Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Perfect McCain Platform

Bill Whittle wrote an article for National Review last week summarizing the appeal of McCain and Palin's well received acceptance speeches. I think Whittle is spot on. If McCain and Palin can bottle that stuff the election is theirs. You can take what Whittle wrote and distill it down to a simple campaign strategy for Sen. McCain:
  • To those who worry about your age...remind them your mother is 96.
  • Use the story of your family's tradition of military service to remind people that some things are more important than politics.
  • Remind us that it's a dangerous world out there, and you have the experience and the good judgment to be commander-in-chief.
  • Admit that we Republicans lost the confidence of the people because we weren't true to our principles: personal integrity, fiscal responsibility and individual liberty.
  • Commit to returning Washington to these principles and remind everyone that you and Gov. Palin have a track record of reform and independent thinking.
  • Let Gov. Palin continue to demonstrate that she understands the lives of ordinary Americans because she is one of them.
  • Be humble.
  • Be hopeful.
  • Be patriotic.
  • Remind us that we live in the greatest country in the world, prosperous and strong, a defender of freedom and justice, a bulwark against tyranny and oppression.

I don't think the Democrats help their cause by always talking about how terrible things are and how bad the United States is. Most Americans are patriots. We don't like it when the Europeans criticize and belittle and scold us. Obama and Biden need to avoid that Euro-tone of elitist condescension like the plague. McCain and Palin can capitalize on the Democratic tendency by being unabashedly patriotic. "Sure there are some problems and when we're elected we're going to tackle them head on. But this is still the greatest country in the history of the world, and we are proud to be Americans!"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Community Organizers

For a while now I've been wondering what a "community organizer" is. Obama's official bio on his website doesn't explain it very well. I found a long article on Wikipedia, but I was still a bit confused. It seems to be some form of liberal political activism, but I couldn't quite get a good picture in my mind of what it would look like as a day to day activity. Luckily Iowahawk (via Transterrestrial Musings) has come to the rescue. Here, finally, is a detailed list of duties for a community organizer:
  • reach out and work with communities in various ways.
  • liaison with, and for, community agencies for service within affected areas.
  • fight to make a difference.
  • raise awareness.
  • deal with community issues.
  • raise awareness in the community of how we are making differences about undealt-with issues.
  • when necessary, refer inquiries to outreach coordinators.
  • help coordination agency administrators identify and address outreach opportunities.
  • model timetables and conceptualize benchmarks.
  • issue guidelines for poster contests and interpretive dance festivals.
  • gather voter registrations, win valuable prizes.
Clear now? :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Letter to the Candidates

Dear Senator Obama and Senator McCain:

Ok, the conventions are over and the election is finally in sight. I’m listening now. Unlike you, I haven’t been eating, breathing and sleeping this campaign for a year and a half. So if there’s anything you really want me to hear you will probably want to repeat it. Oh, I tuned in briefly six months ago to vote in the primary, but now I’m back. The first time I listened to either of you at length was the Saddleback forum a couple of weeks ago. I also made it a point to hear your acceptance speeches. I’ll be looking at your web sites, and I’ll start reading more news articles about you and your campaigns. One thing I won’t be doing is watching much TV. I hardly ever watch TV. So don’t bother with those expensive TV ads on my account. But then, you aren’t particularly targeting the middle-aged evangelical geek vote, are you? I didn’t think so!

Let me tell you what I care about, anyway. I’m looking for substance. I dislike partisan attacks that misrepresent your opponent. Character and integrity are important. I will scrutinize what you say and do, looking for clues that you are not who you present yourself to be. I will look for things that illuminate your worldview, by which I mean your underlying values and assumptions. I’m interested in your policy proposals, yes, but I’m more interested in your philosophy of government, because that tells me more about what you will say and do in the future.

Please don’t promise things you can’t deliver. Please don’t treat us like children. Please don’t say one thing to one group and another thing to another group. And never, ever lie to us. In four months one of you will be the most powerful man in the world. Show us you deserve it.

Bill Hensley