ALLAN JEFFERYS: Some Flip-Flops Are Just Recognitions of the Truth
Flip-flops continue to be the object of choice for the "gotcha gang."
Both presidential candidates are easy targets as they seemingly go back and forth on a variety of subject matters. If they opposed offshore drilling five years ago and now see the need for it, "gotcha!" If you opposed the war and now concede it may be necessary, "gotcha!"
Of course, if a liberal medium catches Obama in a flip-flop, that is chalked up as refining his position -- fine-tuning his direction. Then the finger is pointed at McCain as the only real flip-flopper. The trouble with that approach is that non-flip-floppers are, in reality, intransigent, stubborn, bullheaded. Times and conditions change, and people's opinions must change with them.
There was a time, in most of our lifetimes, when oil was cheap and abundant. Today, it is horrendously expensive and, in our country, rapidly diminishing. It will only get worse.
A recent picture of Beijing traffic made our major cities' commuting look like child's play. No rickshaw community in China -- only a pollution-spitting highway that creates cause for alarm for the athletes in the upcoming Olympics.
Anyone who does not recognize this as a need for more domestic drilling and a need for alternative fuel has his head stuck in the sand. McCain is, thus, not a flip-flopper when he now agrees to offshore drilling. Some of us think he has not gone far enough. ANWR should be next.
We are also living in the Dark Ages where war is concerned. No longer do we fight the Kaiser and his contained army; no longer do we face an emperor's armed divisions; no longer do we put boots on the ground of a defined enemy nation. Today, we are at war with a sprawling, growing amorphous mass of jihad-driven zealots who are determined to exterminate us.
They have already established a beachhead in England, France and Spain and have infiltrated into the United States to a scary level. If any one of us, candidate or not, thinks we can negotiate, appease or coexist, it is time for another flip-flop. And this flip-flop promises to keep us armed and alert not for a hundred years but for a millennium.
I recently read a comment that said, "Why can't we all get along?"
Why not indeed? Why can't we live side-by-side with people of different faiths and feelings without coming to blows? The answer is simply that no matter how benevolent you try to be, no proselytizing works with everyone.
Some North Korean nut will promise you anything and then snicker up his sleeve as he crafts a nuclear bomb. Another nut in Iran will smile and pretend he has no interest in war as he aims his missiles for Tel Aviv. If you think you can work with these monsters of evil, it is time for a flip-flop.
I do not consider myself to be a hawk. I have been in a war, been shot at and know the tentacles of fear. I don't believe that anyone in our nation seeks conquest or colonization. Nor do I consider a war hero to be automatically qualified to be a president. Nonetheless, the more I read of the mushrooming movement of radical Islam, the more convinced I become that this is no time to elect amateurs who look upon terrorists as human beings who only need logic and consideration and appeasement to move them into loving democracy.
A reader recently questioned my statement that Obama was not yet qualified to become president, citing integrity, intelligence, class, leadership and willingness to negotiate with rogue nations rather than draw a line in the sand a la McCain. I readily concede intelligence and class. Integrity is iffy, given his 20 years of membership in a church with a vehemently anti-American pastor.
As for leadership -- that, as yet, has not been demonstrated. Talking with rogue nations may get you a Nobel Peace prize but not peace. Sorry, too many flip-flops here that are not simply refining a position. And why does Obama say we live in the greatest nation on earth and then add that we have to change it?
Perhaps a better approach would be that we have to flip it back to what it was. We are increasingly headed down the road to socialism wherein the government will take over everything and run it for our benefit. The trouble with that approach is that it has been tried and has never worked. (Ask a Canadian about their health plan.) The government is not the solution to our problems -- it is the problem. Which is why the FairTax makes so much sense.
Obama would have us believe that he will tax only the rich. That, too, has been tried unsuccessfully. In the end, everybody's taxes go up and services decline. If you believe otherwise, maybe it is time for you to flip-flop.
Allan Jefferys, a former New York theater critic, entertainment editor and newsman, lives in Pinehurst. You can contact him at email@example.com
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