If Obama Loses in November
By Oh Young-jin
Assistant Managing Editor
As a nonvoting observer of U.S. politics, I would like to recommend American voters consider these three things before casting their ballots in the Nov. 4 presidential election. Here is my countdown.
No. 3 ― 3 A.M. Phone Call
At the height of the Democratic Party's presidential primaries, the Clinton camp came up with a television ad conjuring up an early morning emergency phone call demanding a crucial national security decision by the President. The goal of the ad was to highlight the lack of the then-rival Barack Obama's executive experience in contrast to the eight years Hillary spent as first lady in the White House.
Obama has chosen Joe Biden, a senator from Delaware and one of the most experienced foreign policy hands in Congress, as his running mate. The choice of Biden covers what some voters believe is Obama's weakest point.
In contrast, the presumptive Republican candidate John McCain is known for his expertise in foreign affairs. He chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who described herself as hockey mom before she was catapulted from being a small city mayor to her current job two years ago.
Now, let's assume (God forbid) that that emergency phone rings at the McCain White House and the President, who, at the age of 72, came into his first term as the oldest head of state in history, is incapacitated, leaving a crucial decision to the discretion of the former housewife.
That is an inflection point of sorts when a decision is made in November. Obama is 47 years old, athletic and eats organic foods. He doesn't need to worry about his health in the middle of the night.
No. 2 ― Spiritual Revival
The past eight years have seen the destruction of the American spirit as we know it. America's indignation was justified after 9/11 but lying to the world to conquer Iraq was wrong.
One wrong leads to another. There was Abu Ghraibs, where U.S. soldiers put a leash on the neck of Iraqi prisoners and paraded them around like dogs or forced them to form a human pyramid while barely dressed.
There is Quantico, where people are hauled in just on suspicion of being involved in terror acts without habeas corpus, and forced to spend years without adequate rights to an attorney or fair trial.
Then, in Iraq, American troops are staying without setting a date for withdrawal, overriding the post-Saddam Baghdad government's wishes.
The America we knew was a liberator, not an occupier. That 232-`young' nation was built on the spirit of fighting injustice and on the promise of fairness, all laid out by its founding fathers in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
McCain said that he would maintain U.S. military presence in Iraq for 100 years, an unequivocal commitment to continuing the Bush policy that has long been declared bankrupt.
America needs an agent of change who will rescue it from a state of moral bankruptcy and win the respect and support of the rest of the world.
For anybody who is not convinced, here is a question: Are we safer now after five years of Bush's war?
No. 1 ― American Hypocrisy
Reading newspapers or watching television news about the U.S. presidential campaign, one thing that might strike observers is the lack of race references. A closer look would reveal these references are still there but are being disguised, such as when Obama is described as failing to ``connect'' or perspective voters are portrayed as not knowing enough about him.
The point is made even clearer, considering the efforts made by the Obama camp. Bringing in Biden has made his ticket the color of hot milk chocolate. Describing himself as the son of a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother is another example.
His losses in white-majority states show the height of a race wall that exists and is ready to go up a notch higher at the slightest provocation.
Obama talks gratefully of what his country has given to him and cites his case as the fulfillment of the American dream. When he speaks of his determination to unite an ideological divide by blue columns and red columns, it appears to be a painstaking effort on his part to close the racial divide.
It is well known that in Korea regional prejudices were so strong against the minority Cheolla people that it was considered impossible for Kim Dae-jung, a politician from that region, to be elected president. Kim won the presidential election in 1997 thanks to an unusual political situation. His political achievements set aside, few would dispute that, after Kim's five years in power, the regional rivalry, once called the sickness leading to the death of the nation, was significantly eroded.
Prejudices are hard to do away with but they can be weakened. Sometimes, all that is needed is a push. That push could be Obama's election.