I think Thomas Sowell said it but there is, in this present political campaign, "a willingness to suspend belief." I sure agree with him. Both candidates, and the people in general, are seemingly willing to suspend belief and go with their emotions and feelings. In this scenario Obama wins the election easily. McCain has actually made the case for himself much worse since the Wall Street meltdown. I could not have imagined this a few weeks ago. I am not sure anyone could. But McCain's response is so bad that it is almost beyond belief. Obama's response is more measured at the end of the day.
First, McCain has launched an unfocused attack on greed and corruption. Well, yes, there is greed and corruption all around, but McCain offers no real solutions. Neither does Obama for that matter. But then I have come to believe the winner of this election may be the biggest loser in the end. America is broken and neither party can or will do the serious work needed to fix it. If you believe they can, then you are not yet dispossessed enough of your messianic dreams and seriously defective political grasp of reality. I am, by nature, an optimist. I am not optimistic, short term, about this election or about what follows it.
Second, McCain seems to be shooting guns in every direction each day. He has lost all focus and has no good answers right now. He seems to have no central core. Obama is running a far more disciplined campaign and McCain has nothing that offers real change. His zeal is real but his plans are unremarkable in their lameness. His suggestion in the last debate to "buy up mortgages and create new ones at the present value of a house" sounds like the kind of ploy Democrats would have happily used in the past. Obama rightly attacks this plan as dangerous. I fear it reveals what critics have said: "McCain doesn't understand economics and is now grasping at straws." Meanwhile Obama keeps darting and weaving and avoiding various issues. One friend of Obama's wrote in the Chicago Tribune that his debate strategy is much like Muhammad Ali's "rope-a-dope" technique when he won the heavyweight championship from a young George Foreman. He simply moves about taking and deflecting punches and lets McCain punch himself out! It is very well done and seems to work. I am not being cynical about this comment. I think Obama is clever and very smart to campaign in this way and actually shows great discipline. Whereas McCain represents "righteous zeal" out of control and ill-conceived, Obama represents what a friend of mine calls "cynical pragmatism." It is an odd combination in an election where Obama's party is led by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
Is this all about power in the end? I am no cynic but it sure seems that way. Time will tell. I hope whoever wins puts America first and seeks real solutions. I think neither man shows the courage to do what is really needed. I hope I am profoundly wrong.
Here is what I am sure about. The present economic and political situation is bad, very bad. It will more than likely get much worse. Churches and ministries are being forced to trim back but will they then figure out what really matters and get involved in mission at a time when history may present us with more ministry opportunity than we have ever imagined? Dark clouds are now real but they could bring showers of real mercy if we sought the Lord of heaven and earth. Present events are providing us with a great moment to reflect and pray. They provide us, as Christians, an opportunity to be "salt and light" like never before in our lifetime.