Obama and Nixon

Catchy title, don’t you think? Bet you’re wondering what they could possibly have in common.

Well, before I go there, let me first say that I’m a life-long registered Democrat who has never voted for a Republican Presidential candidate. I have no ax to grind and no agenda here, other than to face life with eyes wide open as opposed to eyes wide shut.  To that end, Campbell Brown, CNN anchor and columnist, posted an interesting article today on CNN.com.

Ms. Brown notes that a year ago, Barack Obama publicly vowed that he would accept public financing and “work with the Republican nominee to ensure they both operated within those [spending] limits.” Problem is… Obama didn’t keep his word. Now why he didn’t keep his word is almost as important as the fact that he simply didn’t. The reason is that he quickly realized how much more money he could raise outside the constraints of the Federal Election Law rules. And since money not only talks in America, it also buys elective office, that observation wasn’t going to slip past a Harvard Law School graduate.  Hence, he reneged on his word.

So why Nixon?  Well, 19 years before Richard Nixon was elected President of the United States he had earned himself the nickname “Tricky Dick” based upon his campagin tactic against Helen Douglas for a United States Senate seat…which he won.

Now I never understood how people were shocked and surprised by Watergate and all that it encompassed, or Nixon’s erasing of the tapes, or his patent lying, when they had knowingly elected a man nicknamed “Tricky Dick.”  The only rationale I ever came up with was that despite the discernible facts, voters just didn’t want to know. And I think it’s happening again.

I’m not saying Obama is Nixon, or has his character..or lack thereof. I’m not even saying much about Obama… mainly because I don’t think this is about him.

I think it’s about Us. 

I think we need to wake up, rub the sleep from our eyes, get past the campaign slogans, and hold ourselves accountable for what is knowable vs. what we only want to know. 

And I think we’d better hurry.

There is too much at stake here to cry “poor me” after the fact if what we wind up with is exactly what is known before hand, but also exactly what we chose not to ponder too long or too hard.  As Michael Douglas said in the movie, An American President…. “Citizenship isn’t easy. You’ve got to want it bad.” 

Well, we’re still blessed with it…Citizenship, that is…admittedly within a system that’s less than perfect and which, lately, is more out of balance than is healthy. But while we still have a voice and a vote it’s our responsibility to call them as we see them…not as they tell us it is.  If you’re running on “Change” but fueling it through age-old-slight-of-hand and deceit…well, shame on me if I let you get away with it.

And shame on me if I help you get there.

Our choices aren’t great this time around. I’ll grant you that. I like Joe Biden but I’ve got to elect Obama to get to him. And I like John McCain but he is up in years and Sarah Palin worries me greatly. So does no check and balance with the prospect of a Democrat Congress and Executive Branch.

So, what to do?

I have no easy answer. Each of us has to privately come to that moment of truth on November 4th. That’s the beauty of it. My sole purpose here is to make enough noise to startle you into opening your eyes to all that’s knowable.

Once you do that, at least you can make an informed decision. Then you can take pride in knowing you  made a conscious choice… and let the chips fall where they will.

REMEMBER to click here to download a FREE copy of my e-book, “Too  Many Secrets.”

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