Monday, May 22, 2006

Agree to Disagree, Agree to Disagree

Slate's founding Editor published a somewhat interesting piece on the political genius of John McCain. It's okay, I guess, but worth it most for his link to McCain's graduation speech at Columbia. He brings up some interesting points, before fading a little bit at the end. The central idea is that the debate over current polarizing political issues is a worthy and important one, and that the dialogue between right and left (and center, s'pose), should bring us together. Upon first read, his mention of the atrocities in Darfur is refreshing -- inasmuch as its nice to hear an American politician giving some public support for American involvement there -- but its a brief mention and, I think, could use a little more fleshing out. What exactly are we doing over there? What took us so long to start doing it? Our previous inaction isn't something McCain himself is totally responsible for, but while we're laying our individual cards on the table, he might as well give us his view of America's role in Sudan.

In his prior commencement speech at Liberty University, McCain covered similar terrain but, I think, did a good job of gauging his audience. Still, he's one big connection away from making the speech really stick. For example, he talks about how we turned our backs on Rwanda where nearly a million people were killed and how we're not going to turn our backs on Darfur (anymore) and let the same thing happen. Some tangible connection here -- Saddam as ruthless murdering tyrant and we as preemptive force -- would be helpful.

All in all, two speeches definitely worth reading, if just to follow the fine line McCain is walking between different demographics.

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