Yet, despite their excellent attributes, there are certain instances where they remain a bit impetuous and impulsive. Try as some of them might, they don't always think things through long enough. Something sounds good, they want it, sometimes they get it, and occasionally it's not long before they are sorry. Occasionally, some of them will screw something up so bad, they will break down, humble themselves, and ask us older people to fix it.
Most of the time it only involves the small things, but there are times, when it doesn't. I have seen some pretty silly things done by those that really should know better. Just when I have think I have seen it all, something new comes up. And suddenly I become the old sage in the cave that has all the answers, and they are usually answers that were given to them before the situation unfolded, in the form of a fatherly warning (whether they are mine or not).
You see, usually as people age, experience slowly begins to set in and they have a tendency to do more critical thinking before making important decisions. They take their time and think it through. Certainly, it is not true in all cases. But I think it is, more times than not.
The point is, they either learn or they don't. Those that do, happy are they. Those that don't, become destined to repeat the same things over and over, until they have a negative outcome and their lives become ruined. Those that continually make the bad decisions do not think about how the decisions may affect others. If they want something, they do whatever they can to get it, repercussions be damned. Pretty soon, patterns will set in.
With this comes a deeply rooted desire to seek that which is new and untried, at as far as they're concerned. Their ego-centrism draws them to risky adventures, like mice to cheese.
In 1960, there was such a generation. They were the first generation of boomers and when it came their turn to vote for a President, they looked at a young man that had been a war hero in WWII, had served in the U.S House of Representatives for six years, and the Senate for eight. They sized him up and saw that for a politician, he offered a hope, vision, and a new opportunity for change. After seeing what he had to offer, they rolled the dice and took a chance on him, over two "politics as usual" machine candidates.
Today, we have the same scenario brewing. At least that's what we are being told.
But is this really the case?
This presidential campaign has an element of "youth vs. experience" theme already developing. And with good reason, the people of Obama's campaign want to make this a similar situation to the election of 1960. One of the areas this has become noticeable is Obama's speech writing. The speech writers are consulting JFK's old speech writer for their candidate's speeches.
It's no accident the Kennedy magic has infused itself into the campaign of Barack Obama. Theodore "Ted" Sorensen, the adviser whom John F. Kennedy once called his "intellectual blood bank," is lending his unabashed support -- and eloquence -- to the Obama campaign.
"Passing the torch", "new ideas", "new generation", or some other catchy slogans are going to become a catch phrases in the midst of this campaign, if Obama gets the nomination. We can see it coming and yet, on the surface, this doesn't pose too much of a question. It's quite apparent to astute people that have watched this game played before, the people that got JFK elected are now trying to engineer another such task (one more time before they die). They are doing this by selling Obama as the second coming of JFK and using his people from that day, to do it. They are selling influence to these young people, to satisfy their need to re-live their youth and for their own empowerment.
So it is, if we do some critical analysis here, we find that there is one thing that we should ask ourselves before we make the final decision on who will get our vote. If this campaign truly wants to have the torch passed to them, why would they feel the need to consult a veteran from JFK's Administration? Can't they write their own speeches?
It's not enough that Barack Obama is not a true liberal after the JFK mold. JFK was more experienced in government, was a WWII veteran, and was far from being a proponent of "nanny-state style" socialism. He served a total of 14 years in the U.S. Government, Obama has served 10 years less. I see no real connection between JFK and Obama, except for age. So, forgive me if I sound so skeptical, it just doesn't add up.
So, when we listen to the coming sales pitches in the following days, weeks, and months; let's keep something in mind. It's nice to want to re-live some of our youth. It truly was a special time, full of innocence and vigor. But, ask yourself if it makes sense to force the past on the present day generation. By that I mean, JFK was the man for the time he lived in, not now. That was then, this is now.
I could say the same thing to the Republicans that want their candidate to be Ronald Reagan. His day is also past. This is now. And we must focus on the here and now, if we are to be successful at solving the problems that are occurring now. Now is the time to look at experience and substance, not reviving ghosts of those that served in years past.
But I suppose I could save all of this explanation and pose it to you another way: Knowing and loving our kids as we all do, can we really be comfortable letting them pick some novice that says nothing about anything, except change, vision, and hope? If so, maybe you feel comfortable letting them manage your retirement portfolio?
AC of Fore Left has a post with some thoughts on this subject that are worth a look, complete with links to some videos that are pertinent to this discussion. I left a comment on his post that I would like to share here, as well:
Barack Obama is an excellent speaker, he knows how to inspire people. Of this, there can be no doubt. But when the time comes to lay out specific stances on specific issues, he will need to have more than just Speech Communications 101 on his college transcripts.
Where McCain will have to concentrate is on those specific issues where Obama will have to reveal what he believes in. I don't think many Americans have much to disagree with in what he has said thus far, mainly because he hasn't said anything that could be contradicted.
I believe in hope, vision, and change (as long as its truly needed and is healthy), I believe in returning America to a prominent standing in the world, and I certainly welcome feeling good about being an American again. But, taking the nation down an uncertain path is not going to guarantee any of this will come to pass. Avoiding the subject of how he plans to do all of this, is not going to do it, either.
Looking at the problems we face through rose colored glasses will not solve any of these problems. Solutions do not come through feel good speeches and catchy slogans. They come through critical analysis and discussions, and even at that, there is no real guarantee anything will be solved. Emotions are hard to argue with, as we are all emotional beings. But the best leaders do not lead by emotion, they lead by intellect and showing great perseverance through adversity.
Note the respondents of the exit poll from the California primary.
This is not a candidacy altogether about race. Obama won 63% of the white vote, age 18-29. He also won the 53% of the 30-44, whites. But the interesting part of that linked page is, 91% said he was the most qualified to be Commander-In-Chief.
Another point to consider, Obama is winning red states. That may hurt him more in the race for electors, because those states will likely stay red anyway.