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Posted by on Jun 17, 2009 in International, Politics | 21 comments

Obama vs. McCain Redux: Vote Vindicated

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My dear wife and I agree: In the wake of what’s still going on in Iran, the contrast between Obama’s response and McCain’s is one major reason we’re glad we voted for the former, despite our persistent concerns about his seeming proclivity for taking and spending our money.

We’ll gladly give up a few of our hard-earned dollars to have a president who reacts this way

Well, I think first of all, it’s important to understand that although there is amazing ferment taking place in Iran, that the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised. Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons. And so we’ve got long-term interests in having them not weaponize nuclear power and stop funding organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. And that would be true whoever came out on top in this election.

The second thing that I think’s important to recognize is that the easiest way for reactionary forces inside Iran to crush reformers is to say it’s the US that is encouraging those reformers. So what I’ve said is, `Look, it’s up to the Iranian people to make a decision. We are not meddling.’ And, you know, ultimately the question that the leadership in Iran has to answer is their own credibility in the eyes of the Iranian people. And when you’ve got 100,000 people who are out on the streets peacefully protesting, and they’re having to be scattered through violence and gunshots, what that tells me is the Iranian people are not convinced of the legitimacy of the election. And my hope is that the regime responds not with violence, but with a recognition that the universal principles of peaceful expression and democracy are ones that should be affirmed. Am I optimistic that that will happen? You know, I take a wait-and-see approach. Either way, it’s important for the United States to engage in the tough diplomacy around those permanent security concerns that we have—nuclear weapons, funding of terrorism. That’s not going to go away, and I think it’s important for us to make sure that we’ve reached out.

… rather than one who reacts this way:

Look these people are bad people and I know that it was unpopular to call them part of an axis of evil or whatever it was, but we just showed again that an oppressive regime will not allow democratic elections, free and democratic elections.

Disagree if you must, but in our humble home in the heartland of the country, at this particular point in time, we remain convinced that it’s far better to have a professor than a fighter pilot at the helm of the nation.

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