Election 2008: The Silly Season

The silly season, it seems, is upon us Now that the conventions are over and we have official candidates or President and Vice-President from both major parties, the campaign rhetoric has gotten downright silly and, un my opinion, stupid and even insulting. Insulting, yes,but not to the candidates bur rather to the American public. Here are two examples of what I mean, one from each party.

Th Reublicans are trying to pass off Sarah Palin as some sort of champion of wpmen’s rights, yet she is vehemently opposed to one of the most important women’s rights issues – the right for eery woman to decide for herself, without some man making the decision for her, as to whether she wants to have an abortion or not. The political aspect of this issue is not whether abortion is right or wrong, that is a moral question every woman needs to answer for herself, but whether a woman has the right to make that decision for herself or whether that decision is taken out of her hands by the government.Those opposed to abortion rights make it appear that supporting the right of American women to make that decision for themselves is, in their distortion of the issue, actually sayong that abortion is right, inthe moral sense of that word.

I think the reason these anti-abortion activists see it that way is because they see abortion as wrong and want to legislate morality. They see abortion as murder, but the issue is much more complex than these people are willing to admit. Murder can only occur, in the legal sense, if there is the taking of a human life. The legal question that needs to be answered first, and the one that everyone seems to be avoiding, is when does human life start? At what point does a fetus qualify as fully human? At what point does a fetus have a soul?

I am not sure we can ever answer that question legally, not without severely trampling the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The answers to all questions about the existence or non-existence of the soul are religious issues, not political issues. And until there is some hard scientific evidence for when a fetus gains a soul, evidence that is accepted by everyone irregardless of religious persuasion, the decision about whether to have an abortion or not should not be legislated, but left to the woman and her conscience, not the government.

As far as the Demcrats are concerned, they need to stop worrying about creating mdia bites and making pweaonal attacks against McCain or Palin, or anything that smacks of personal atacks – the “lipstick on a pig” remark comes to mind, and, instead talk about their solutions to our problems, what changes they want to make. Take this campaign to the high ground and leave the gutter to others. Through most of the primay races, when he was the perceived underdog, Obama sayd out of the gutter and focused on the issues. Bt when it became clear he was winning the nomination, there was a shuft toward the gutter – toward politics as usual. That has left Obama open to criticism and attacks from the GOP.

Obama and Biden need to get back to discussing the issues and attacking Palin and McCain on their track records and their stand on the issues that concern the voters. Leave playing the media game to the GOP. Give the American people credit for some intelligence. We will see the difference between real substantial change and hype for change.

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