I really do try to stay away from politics in this space (with the somewhat recent exception of my post on attending the Democratic Convention, although even that post didn’t discuss policy). However I can’t seem to hold myself back this time. I’m completely frustrated with some of the rhetoric coming out of the Republican party. Specifically the notion that there is a single "right" point of view on any given issue and that if you disagree with the Republican position, you’re simply not a real American. It’s part of the view Bush laid out several years ago that you’re either "for us or against us" and precludes the possibility of any real conversation or debate. It’s complete bullshit. I understand that campaigns can be nasty and that in this campaign both candidates (and their proxies) have at times stretched the truth (although certainly McCain has run a significantly more negative campaign than Obama). But I’m sick of being labeled "un-Americain" or "un-Patriotic" because I don’t support the Republican platform. I want a president (Democrat or Republican) who supports and governs all Americans, who sees and embraces the diversity of opinion in our country and understands the nuance of policy differences that results from that diversity. If we’ve learned anything in the last 8 years it’s that presidents who see nothing but black or white, who apply simplistic heuristics to analyze complex situations and who refuse to live anywhere but in their own bubble, are destined to fail – and to do so miserably and completely.
The real reason the Republican message is falling short this year is because they’ve made it clear that in their view they are there only to support "real Americans" and unfortunately for them, most American’s apparently aren’t their kind of "real". It’s sad, too – I had some respect for John McCain in the past and would have seriously considered voting for him back in 2000 (when he was truly a centrist and closer in politics to Bill Clinton than he was to George Bush). No longer….