Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com
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Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

The 2000s have been a troubling time for America. Hanging chads, 9/ 11, the Iraq war, diminished influence on the world stage and now an economic collapse. Add it up and we have been on a downward spiral.

The crisis of confidence that has been cited as the cause of the financial turmoil both domes­tically and abroad has its roots in a society that has lost confidence, not just in the financial markets, but in itself. We now doubt our ability to solve the problems that confront us. We have lost faith in our leaders, and fear has become the dominant emotion.

It’s time for a hero.

What we need is a JFK, an FDR, an Abraham Lincoln. What they had in common was that they were inspirational, and, to use a word Col­in Powell emphasized when he endorsed Oba­ma, transformational figures.

For many, the emergence of Barack Obama has rekindled a sense of hope. Beyond policy and politics he has created an aura of possibil­ity that we can regroup and get back to being the global leader that we were in the last centu­ry.

While those three presidents were loved by many it should be remembered that they were reviled by many as well. Their terms were marked by crisis, and they were not successful in all endeavors. But they changed things. They brought optimism and opportunity to the pop­ulace, and they each improved our standing in the world.

Obama may not have the chops for becoming a transformational hero. But for the last year he has a run a campaign based on unity, hope and optimism. He has brought crowds together in the U.S. and Europe with equal enthusiasm. He has proven himself a capable organizer, a skill he learned on the streets of Chicago while oth­er politicians were learning the way of divisive­ness that permeates Washington.

He has shown that he has the potential to bring change to this nation and to the world. Simply put, Barack Obama looks like the future, and his opponent looks and sounds like the past.

For the past six months, the McCain cam­paign has lurched from one disaster to the next. The choice of Sarah Palin as the vice-presiden­tial candidate was a cynical attempt to pander to women voters. Now they are suggesting that the Republican Party is the party of Joe the Plumber in another attempt to pander to a con­stituency that they have never represented.

John McCain has relied on the very campaign tactics (and hired the same people) that were used by George W. Bush to defeat McCain in 2000. It is both surprising and disappointing that the former lead driver on the “Straight Talk Express” has resorted to the politics of fear and derision in his effort to get elected. McCain is as much responsible for his own demise as Oba­ma is for his rise.

I realize that elections are determined by vot­ers, not pollsters, but I am confident that, come Tuesday, we will be looking at a very different reality. That’s not to say that anyone who has not already voted shouldn’t still get to the polls however. It is more important to show up and vote this year than ever.

… There’s a train a’ comin’.


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