Eddie Tabash – the separation of Government and God
Eddie Tabash spoke of the importance of the Presidential election in the USA being about one vote – that of the new Supreme Court Justice that will replace 88 year old Justice Stevens when he retires. At the moment the Supreme Court is finely balanced 5-4 for those that uphold the secular constitution as envisaged by the founding fathers. With one appointment that legacy would be undone, from abortion, religious establishment of prayer, state religion. A move towards a theocratic state where the separation of God and State no longer exists and the state regulates faith in public life.
That is the reality, and it may mean some decisions that secular activists may not want to make. My take on the situation (and I want to make it clear what follows is my own opinion) is this. Obama is the only candidate that the Democrats can choose that stands a chance at defeating McCain. Not least a poll that has Obama winning by 5% and Clinton loosing by 5%.
That however is not enough. The Democrats are loosing ground with the bitter campaigns that are splitting the party down the middle. Even the story that McCain’s people have twice talked to the Democrats about defecting seems like the kind of speculation I had about Obama being McCain’s running mate. It sounds like an idea of bi-partisanship to change the country for the better but it will not only never work but never happen.
However I think that any lead that the polls suggest Obama has will be inflated by two key factors. One is that those who are not strongly inclined to vote will be more likely to choose Obama as their man – and may be less likely to vote. The second is that some Republicans, not least because of the recent press coverage about McCain’s team flirtation with the other side in the past, may be more inclined to suggest they are not voting – but come polling day they will vote for McCain.
This, together with the margin of error in polling of 3% variation suggests to me that in the 4 weeks before Polling Day Obama needs 10% to be certain. Let there be no mistake – McCain is the dream candidate and he is a better candidate than President George Bush Sr. or Jr. His experience, and story together with policy on key issues like national security and health will I believe come into it’s own towards the end of the campaign. There will be a McCain bounce that would be enough in a close race let alone one that misrepresents just how close the two candidates are.
This will be tight with Obama, and a 5% lead may even not be enough – I believe the margin of error could be as high as 6% variation. So to be home and dry you are looking at 10%, because I think McCain can claw back good percentage points in the course of a well run campaign and that also his vote will be underestimated by the polls while Obama’s will be overstated.
What can Obama do? With Clinton fighting to the bitter end there is not much he can do on that score but making bridges with the Super delegates that are behind Clinton will be crucial not least for him to have a Democratic Party that would give him 100% motivated support.
The second is that he needs to keep the margin at least to 6% to win. The key states where voter turnout is low and the State crucial need to be identified and the vote got out. Every vote will matter because the McCain bounce is very real let alone what I consider will be McCain’s underrepresented intended voting.
The third is that Obama must play the one trump card he certainly has over McCain – his youth, energy and having party willing to make reform and change happen. That can only happen if the Democratic Party can unite around him quickly, but also get election fund that they need – already wasted on a Primary between the one that stands a chance and the one that has none.
Finally Obama must not believe the hype that surrounds him. McCain is a real threat even if loosing by 5% points in the last few weeks. Every single vote will count, every activist contribution will matter, the result will be closer than the polls suggest. The future of the United States as a nation of freedom based on principles that defend liberty on a secularist constitution is under threat. This is further confounded if McCain as an over 70 year old candidate chooses either Romney or Huckabee as his running mate.
Not only must the American people realise the danger to the historical legacy of their country, and do the right thing come polling day – the Democrats must do the right thing now as activists. The vote on the nominee to the Supreme Court will have lasting implications. It is for this reason and if one of the two above become McCain‘s running mate, that I have decided that Obama should be the next President of the United States.
My analysis need not hold true if Obama can run an effective campaign achieving the goals I mentioned above. But a bitter campaign between Clinton and Obama, together with a situation that one has the popular vote and the other the delegate count (unlikely – Obama should hold both) let alone super delegates having the final say kiss the White House good bye.
Unforgettable if it means loosing the White House – the race will be tighter then the polls suggest. Unforgivable if it changes the constitution of the nation. One only hopes that Obama is moved by his principles and not his former Pastor Wright, whose rather inflammatory opinions are a further reason to show that when the founding fathers thought that religion and state went against the liberty and freedom of citizens they hit on an idea that is timeless.