John Edwards finally endorsed Barack Obama today in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The sight of the two of them sharing the stage provided an uplifting vision of the kind of unity that has been sorely lacking lately for the Democrats.
Edwards spoke first. He talked about a metaphorical wall around Washington DC that separated the people from what is supposed to be their government. He talked of how the special big money corporate interests had taken control of Washington, and that the barrier keeping most Americans out of their government needed to come down.
It was Edwards at his populist best.
Then Obama spoke. Within his own rousing speech he said something that hit me as rather surreal. He said something about restoring Habeus Corpus and the Constitution.
RESTORING Habeus Corpus and the Constitution!
The very fact that the United States of America has a presidential candidate who promises to BRING BACK the very essence of our cherished freedoms is astounding in itself. What the hell has happened? This is something that would have been some sort of twilight zone sci-fi scenario from just a decade ago.
Then there’s the guy on the other side. John McCain as a POW was the very object lesson of what someone would say after undergoing physical abuse and torture. He said what his captors wanted him to say. It did not matter if it was the truth or not. McCain said anything to get his tormentors to stop.
When the waterboarding torture scandal broke, McCain boldly claimed that this is not about the enemy. It is about who we are. But when the opportunity came for him to vote to make waterboarding illegal, he decided that some torture was a good idea after all.
Soon American voters will decide who they want to be their next president. Will they choose the man who wants to restore our foundations of freedom, or the guy who promises more wars, along with his new acceptance of some old-fashioned torture?
What's most disturbing of all is why is this even a question?
Is this a great country…? Or what?