The current Presidential election is probably the hottest political contest in history, literally dividing America down the middle. This has left me feeling more invested in the outcome of this election, more so than ever. To be perfectly blunt, it has me scared for our great nation's future.
In both cases, the candidates have met the enemy face to face. On the one hand, John McCain served in the US Navy as a pilot during the Vietnam War, having been shot down and held in captivity for many years. His tenure in a prisoner of war camp left him with such injuries that affect his life today. As part of his torture, McCain's arms were broken and not reset. Having healed in this way, he is unable to do such mundane things as operate a computer to check his email, an inability that his opponents at one time seized upon to ridicule him. Surprisingly, McCain was offered the opportunity to be repatriated and go home, but refused to leave without the release of all remaining prisoners in his camp. This is one of the most courageous decisions I can imagine.
Barack Obama has met the enemy, too, in a living room in preparation for his political future. Mentioned in the New York Times, Obama was aided in his Illinois state senate campaign in 1995 by William Ayers, founder of a terror group which claimed responsibility for numerous bombings which killed three people. Recently, Ayers has pursued a career in education, which in itself is startling considering that he has remained unrepentant through the years, being quoted as recently as 2001 in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune as defending his past terrorist actions.
Both candidates have met the enemy, one on a field of battle, one in a campaign. If Obama has known Ayers since at least 1995, it is difficult to imagine that he has never had the opportunity to learn of Ayers' background or his continuing comments and beliefs. When combined with Obama's well documented history with the radical Reverend Jeremiah Wright and now a history with an organization named ACORN, a community activist group accused of voter fraud, you must ask yourself how he keeps moving in the same orbit with these types of people. You also must consider this, that if all of these types of people are helping Obama with his career, what in turn does Obama now owe to them in return? Nothing in politics is free, everything comes with a price.
Notice that I have not mentioned the candidates' respective political parties or race. These are so much less in importance to me as the candidate as a whole. We need change. We need to clean up Washington, not consciously allow what is tantamount to politics as usual masked as change. We need a different type of person in Washington, and the best way is to find someone who practices in their personal lives what we would like to see in a politician's public life. One does translate to the other.