The Reality of Words
If you have watched television this weekend, you have likely seen at least a few minutes of the democratic candidates discussing their ideas for a better America. If you really listened to what each had to say, you probably learned quite a bit about the character of both candidates. What each candidate didn’t say spoke almost as loud as their words.
Both candidates were poised and confident. Obama was thoughtful, accurate and honest. Clinton was passionate, blunt and openly confrontational at times. Neither is bad. A good leader needs all of these qualities and the flexibility to use the authority of the office being seeked. Yet, if you are serious about voting for either of these candidates, I propose that you review the video about midway through the debate with the volume off. What facial expression does each hold? Watch how each candidate reacts to the other and pick your candidate based on your findings. Which candidate would you want to talk with based on personal body language? Which candidate do you want to run your world?
Words are important. Words mean something. For example, Ms. Clinton blithely quoted, “My opponent gives speeches; I offer solutions.” Mr. Obama disagreed in an entirely different manner, “I do think there is a fundamental difference between us in terms of how change comes about.” Mr. Obama stated, “I’m running for president to start doing something about … suffering, and so are the people who are behind my campaign.” Ms. Clinton said: “It is not enough to say, ‘Let’s come together.’ We know we’re going to have to work hard to overcome the opposition of those who do not want the changes to get to universal health care.”
There are clearly two different mindsets at work here. Both candidates are highly analytical and clear-minded. How each operates is revealed by the debate. Ms. Clinton argued, “But then we’ve got to do the hard work of not just bringing the country together, but overcoming a lot of the entrenched opposition to the very ideas that both of us believe in, and for some of us have been fighting for, for a very long time.” Mr. Obama replied, “We’ve got a philosophical difference, which we’ve debated repeatedly, and that is that Senator Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. And my belief is, the reason that people don’t have it is not because they don’t want it but because they can’t afford it. And so I emphasize reducing costs.”
Ms. Clinton seems bent on having her own way. Frank Sinatra’s favorite mantra comes to mind. Mr. Obama is more open to the ideas of others and seems to be considerate of the rights of others. “I admire the fact that Senator Clinton tried to bring about health care reform back in 1993. She deserves credit for that. But I said before, I think she did it in the wrong way, because it wasn’t just the fact that the insurance companies, the drug companies were battling here, and no doubt they were. It was also that Senator Clinton and the administration went behind closed doors, excluded the participation even of Democratic members of Congress who had slightly different ideas than the ones that Senator Clinton had put forward.”
The words have been spoken. Perhaps you are interested in these candidates. Do you prefer a president open to ideas that wants change or a president that can only have it one way or the highway. Perhaps you see this matter another way entirely. Which is the better choice? It is time for American democrats and hopefuls to choose.