I am a great admirer of several of the New York Times Op-Ed Columnists and not the least of these is Bob Herbert. I find great wisdom in what he has to say and today was no exception.
Democrats everywhere are really busy mouthing about Sarah Palin and much of it is justified, but as Herbert said today, “Palin is the latest GOP distraction. She’s meant to shift attention away from the real issue of this campaign – the awful state of the nation after eight years of Republican rule. The Republicans are brilliant at distractions. Willie Horton was a distraction. The chatter about gays, guns and God has been a long-running distraction. And we all remember the Swift-boat campaign.”
There are much bigger issues that the Republicans don’t want you dwelling on these days, issues such as schools having to cut costs, and this as 50 million children are getting ready to return to classes all across our country. The crippling increases in the price of food and fuel, not to mention the economic downturn.
These are the things that Democrats should be focusing on and not, to quote, Herbert, the “bash Ms. Palin bandwagon”. And Obama and Biden have kept their comments about her quite mild and that’s fine. “But the great issues of this campaign loom like giant redwoods over the pathetic weeds of politics as usual and the myriad distractions that have turned one presidential election after another into a national embarrassment.”
Seventy- two years ago, in his renomination speech at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, Franklin D. Roosevelt rose above the boiler-plate rhetoric of political speeches and spoke of his generation’s “rendezvous with destiny>”
He warned of the perils to the nation of economic inequality, “Liberty,” he said, “requires the opportunity to make a living, a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.”
Those words certainly resonate today with the very meaning of America, a meaning that is so much deeper than what our politics have become, “We are fighting,” he told his audience, “to save a great and precious form of government, for ourselves and for the world.”
Let us hope that we all can remember those words as this election moves ahead. Let us move beyond the petty and disgusting efforts that the Republicans have become so adept at in attempting to destroy their opponents by whatever means. Hopefully by so doing we can move ahead in securing the dream that Roosevelt laid out for this country seventy-two years ago.
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