Driving across the country the past two days listening to talk radio, both conservative and liberal, leaves this writer confused, angry, puzzled, frustrated and frightened about the upcoming presidential election, now less than 40 days away.
The consequences of this election could be enormous, either for good or bad, depending on who wins.
The big news of the past two days, or at least the topic that commanded the most air time, is the murder of the American ambassador in Libya along with the other Americans, two current or former members of the U.S. Navy Seals and another individual trying to protect the ambassador.
Both conservative and liberal commentators and reporters agree President Obama and his top aides and spokespeople have either lied to or misled the American public about the attack, which killed the four Americans at the U.S. embassy. For days, Obama, his White House spokesman, his United Nations ambassador and his other aides continued to claim this was not an organized terrorist attack by those who hate America, but rather a spontaneous event resulting from anger over a video produced here in America.
It is frightening to see a president not shooting straight with the nation and, apparently, a large percentage of the public saying it is OK or that it isn’t that important.
If he can lie or mislead people about the killing, doesn’t this send a message that he can, perhaps has, lied about other critical situations? What could the country expect if he is re-elected?
Other topics covered by reporters included reports of various polls of probable voters and polls of the general citizenry.
Most of the polls reportedly showed a widening gap between Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney, particularly in the so-called toss-up states that have sizable electoral votes. In these swing states, Obama is said to be pulling away from Romney due primarily to two factors: the so-called “Clinton bump” and Romney’s less-than-exciting campaign effort.
The Clinton bump, or stimulus, is what these political observers and commentators claim the Obama campaign received from Clinton’s speech at the recent Democratic National Convention.
The former president claimed Obama had inherited a terrible situation when he moved into the White House, that he has tried harder than any other president to improve and correct the situation, that no president has had more of an interest in the welfare of this country’s citizens, that he is a good man and that he needs and deserves four more years to get the job done. And the public, because Clinton has said this, believes these are the facts.
The message is: Things are better today than when Obama became president.
Others point out things are not better. In fact, by most every yardstick, things are worse. One commentator noted Obama, if he should win, would be facing worse conditions next year than he faced when he first moved into the White House.
Other concerns debated by the commentators include whether the media is terribly and openly biased in favor of Obama, why the FBI hasn’t been sent to Libya to get the facts about the killing of a U.S. ambassador, what message it sends to our enemies that the U.S. filmmaker who supposedly triggered the riots in the Middle East now is imprisoned, the damage done to this country’s image of strength and resolve, how the news can be and is manipulated, and, again and again, what message does it send to both Americans and those in other countries when the U.S. president lies or, being generous, tells half-truths?
Other concerns centered on Obama’s failure to measure up on many of his campaign promises such as transparency, building respect abroad, cutting unemployment numbers, reducing the national debt and not pitting one segment of our country against another.
It would be interesting to know what foreign visitors in this country would think about the upcoming election if they had spent two days listening to talk radio or listening to the TV sets in their motel rooms as they traveled across the country.
If it is confusing to Americans, what must it be like to foreigners who happen to be in the U.S. at this time or those living around the world?
Unfortunately, Uncle Sam does not enjoy the respect it once merited throughout the world. It is weaker in many respects. The U.S. citizenry is more divided today than it has been for decades. Our national debt has never been greater and our unemployed, under-employed and drop-out numbers are a disgrace.
Obama says he needs four more years, and yet, based on his record the past four years, there is little justification for optimism if he should be re-elected for another term.
Romney critics claim he is uninspiring, dull and almost dead.
He may not be the most exciting candidate and he certainly isn’t as eloquent as the president, but what’s important: making good speeches or getting the job done?