Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Reflections on the Second Debate

There was one winner last night, and it was not McCain nor Obama. I've heard all the pundits complaining about how boring it was, how badly Tom Brokaw moderated, etc. I beg to differ. As I sat there listening initially, then lured into watch, my chest swelled with pride. Whatever my own preferences might be, here were two intelligent men with competing visions for America essentially asking for the support of the American people. Each did a more than adequate job of explaining that vision. I happen to side with one. And Tom Brokaw did a marvelous job of ensuring that there were no questions from melting snowmen and the like, that there were no "gotcha" questions. Yes, it was boring, particularly if you've been reporting on the campaign for two years. And policy, itself, is boring to all but wonks. But the debate was an excellent primer for those who are going to be called upon to pull that lever in November.

On that day, there will be no white smoke issuing from the Capitol building. There will be no bells tolling. It will not be the advent of a Messiah. Those who think he came already don't need one, and those who await his coming will still be waiting. There will, however, be the promise of a new administration, freely chosen by the citizens of this great Republic. There is no more beautiful a thing in the civic sphere.

I may or may not agree with the people's choice on that day, but I can countenance that there are opposing points of view, that people are entitled to their own opinions, that they can disagree without being immoral or stupid. I, of course, think I'm right; but so do they. In either case, there is always the next election. Fancy that! Stop, think, and marvel. As an Eastern European I knew used to say, "Ameriiica, Great Country!"

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