Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Ugly Campaign

An editorial from Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete was published today at the Italian news site Il Sussidario.Net discussing the denigration of the campaign since the economic crisis.

USA/ Obama and McCain protagonists of an ugly campaign
Lorenzo Albacete
mercoledì 15 ottobre 2008

As of this writing, the one issue that will determine the results of the elections in the United States three weeks from today is the current financial and economic crisis.

The American people are angry, very angry. Since the Party in power during the last eight years is the Republican Party, the current crisis favors the Democrats led by Senator Barack Obama. All the main polls show him needing only to win in one of five undecided States in order to obtain the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Senator McCain would have to win all of the States that show no clear winner, but in all of them he is a few percentage points behind Obama.

In an attempt to try to change the topic of confrontation away from the crisis in the economy, McCain’s campaign has turned to subjects designed to undermine the credibility, honesty, and political motivations of Obama. The purpose is to cast doubt on his patriotism and question whether he really is “one of us.” In the Internet, in talk-show radio, the claim is made that he is not a Christian but a Moslem, that he has been associated with domestic terrorism, that he has been closed to African American extremists, etc. The situation reached such levels that Senator McCain had to publicly dissociate himself from these claims.

Sarah Palin, chosen by McCain in order not to lose the support of the culturally conservative base of the Party, often attacks Obama in language that suggests that the “real Obama” is a different kind of person than what he pretends to be. Obama’s campaign keeps arguing that McCain is “erratic” in his thinking, thus suggesting that he is already exhibiting signs of old age and that Sarah Palin is a totally ignorant and incompetent person sustained only by personal ambition.

The campaign has thus become ugly, further alienating those who have lost all trust in the two Parties. These “independents” are going to decide who wins, and as they see their American Dream broken in pieces by their economic loss, it is going to be very difficult for McCain to make up for his loss of support. Everyone is waiting to see the last debate between Obama and McCain, but few people expect that something significant will happen that will alter the terms of the confrontation between the two candidates.

And then there is the issue of race. This has finally surfaced in the public discussion, but no one seems totally sure of what effect it will have in the election.

Il Sussidiario.Net

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