October 16, 2008
Watching the final debate between John McCain and Barack Obama Wednesday night made me wish that McCain had behaved like this much earlier in the campaign. But McCain wanted to be Mr. Nice Guy, which allowed Obama’s supporters to be something else. You can’t win a fight or a political battle if you play by one set of rules and the other guy plays by a different set.
What McCain should have done is point out that America may be about to elect the least experienced president in modern and perhaps our entire history. It is a roll of the dice, a complete gamble. Barack Obama has achieved nothing in his life that would recommend him for this job. Like jimmy carter, he presents himself as a messiah-like figure who will rescue us from the perceived sins of the current president. It is all form and little substance.
But we are a substance-free people, preferring image to everything else; feelings over accomplishment. We had better be careful what we wish for because the feelings we get from making the wrong choice could haunt us for many years to come.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.