Being Right – False Hope

Olivia Offner

This issue of The Maroon-News hits the stands on Halloween, which is fitting, because the prospect of an Obama presidency is downright scary. A look at the polls from the past two weeks is enough to spook any Republican, but polls are famously inaccurate, and consistently give the lead to the Democrats. A week ago, pundits called McCain’s campaign over, but Mac has come back, making gains by energizing the spirit of American capitalism and entrepreneurship to fight Obama’s ultra-liberal and even socialistic tendencies. McCain has proven before that he cannot be written off, and in the past week, he proved it again. As I write, Gallup has Obama ahead by only two points. The margin has tightened each day. This race is not over.

The reason the polls have been tightening is that Obama peaked too soon. The media called the election. Obama had won. One newspaper actually printed “Obama Wins!” on the cover. While McCain has a habit of pulling ahead against all the odds, Obama’s history shows the exact opposite. During the primary season, Hillary Clinton won nearly all of the final primaries, even though voters knew Obama’s nomination was all but certain. Obama may be a gifted and charismatic speaker, but when the spotlight truly shines on him, he crumbles. When Americans see an Obama win as inevitable, they pull away. At first glance, Obama looks great. He can rev up a crowd with his idealistic speeches and his simplistic yet successful slogans of “Yes We Can,” and “Change We Can Believe In.” But after this first look, the public begins to see what is really there. And when Americans see Obama for who he is, they begin to “hope” they’re mistaken. That is when the American people get scared.

Americans are afraid of the possibility of a president who was friends with unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers. Raising the Ayers issue is not a sign of McCain’s campaign grasping at straws. It is not an irrelevant issue. McCain’s only problem is that he didn’t press the Ayers issue sooner. Obama’s association with William Ayers is a legitimate concern for voters. A look into Obama’s past reveals an alarming pattern of radical associations. Convicted felon Tony Rezko helped the Obamas buy their home. Obama lavished praise on a former operative of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. He sat in Rev. Wright’s church for 20 years, called him a spiritual advisor and a close friend who was like family to him. Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope took its title from a Rev. Wright sermon. Then he disowned him as soon as it was politically necessary. He audaciously expected the American people to believe that although he sat in his church for 20 years and counted him as a close friend “like family,” he never heard him say anything offensive. Then he had the gall to accuse McCain of running a negative campaign because McCain dared to bring up Ayers, when McCain nobly (and I think unnecessarily and stupidly) refused to go after Obama for his relationship with Wright. Obama’s associations would make it impossible for him to pass a simple federal background check. He couldn’t hold an entry-level position at the State Department. He couldn’t work in the mail room of the Department of Defense. And yet we are about to make him Commander-in-Chief.

Obama’s associations, though terrifying, are not the only things scaring away the Americans who are now giving Obama a closer look. Obama is the most liberal presidential candidate ever. His slogans of “hope” and “change” are appealing, but his actual policies are alarming. He wants to redistribute wealth with a tax code that penalizes success. He wants to expand welfare and entitlement programs. He wants to cut defense spending, but increase spending for nearly every other government program. He favors partial birth abortion, a procedure that most Americans oppose and many consider infanticide. He wants to sit down with our enemies without preconditions. He still refuses to admit that the surge in Iraq was a success, and has called Iran a tiny country that is not a serious threat. Obama is the least experienced person to ever run for president. His record is paper thin, and what record he has is incredibly troubling. Obama’s record proves he will not deliver on his promises; all he can provide is false hope.

Obama’s campaign is a phenomenon. His support and success are irrational. He has captured the emotions of the American people. But he can’t stand a closer look. We saw it before in the primaries. Hillary won almost all of the final primaries. He crawled across the finish line, barely clinching the nomination. Obama has trouble closing the deal. McCain’s history reveals the exact opposite. When he is down, McCain time and time again manages to come out from behind. He did it in New Hampshire in 2000, and again in the primaries this year. As the Americans give Obama one last look, they will realize the alarming truth behind the fa?cade, and they will turn to a safe and reliable alternative. Obama may have the popular vote in the bag, but this election is not a popularity contest. And wouldn’t it be ironically fitting if Obama, who won the Democratic nomination despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote on November 4 but lost the presidency to John McCain? We can always hope.