No Change Or Straight Talk, Just Flip Flop
However, Adams was an passionate guy when it came to independence and the issues that the fledgling United States government faced. Certainly, John Adams did not lack for conviction on how to solve the issues of his day. The passion for solutions to the problems of the early years of this country stand in stark contrast to our Presidential candidates' consultant, poll driven, media obsessed, national marketing campaigns of today.
In the 2008 Presidential election there is one candidate (Barack Obama) running on a campaign platform of hope and government change. The other candidate, (John McCain) drives a bus and flies on a plane adorned with the campaign slogan, "The Straight Talk Express".
However, so far, in this 2008 presidential election campaign, there is very little straight talk while change is a political slogan without much substance. In fact, the only thing both major party candidates have achieved so far is to confuse the voter about what each of their respective campaigns actually stands for.
Indeed, the partisans in each political party will say that their candidate is pure and it is really the other guy who shifts positions on issues to fit each changing political breeze. The record shows that these political partisans are wrong and that both candidates read from the same tired, old, campaign playbook.
Barack Obama is the Democrat’s new age candidate of "hope" and "change". His campaign is currently running an ad in the mid west that states that he voted for reforming welfare several years ago. The truth is that he actually voted against it when his vote counted. It well may be that he supports welfare reform today, but he did not back then. It is only one example of the disingenuous political "flip flops" in his campaign during the last several weeks.
Earlier in the year, Obama pledged to use public financing as long as his Republican opponent did. He stated; "If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." Of course there will be no pursuit of that agreement now that Obama has discovered that he can raise more money than his rival from private donors for the general election campaign.
Also, consider that it was only five months ago that Barack Obama voted against a Senate bill providing retroactive immunity to telecom companies that provided information to American intelligence communities. In fact, Obama was very vocal against providing immunity for this type of surveillance which was used after 9/11 to follow-up on leads of domestic terrorist communications coming from overseas. However, last week, Obama voted "yes" on the new FISA bill that provides the same retroactive immunity that he so vigorously campaigned against just a few short months back.
Indeed, recent Obama political "flip flops" seem to go on and on. Today Obama believes in gun ownership rights and says he always believed in them. However, past interviews with him on that subject reflect a much different stance on the issue. His position has changed on the issue of taxes. In 2006, he voted against extending write-offs for small businesses and the Bush tax cuts to the capital-gains rates. In addition, he has long assailed Bush's "tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy CEOs.'' However, recently, he told the Wall Street Journal that corporate tax rates could be reduced after eliminating loopholes.
Everyone should remember Barack Obama's position during the Democratic Primary on the war in Iraq. He had set a firm Iraq withdrawal timetable of 16 months. Now, the campaign's position as stated by his foreign policy advisor, Susan Rice on MSNBC indicates that Obama would ``redeploy our forces responsibly, at a rate that our commanders say is safe and sustainable.'' Also, Obama has stated that an upcoming trip to Iraq will help to "refine" his policies.
Obama's “flip flops” even extend to his family's role in his national campaign. Two weeks ago, he allowed both his daughters to be interviewed by the national media. Last week he said that in retrospect he regretted allowing that interview and probably would not do it again.
The Straight Talk Express of Republican John McCain is certainly matching Barack Obama in the area of political “flip flops.” McCain previously supported an oil drilling moratorium, now he is against it. Also, he was comfortable with a windfall tax on oil companies, now suddenly he opposes it. McCain was against the current Bush wiretap program, now he is for it. He wanted to privatize Social Security, now he is against it. He used to think that the estate tax was fair, now he doesn't. He has opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. However, when the Supreme Court recently came to the same conclusion, he called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”
There are many more examples of recent issue "flip flops" by both candidates, but by now the picture should be clear. It's not about solutions to problems or consistent intellectual positions on the issues. Sadly, it's all about polls, consultants, and media sound bites designed for the sole purpose of getting elected to the Oval Office in November. Therefore, this 2008 Presidential election is not about change, or straight talk, only "flip flop".
James William Smith has worked in senior management positions for some of the largest financial services firms in the United States for the last twenty five years. He has also provided business consulting support for insurance organizations and start up businesses. Mr. Smith has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Boston College. He enjoys writing articles on political, national, and world events. Visit his website at http://www.eworldvu.com