Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why Thursday's VP Debate Is Important

Normally, I don't really care who's running for vice-president. The VP rarely makes an important decision, and we haven't had too many presidents die in recent decades. So, the VP really doesn't mean much to me.

However, this year is different. Never before have we had such an important decision to make on both ends of the ballot. There is the history of either electing the first black president or first female VP. While the presidential contest brings up many issues of experience versus change, the VP race boasts the same situation, only the parties are flipped.

My biggest reason for caring this year is that the chances of the VP having to step are greater now than ever. Never before has it been more likely that a running mate will have to step in due to the potentially short lifespan of their political partner.

Let me explain.

John McCain, if elected, will become the oldest first-term president in our country's history. He has had cancerous spots removed from his skin three times. The thing that has made him so famous (his time as a POW in Vietnam) may be the thing that takes the most years off his life. It is doubtful the man could withstand four years in the most pressure-filled job, much less eight.

This is why the selection of Sarah Palin is so troubling. Why would a candidate of such an advanced age choose such an inexperienced running mate? If McCain's cancer were to return as it did the last time he ran for president (2000), we'll be faced with a replacement that is ill-equipped to be president.

Then there's Obama and his choice, Joe Biden. I hate to admit it, but I have worried about Barack Obama's safety ever since he made a run at the nomination. It really scares me that some racist nut (or several) will take it upon himself to take down our first black president. Obama is the largest, most popular African-American (at least among white people) since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And we all know how that ended.

The one president that Obama reminds me of is John F. Kennedy. Like Kennedy, Obama has found a way to capture the hearts and minds of young America. He is inspiring in a way that an old white man from the GOP could never overcome.

As with King and Kennedy, I worry that Obama's life is in great danger as president. I hope this is not true, but I worry. His political stance actually falls somewhere in between the two great men, but his similarities to their ability to motivate and inspire hope is uncanny. I am scared that his life will end in a similar manner.

Enter Joe Biden. Obama did the right thing by choosing an experienced candidate as his running mate. Obama has the hearts of young and marginalized people. Biden provides the minds of older, more conservative voters.

So, tonight, watch the VP debate. Hopefully neither has to ever step in for their presidential mates, but the odds are sadly in their favor.


GE said...

CP, obviously tonight is important to watch. Although I don't want to think it's entirely for your macabre logic! In fact, “odds are in their favor”? Even cynical actuaries wouldn't list McCain's chance at death during office at greater than 50%...and the odds of a frightening tragedy befalling Obama also better than half? Man, I hope that's not the country I live in. For me, the most important thing is to watch these two VP candidates as a reflection of the men who picked them. It's pretty clear that McCain's biggest decision so far as someone seeking the White House is about as rash and irresponsible as it could possibly be. Wonder what he'd do if he ever got that 3am phone call. Freaking scary.

comoprozac said...

Thanks for providing the voice of reason, ge. I admit that I'm going a little off the deep-end on this one, but it has been swirling in my mind.

I really do fear for Obama's safety and I don't think I'm the only one who has had that thought cross his mind. Of course, what I really fear is McCain's decision-making. As you termed it: "Freaking scary."