S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It is about where one stands --

One's perspective on reality depends on where one stands. Within the past month I traveled across several Western of these United States. The journey was a useful experience in regaining a sane perspective in an occasionally insane world. The question of what happens to perspective when a person stands in a different place also applies to our two presidential candidates.

Obama's foreign perspective vs. McCain's purposefully domestic campaign view -- In the past day or so Barack Obama stood before 200,000 people in Berlin and talked to them about what it means to be citizens of one world. John McCain stood in a grocery store and projected a somewhat narrower perspective by ignoring an opportunity to talk about the economic difficulties of his fellow U.S. citizens. One looked at the horizon. One looked at the eggs and failed to really see them, because he got lost in his bizarre campaign appearance that missed the mark. Obama stood before the largest crowd ever assembled to hear him speak; McCain decided to make another appearance, this time in a German restaurant and at a Fudge Haus.

These current little news stories, that will soon be lost to the next episodes of campaign buzz, illustrate why voters can trust their guts about choosing the next president based on where he stands. Barack Obama looks and sounds like a genuine leader moving with the times; John McCain looks like a "has-been" politician traveling by reality and failing to recognize it.

My travels across a familiar route, over which I have traveled annually for several years, again brought home some simple truths to me. Family matters to me, and keeping in touch with my family of origin is important enough to make a 2400+ mile journey every year. Geography matters to me also. Texas and Wyoming have similar characteristics, but the differences are stark. A change of perspective reminds me of the value of Wyoming's clean blue skies, open lands and green grass, abundant natural energy resources, animals still roaming wild, and a fiercely independent little cadre of voters. I am reminded again that the entire population of the state is less than the metropolitan area in which I live. For the past month I drove on a freeway only twice. And I saw very few television news broadcasts because my siblings prefer either no news or Fox Network. Now that I am back home, I am again breathing the detritus of life beside the freeways. And my eyes are smarting again from the pollution caused by Texans' love for their individual cars and trucks. And my old friends at C-SPAN, CNN and MSNBC are again defining reality for me. For a political blogger it is sublime.

Expansive geography characterizes each state. Both states have huge raw energy reserves that are being consumed at rapid rates. Wind farms dot the horizons of each. Crops being harvested across flat or rolling plains help to feed and clothe the nation. Both native populations are "independent cusses" with a basic mistrust of government, and dislike of the news media. Both peoples have a large connection to animals, and open empty spaces with miles and miles of highways.

I stand on my own porch again, glad to be home, but equally glad to have been in the vicinity of what was my original home until I became an adult. And I sit at my own computer again, no longer befuddled nor limited by time with a borrowed or library computer. It may take me a while to get my feet on the ground and reconnected with Blogworld.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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betmo said...

welcome back :) having a quiet space changes perspective too. moving here has given me a different perspective and having actual space is also a changer. being in a small space with noise and intrusions- people or mechanical- it's easy to get caught up. i don't spend as much time online anymore because i can't stand to be plugged in. i wish i could say i believed that this election meant much beyond a change in face- i hope i am wrong and obama lives up to his campaign promises and changes the policy direction of america. i am less optimistic about congress.

Carol Gee said...

I, too, am less optimistic about Congress changing much for the better, than the change that I think Obama will bring.
It has been interesting for me to watch him interact with other leaders in what seems like an easy and natural way. He is better at it than Bush, if for no other reason than he has empathy and Bush has none.
Thanks for stopping by.

Dusty said...

Wow, to be so totally away from the political news must be something, as I personally haven't been to such a place in decades.

I occasionally put myself on a news blackout here for a day or two when it all starts getting to me.

Wyoming, one of the last vestiges of open spaces in the lower 48.

Carol Gee said...

Dusty, good to "see" you. My sisters' news blackout also extends to my blog, so they don't get the benefit of my scintillating words, either.
Wyoming is particularly beautiful right now, because the hills and foothills are still green from the extra rain. It is so lovely to see a herd of cows and young calves up to their tummies in lush grazing land. Maybe the abundance of beef will lower the prices in the upcoming months.