The questions are:
In what ways will each approach the question of peace and with what effect?

Before getting into that, Barack Obama pulled ahead in total delegate count for the first time on the second day of a Clinton-campaign shakeup.

Dateline: 12 Feb 2008 (The Potomac Primaries)

WASHINGTON (AP) Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton's deputy campaign manager has stepped down amid a string of losses to rival Barack Obama. Mike Henry announced his departure Tuesday, a day after Maggie Williams replaced Patti Solis Doyle as Clinton's campaign manager. Solis Doyle had recruited Henry to join the team last year. Henry was the campaign's main field architect and was best known for penning a memo last spring urging Clinton not to compete in Iowa. He called it "our consistently weakest state." The memo was leaked to the media, which embarrassed Clinton as she was beginning to build an organization in Iowa. Clinton placed third in Iowa, behind Obama and John Edwards, who has since left the race. Her campaign has struggled since then.

Now to the main issue of this editorial. There are many aspects that will affect world peace:

Issue: John McCain Barack Obama
Conflict of Interest
Possibly the most important singular issue.
Is beholden to industry and its lobbies. Has shed the extreme right, but will still have their support as they view him as preferable to Obama. We admire his ability to pull that one off. Used only grass roots support. Has no significant political debts to cloud his candidacy or governance. In a real way, it is the average American responding to his direct appeals that gave him the war-chest needed to face his opposition in the media. Obama is writing history.
Rolling Back the Imperial Presidency Much closer to Obama than to Bush. The only candidate who would take office with enough humility to: 1) reach across the aisles of Congress, 2) to heal relationships with allies, 3) understand who our real enemies are, how they view us, and why they oppose us. He is the strategist with a long view; all other candidates are tacticians--with today and tomorrow their perceptual horizon. We expect Obama to heal the rifts in American society and make us once more the envy of the world.
Residual Bigotry in All its Forms Will be much more moderate than we have been used to. Obama will become a role model for all peoples. He accepts each and every one of us for what we are regardless of ethnicity, national origin or station in life.
The Polarized World Will take the pragmatic road and will greatly reduce polarization Reducing this to the degrees possible in the time he has--while being a role model for the rest of us.
The Constitution Will take the middle of the road; will hold much of the "unitary presidency" powers in reserve as a sop the the far right. Has pledged not to use signing statements which Bush abused so flagrantly. Will take the middle of the road; will role back much of the "unitary presidency" to the reasonable and historic levels and commensurate to the threat.
Energy Will fight to maintain supplies, but do so in a much more coherent and reasonable fashion than we have been used to. Less likely to use arms to secure oil supplies. Will emphasize alternative sources.
Cultural Changes Doesn't seem to recognize the need. Will likely move away from the militant extremism of the Bush years. This is needed for sure, but in the long run, it is likely to be more of a Band Aid than a permanent cure. By personal example, Obama will bring American and world citizens closer together.
Strategy Fighting Terror As a Navy flier and retired Captain, his military tactics will be impeccable . We are concerned about his strategic insights. Nevertheless, we greatly admire John McCain: for the way he survived years of captivity and torture in North Vietnam, for his fight to overcome his crippling injuries, and for the way he stood up for his own principles in Congress against his party bosses. Has no military experience, so may rely on others for military tactics. As an unusually insightful man, we expect his strategic posture will be to emphasize political solutions to terrorism, to reach out to not just allies, but to those on all sides as a way to understand the core causes and deal with them expeditiously in concert with all parties involved.
National Economy Expected to reduce the economic drain to more tolerable levels. Expected to continue to use foreign debt to finance military ventures. Expected to reduce the economic drain to more tolerable levels and bring back some fairness to the tax code. At the same time, Obama understands that a market economy can be a wonderful thing and deserves nurturing.
Comity of Nations Will be pragmatic and respectful of others. Will tolerate the UN. Will continue to take a hard-nosed attitude regarding American hegemony over the world. From his personality and character, we expect Obama to actively work toward a comity of nations and a stronger UN.
Religion in Governance "there's no doubt in my mind that the hand of God was in what we are today" "...I think we [Democrats] make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in people's lives..." "...To say that men and women should not inject their 'personal morality' into public policy debates is a practical absurdity."

In summary, we see much that is good in John McCain. He has unbelievable personal strength and integrity. He is a warrior par excellence still going strong at age 71. But if we think that qualifies him for fighting a war of ideas, we may be making a grievous mistake.

On the other hand, Barack Obama has no military experience. What he does have is insight into modern reality--just what is needed to fight the war of ideas. Each candidate has a strong internal locus of control. We must put strategy ahead of tactics, and on that score we lean toward Obama as the better wager of peace. He has the charisma to excite people, and that is what waging a war of peace needs above all. We can expect him to make mistakes. We can also expect him to own up to them like a real man as he learns from them. He will embrace both the market economy and religion, while not making either a be all or end all.

Since either a market economy or religion can be co-opted by sociopathic extremists, neither, as a sole strategy, will ever bring peace. That is not to say neither is needed, only that neither is sufficient. If Obama realizes this and the many other fundamental issues arising from the human genome, he is on track to greatness. We are stuck with an empire in an age where empire not longer works.

Just as history gave us Joan of Arc, who at the age of 17, and against all odds, led and rallied a rag-tag army to victory, and just as Elizabeth I at the age of 25 put the British Empire on its road to world dominance, so also could Obama achieve something remarkable. What do these three individuals share? Insight and wisdom with the audacity and charisma to defy conventionalism.

All we can do is wait and see if he gets the chance and then whether he does. History is replete with promising would-be heroes who ended up failures or disgraced. We do not wish that fate on either candidate. Alone among the viable candidates of either party, Obama seems to have possibilities. He introduced new means of raising money that left his opponents aghast and in the dust. He found ways to overcome long odds. His team was focused on the campaign, not on competing with one another.

Both McCain and Obama are winners; each overcame long odds to get where they are. Both overcame better-established and well-healed opposition. Most importantly, each is his own man intellectually, morally and politically. For America, either will be a step forward.

If change is what you want, then you need look no further than the campaigns these guys have run so far. Obama wins hands down.

Whose campaign is most innovative?
Who used new ideas and made them work?
Who is most persuasive, most able to collect and inspire followers, and lead them into the unknown?


We have an historic opportunity, the kind we had after WWII, to remake a political landscape full of land mines. If it is conventionalism that gives you comfort, then you will want the other guy to pour your tea. We feel conventionalism, as valuable as it usually is, is just not a sufficient base in these wild and uncertain times. We are pulling for Obama and suggest you do the same.

END NOTE:

The president of these United States of America is the single most powerful position from which to wage peace, put terrorism in its proper perspective while working to remove its causes at their sources. Yet he cannot do it alone. He needs all of us.

Obama inspires
Need we say more?

Comments

No comments yet

To be able to post comments, please register on the site.