By Pamela Ann Moeller
Valley City, N.D.
Our country, as a result of the Bush administration, still awaits success against al-Qaida, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. We flounder in an administration-brokered economic catastrophe that threatens every city in this nation. We pay through the nose for health care or do without because we can’t get insurance. Some of us are losing our homes because we were taken in by greedy and unregulated mortgage brokers, and many of us have watched the value of our retirement funds sink like the proverbial lead balloon.
Generally, the best predictor of future performance is past performance. Ninety percent of the time John McCain voted with the Bush administration. That suggests we can anticipate a 10 percent difference in a McCain administration from the current one. A 10 percent change in our situation in the world, in our economy, in earmarks, health care, unregulated “free” enterprise and energy policies isn’t good enough, even if it’s positive change. McCain’s chosen running mate, Sarah Palin, has incited hostility and dangerous rage in describing Barack Obama as “palling around with terrorists,” and in tolerating other slanderous accusations against him. It appears the only values and ethics she respects are her own.
“Experience” means little or much depending on what kind it is and how it is used. Experience acquired supporting the Bush administration, or in the self-limited view of a novice governor, doesn’t promise much help to our country in the current dire straits. Nor do “experience” as “mavericks” with temper control issues, shooting from the hip and contempt for others offer much encouragement.
We need people in the executive offices who we can rely on to think things through carefully, weigh decisions thoughtfully and face crises calmly. We need people we can count on to know and honor the Constitution, people with a deep and wide knowledge base at their fingertips, and the humility to seek out the most qualified people to serve on the administrative team. We need people who bring authentic presence and wisdom into the room when they meet heads of state from other countries.
We need unequaled competence, excellence in knowledge, ability, integrity and wisdom in our president and vice president. We need, in McCain’s own words, “a steady hand” at the tiller.
That’s why I’m voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.