Obama v McCain

This week will see the election of a new President of the United States of America. The most powerful office in the world will soon be held by a man who has spent his life fighting for a revolution or a man who spent a great deal of his life fighting against them.

Whilst I support McCain, the polls predict an Obama win. His message of change has an appeal to those who are struggling under a stalled economy and rising unemployment. These people are desperate to believe that a change in President (or Party) will make their lives better.

Obama has also been the beneficiary of media coverage that appears to be neither objective nor particularly accurate.

Much has been made of his fundraising prowess which includes a massive $150 million in donations received in a single month. However, few mainstream media outlets have reported the ability to donate to the Obama campaign from overseas or using a false name – both illegal acts under US law.

Mickey Mouse from Iran could donate to the Obama campaign online whilst the McCain web site would not accept such a contribution.

According to newspaper reports, it’s humorous for an Obama supporter to hang a Sarah Palin effigy with a noose around its neck for Halloween but two republicans who did the same with an Obama likeness were arrested.

Both are in bad taste but why the difference in treatment?

To be frank, the deification of Obama by the media reminds me of the welcome mat rolled out for Kevin Rudd when he became Labor leader. The character flaws and poor behaviour were masked in a litany of excuses whilst the limited policy prescription was characterised as ‘John Howard lite’.

There are many reasons for Rudd’s election, but surely one of them has to be the lack of scrutiny applied to the grandiloquence and rambling waffle he used then and continues to use today.

If Obama wins, one could draw a similar conclusion. Sure, there are plenty of other factors like a very unpopular Republican President, two unpopular wars, a crashing economy and escalating job losses, but none of these excuse a lack of appropriate media scrutiny of either candidate.

Away from the teleprompter and his soaring rhetoric, Obama preaches for a redistribution of wealth, of greater taxes for those who employ others and for bigger government.

Rather than considered as ‘change we can believe in’, Obama’s agenda feels suspiciously like a return to the socialism that stifled growth and prosperity decades ago.

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