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9 May 2008; Updated 3 Sept 2008

Read carefully, compare, and take your pick:

Candidate web sites listed alphabetically:

John McCain | Barack Obama

A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last.
Both do the same thing; only at different times.
Lord Acton


Following Lord Acton's dictum, the last eight years started out all about the sword, then a funny thing happened. AT LAST negotiation was tried and accomplished what had been beyond reach. Another funny thing happened. Read closely, the Republican candidate is back to the sword--befitting his military heritage. Of course a military heritage is not bad, Washington and Eisenhower made the most of theirs. Each learned as they went. But the new man on the scene apparently realized he could not match their careers, or those of his own forebears, so he retired early. Of course politics is never what it seems. It is all about charisma, not substance.

On The Issues has collected information on American politicians. It is a great place to start, especially for individual histories. What follows are some issues of importance to peace. Either of these candidates towers above the current incumbent on some or most issues. But Mr.McCain is more of a hawk than even Mr. Bush. That doesn't make McCain a fool. But he may end up acting like one. Yes, political punditry is also risky. For some reasons why, see Tea Leaves.

POSITION RELATIVE TO MR BUSH

Issue Mc Cain Obama
Imperial Presidency Close Distant
Unitary Presidency Close Distant
Divisiveness Moderate Inclusive
Faith Based Initiatives Fewer Fewer
Reliance on Special Interests Like Bush Rejected successfully
Social Insight Some ahead Far ahead
Leadership Style Authoritarian Democratic
Outreach Rejects Enemies Employs Dialogue
Tolerance Ahead Far ahead
Fiscal Responsibility No Different Much Higher
Exiting Iraq Not different Soon

There are a number of issues beyond these to be considered. See Browser's Hub for four score we have developed.

As for the future, only Obama offers potential for real change. If you look only at the polls, what the pundits say, and what the media chooses to highlight, there is not that much to choose between either candidate. Not many foreign observers agree. Most pundit perceptions are anchored in the immediate concerns. That is all well and good except for one thing: Expedient solutions haven't worked in all of history.

Both candidates have positions on the expedient issues, like war, recession, and terrorism. Obama is to the left of McCain on most issues. McCain seems to be to the right of Bush on Iraq.

Only Obama has any break-out potential to change that myopic outlook. Obama is a healer by nature and practice. His career, his campaign, both show that particular strength. Furthermore, he is willing to try new things, indeed he has done so in his campaign. Chucking special interests, he appealed directly to the people, found grass-roots support way beyond the expectations of anyone. If he wins the presidency and ultimately fails to stir the citizens of the world, it will not be because he didn't try. But it is high time someone of world stature made the attempt. We vote for giving Obama the chance.

He has largely risen above the racism and sexism spewed by others. When he stood up to the Minister that married him, he proved he is his own man in the matters that matter if peace is ever to come. Sexism and racism are just two of the many rocks in the road to peace. They are now an overt part of the 2008 presidential race. Obama didn't make them issues, his conduct attests to that. Beware those who yell the loudest, sling real mud.

In large measure, if Obama wins the presidency, his subsequent success depends on us--and our fellow citizens everywhere.

Lord Acton had it right!
Which camp are we in?

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