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.

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  1. jls October 12, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Is this a willing suspension of belief? Or is it a willing suspension of disbelief, as when people watch a movie and become engrossed in the story line even though they consciously know that it’s not true?
    I have been trying to keep a cool head about the election, but yesterday I almost lost it when I received in the mail a brochure from the Obama campaign. It had a table that compared, for each household income bracket, how much each household would *get* under the Obama tax plan versus the McCain plan. Magically, under Obama, everyone wins. And under McCain, everyone loses. What a surprise! The implication is that, if I don’t vote for Obama, I must be a complete fool. Or I must be one of those unpatriotic fat cats who makes over $250,000 and doesn’t want to share. Is it only me? Or does anyone else think this is offensive?
    We troubles me most is the implication that, in these difficult times, we all should be thinking, “What will I get?” The message is loud and clear: Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what your country can do for you.
    All of the candidates’ talk about “my plan” versus “my opponent’s plan” is pointless because I can’t think of a single instance when a newly elected president did anything close to what he said he would do. Obama is more than happy to just talk about these plans, and McCain has accepted these parameters as well.
    I pray that when the election is over, and reality sets in, our politicians’ shallowness, hypocrisy and deceit will be revealed. This will not happen through the mainstream media, which have been actively pushing the suspension of disbelief. But perhaps it will happen through other channels. Now, more than ever, we need the Holy Spirit to awaken in us a longing for truth.

  2. Chris Criminger October 13, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Hi John,
    As usual I think your insights on these issues are right and reveals how many of us feel and view things at the moment.
    I mean, how many times can John McCain try to reinvent himself? John McCain’s campaign has been so messy and awful and yet one would think Obama would have huge leads in the polls (which he does not).
    Maybe people are not as ready for the liberal senator or a one party system as the media thinks?
    On election day, if Obama has a double digit lead, he will win in a landslide I believe.
    On the other hand, if Obama only has a four or five point lead, this election may be really close and McCain may still pull off what seems like the impossible like only he can.
    I heard today Obama claiming the Clinton model for his Presidency (I hope that is really true economically and not just rhetorically). But if John McCain is going to do any good on the economic crises at all, he is going to have to be tough and follow a Reagan model.
    I hope and pray if McCain somehow wins this election, we get a new John McCain following Reaganomics and not the old McCain who fits in too easily with big government spending.

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