Thursday, August 14, 2008


It’s not a card game

Is Senator Obama “playing the race card”? Or is it Senator McCain who is? Who’s playing the religion card? The war-hero card? The age card? Or is it the youth card? I can't remember.

And how many cards are in this deck?

OK, so... here: Barack Obama is black, yes, he is. He’s African-American. On his father’s side, that is; his mother is white. He’s Christian. He’s lived in Indonesia and Hawaii. His middle name is Hussein. And he’s a few years younger than I am.

John McCain is white, and is also Christian. He’s divorced and re-married. He’s relatively old — he’ll be 72 at the end of this month — and his wife is almost 20 years younger than he is. He was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and he was tortured there. He was born in the Canal Zone.

And none of that makes any difference. None of it makes either one of them more nor less suitable to be president. So let’s stop with all these “cards”, and get back to the issues.

We’ve seen some of that, recently, as both candidates have talked about bringing science back out of the Dark Ages (officially, 20 Jan 2001 through 19 Jan 2008), and that’s good — it’s good that they’re saying that, and it’s good that we’re seeing the issues in the forefront some of the time.

So, yeah: issues. There are plenty of them. Science, medicine and health care, the economy, education, energy, civil rights, human rights, war and bringing the troops home, other foreign affairs... the list goes on, and we all need to know where the candidates stand on them so we can vote accordingly.


lidija said...

If only that was really the case, that we looked at issues. Many people vote for someone like them and/or the person who makes them feel comfortable (likeness included).

Which is why Obama's VP will be a while male. The deck is stacked against him (ha-ha) otherwise.

Thomas J. Brown said...

The Daily Show did a hilarious piece about the "card game."

Barry Leiba said...

Thanks for the pointer; that's great. And, yes, his point that it's often been the media that "plays the [whatever] card" is spot on.

W.M. Irwin said...

Both candidates recently have been playing the "get tough and act presidential" card with the Russians, although neither has any executive power behind their words (not even their own parties' nominations yet) as well as a lack of vital intelligence information as to what is exactly going on right now in Georgia and what is being done right now in secret behind-the-scenes talks to resolve the conflict. Say what you will about the current occupant of the White House: he's the one currently entrusted with conducting our country's foreign policy, for better or (hopefully not) for worse, along with the authorized people and instruments to carry it out.

Barry Leiba said...

Another great point, which I'll distill to this message: campaigns are a perfect time to watch people talking without their knowing what they're talking about.