How often do Americans stop and think how fortunate they are to live in America?
This week was the anniversary of the terrible Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the foiled attack on another Washington, D.C., target, perhaps the U.S. Capitol or the White House.
How many Americans stop and realize how fortunate we all are that there have been no other successful terrorist attacks in the past seven years. This isn't just a matter of luck.
If we were to believe current campaign talk by the Obama and Biden crowd, the country is in terrible shape, citizens are no safer than they were eight years ago, and the Bush administration is doing little if anything to protect our nation.
There's no question that those who planned and executed the attacks on New York and Washington and hijacked another plane still are planning and trying to carry out other deadly attacks.
It's easy for those trying to discredit President Bush and others in his administration to say the Bush team has failed to adequately safeguard this country.
It's easy to make wild charges and suggestions as to what should or should not be done. This is nothing but partisan, political talk, and those acting as experts have absolutely nothing to lose. They can make all kinds of charges and say what should be done, but it is all hollow because they do not have to face up to the challenge and perform. Hindsight is great, and this is the tactic being used by the Obama-Biden team.
This is what is troubling about the current race between Obama and McCain.
Democrats say the election of McCain would be merely four more years of Bush policies. This is their constant theme of attack. They make every effort to convince voters there is no difference between McCain and Bush and give McCain no credit for being his own man with his own ideas and plans of how he would serve as president.
The bitterness and hatred of Bush among a good percentage of Democrats is so strong they are committed to do anything, say anything and write anything they think will hurt McCain and the Republican Party.
This intense feeling is so deep it causes many to wonder what would happen if McCain should defeat Obama and move into the White House. Democrats have thought they would have a cake walk into the presidency, considering the Iraq war, the economy and the various congressional seats Democrats won in 2006 in traditionally strong GOP areas.
Now, only seven or so weeks before the election, McCain enjoys a slight lead over Obama and the mood among Democrats has changed. McCain's selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate also changed the scene.
All of a sudden, Democrats are waking up to the fact they are in a tight, tough race. They are stunned, suddenly frightened by the possibility of losing. Even some in the media are urging them to get tough and mean and get into a "gut" fight.
Consequently, they are shifting into a different mode. They are committed to doing anything they can to try to damage the image of McCain and Palin. Teams of Obama-Biden supporters have been sent to Alaska to try to dig up any facts about Palin that might be embarrassing and damaging.
Many in the liberal media are asking far more penetrating questions of Palin than they have of Obama. Likewise, many in the media display a different set of standards or guidelines when reporting the statements and positions of Obama and Biden than when reporting the positions of the GOP team. There are double standards.
Consider the tone and manner of ABC's Charles Gibson's interview of Palin vs. interviews with Obama or Biden.
A recent Wall Street Journal piece titled "Obama's Lost Years" states, "The Columbia years are a hole in the sprawling Obama hagiography. In his two published memoirs, the 47-year-old Democratic nominee barely mentions his experience there. He refuses to answer questions about Columbia and New York, which in this media age, serves only to raise more of them. Why not release his Columbia transcript? Why has his senior essay gone missing?"
The editorial continued, "Such caginess is grist for speculation. Some think his transcript, if released, would reveal Mr. Obama as a mediocre student who benefited from racial preference. Yet he later graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, so he knows how to get good grades."
Regardless of past abuses and the sure-to-come excesses leading up to Election Day, the increased intensity of the campaign, the meanness or unfairness, the bias and likely charges of voter fraud - regardless of all this, consider how fortunate we are to enjoy the freedoms provided to those living in the United States.
These freedoms, all freedoms, must be protected to assure that America is, indeed, a very special place.