I never had so many birthday greetings in my life as I did yesterday, thanks to Facebook! Well over a hundred! I responded individually to as many as I could, with a brief note of acknowledgement; but many of them I had to leave unanswered, except in a general post on my "wall" this morning. I hereby send extra thanks to TBD readers who were so kind as to think of me. As I have told you before--but never often enough--I do value your readership and am always thrilled to hear when I have written a few words that have some special meaning to those who join me on these pages.
I'm sure that vast numbers of you have been scratching your heads and wondering: What can I possibly give Peter for his birthday? Here's a hint: come over and join me at Vote Obama 2012 from time to time, and join in the conversation--even, perhaps especially, if you disagree with me! It is disturbing, to me, that we have reached a point in our political dialogue where we tend to speak only to those with whom we already agree, and dismiss the genuinely-held opinions of others.
Argument is good, but only if there is reason and substance on both sides. As I was saying the other day, my problem with the Obama/Romney debate--let's be kind and call it that!--is that I see substance on one side and fluff on the other. There is no "there there," at least so far as I can see, to argue with. Even when the Republican candidate seems to take a position, it might change in the next breath, or the following day. And it's hard to take seriously a man who relies exclusively on generalities and comes up with no substantial proposals of his own. That he disowns so much of what he accomplished in the past in order to conform with the dicta of his own far right wing is discouraging to say the least.
Meantime, on his side, Obama continues to put forward serious, reasoned and practicable policies and proposals, only to have them dismissed without debate by his opponents. "No" is not an argument. It's the strategy of the two year-old.
I know that I cannot afford to sit idly by in this election, and hope that it turns out well. As I have said before, there are many things I wish Obama had been able to achieve; and I am conscious of many disappointments. Still there is a very clear choice to be made in November--and one of them, in my view, is a very bad one. I hope that my friends and all like-minded people will do what they can to assure the good one.