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Election antics are child's play
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    This year’s U.S. presidential election is starting to look worse than the high school contest in the Matthew Broderick/Reese Witherspoon movie classic “Election.” Only the election in the movie had more competent and mature contestants.
    Let me ‘splain.
    First, you got McCain not even knowing how many personal houses he owns?
    “I’ll have my staff get back to you,” McCain said.
    Usually at this point in my commentaries, I would insert some kind of senior moment joke but, in order to keep the bloggers from getting cramps in their fingers, I’ll simply refrain from comment due to respect for my elders. (And McCain deserves a lot of respect)
    On the flip side, Obama’s camp then started to make fun of McCain and his inability to remember how many places he keeps a bathrobe. With an ad called “Seven” after how many houses McCain supposedly owns, the Democratic candidate ridiculed the Senator while pulling at the heartstring of Americans “struggling just to pay the mortgage on their homes.”
    This is demagoguery at its finest, especially coming from a man who has his own $1.65 million mansion on Chicago’s South Side.
    And let’s not forget the inflate-your-tires/tire-gauge brew-ha-ha where Obama suggested that properly inflating tires could reduce domestic demand for foreign oil (it actually would) only to be ridiculed by the Republican establishment, with the McCain campaign handing out “Obama Energy Plan” tire gauges at his campaign rallies.
    How mature and presidential.
    Honestly, these guys are acting just like a couple of bickering school boys, if by school boys you mean incredibly privileged prep school boys with little real understanding of the struggles of the typical American family.
    With Obama preparing to announce his choice for vice-president in front of the former state capitol where Abraham Lincoln once served, it started me thinking about the series of Lincoln-Douglas debates that took place 150 years ago.
    During those debates, each man got up and spoke for more than an hour with each man following up with another hour of rebuttal. Could you imagine watching that kind of debate between Obama and McCain? Seven of them? Frankly, those two would be so boring they would make Olympic trampolining seem like an exciting sport.
    It’s so disheartening to see real political discourse be thrown by the wayside in favor of cheap shots and petty bickering. Such is the nature of the television generation, I suppose.
    On a lighter note, I’d also like to take an opportunity to wish a happy birthday to my favorite presidential candidate and the most fearless and knowledgeable U.S. Representative in the House — Ron Paul.
    (I’m pretty sure I’ve just increased the ophthalmology business in Statesboro by 22 percent due to all the people that just pulled a muscle rolling their eyes)
    Ok ok, I’ll admit I have a bit of a political man-crush on Dr. Paul, but I think for very good reason. After all, it was Paul’s talking about the Federal Reserve’s actions, its downward effect on the dollar and the potential damage to the economy (housing market, anyone) long before the crisis was realized by Wall Street. It was Paul, talking before the outset of the Iraq war, who warned about the quagmire we were about to enter and how damaging the conflict would be on our economy. And it’s Paul who seems to be the only member of Congress who sincerely tries to reduce the size and scope of the Federal government — a traditionally Republican position completely abandoned by today's Congressional Republicans.
    So, happy birthday, Dr. Paul. Maybe McCain or Obama will pick you as their vice-president.
    Now that would be exciting.
    Phil Boyum was a bronze medalist in trampolining at the 2004 Olympics. He may be reached at (912) 489-9454 or by e-mail at pboyum@statesboroherald.com


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