I could not seem to put my finger on it, but something struck me as particularly odd about the way John McCain acted during the debate the other night. As a caretaker for an 85 year-old parent it suddenly hit me: McCain is reverting to childhood while Obama is maturing into the role of President.
For anyone who is tasked with taking care of their parent(s), at some point it becomes painfully obvious that the ultimate role reversal is inevitable: namely, the child assumes the role of parent and the parent assumes the role of child. It can be a daunting and challenging metamorphosis and fraught with contradiction, frustration, stubbornness, and plain childishness.
The erratic behavior we have all witnessed over the past month or so, I believe, is attributable largely to the realization by McCain that on issues of substance, demeanor, and temperament Obama is the adult. The not so veiled tantrum McCain exhibited the other evening, the eye-rolling, blinking, blank stares, exaggerated movements post debate all reminded me of the awkwardness of a teenager rather than those of a would be world leader.
They are cute when the child is five or six, they are barely tolerable when the child is fourteen or sixteen, but they are pathetic when the individual approaches their twilight years.
More astonishing, however, than the physical antics is the lameness and absurdity of the rationale behind both the professional judgments and actions of the person who would be responsible for leading this great nation, regardless of the condition we now find ourselves in. From Sarah Palin being a heartbeat away, to Joe the Plumber, who is not really a plumber, to being proud of all those who attend his and her rallies, regardless of whether or not they incite hatred and bigotry, to since you have not traveled there so you cannot possibly understand, to well you know it is really all about taxes, and have we not heard this before from our Republican-trickle down-supply-side-laissez-faire-government is the problem-love it or leave it-flag-waving-pseudo-patriots before. Please. Enough is enough.
And besides, what exactly is wrong with spreading the wealth? I thought that was the essence of capitalism? Isn't a vibrant middle class a noble byproduct of a capitalist economy? Oh, yeah, I forgot, he never mentioned the words middle class (air quotes).
This race started out about experience. I would argue that that notion has been abandoned by the Republicans because a large measure of experience is maturity, especially in times of crisis. Obama exudes maturity, McCain does not. So this election lets place our future in the hands of an adult. McCain is right about one thing, the past eight years have been disastrous, but then we placed our trust in a dolt.
Calmness, professionalism, reason, dialogue, diplomacy, flexibility -- these are the hallmarks by which to judge our next president. Hands down, Obama has demonstrated that he possesses these qualities.