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Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Great Debate Number One - My Take – by Pastor Dick Helms

Well it's over. The much touted first Presidential debate of this campaign is over and now the pundits are about the business of dissection. I'm going to let the others pick at the fine debating points and fact checking. What I would like to do is make a few comments from a Biblical Christian perspective regarding the focus of the two candidates and how that reveals the differences in their character.

As I watched the Pre-debate runup and listened to the debate exchange I could not help but be struck by the stark differences at the core of the candidates' focus. In fact, the two candidates' behavior leading up to the debate said almost as much as the debate itself and actually set the tone.

In typical fashion, President Bush spent the hours leading up to the debate ministering to others. He selflessly visited with and comforted hurricane victims. That the emotional drain of that time of ministry showed during the debate and that it has been touted by some in the MSM as fault testifies to the diametrically opposite worldviews seen later.

Also in typical fashion, Senator Kerry spent the hours leading up to the debate ministering to himself. He even took time to get a manicure.

During the debate we saw the same contrast show through.

President Bush focused on the issues and the goals at hand. Continually lifting the importance of the cause of liberty, the growing spirit of the Iraqi people and protecting you and me here at home. He spoke often of the consistent leadership needed to achieve those goals.

When Senator Kerry was not attacking the President, his primary focus was on himself, "me, myself, and I". "I did this", "I did that", "I'm better because".

This difference was never clearer than when Jim Lehrer asked this telling question of the President.
"Has the war in Iraq been worth the cost of American lives, 1,052 as of today?"
The presided focused on the goal, framing his answer by focusing on the casualties and their families, assuring them that their service was honored.
"You know, every life is precious. Every life matters. You know, my hardest - the hardest part of the job is to know that I committed the troops in harm's way and then do the best I can to provide comfort for the loved ones who lost a son or a daughter or a husband or wife."
Then he answered the question.
"Was it worth it?" Every life is precious. That's what distinguishes us from the enemy. Everybody matters. But I think it's worth it, Jim.
For his rebuttal, The Senator focused on himself and the political.
"...The question, is it worth the cost, reminds me of my own thinking when I..."
He then plugged his website and never did answer the question.

The entire debate was pretty much the same. President Bush pointed to others. Senator Kerry pointed to himself.

By way of an additional note of interest to Biblical Christians was something that was notably lacking in the dialog; the foremost issue in the Middle East, the Israeli and the "Palestinian" issues. A question that I would have liked to have asked the Senator;
"If the Muslim nations in the Middle East came to you and offered a full alliance including an end to all terrorism against America and uninterrupted oil supply. And the only thing America had to do was drop all support for Israel. How would you react?"
I'll bet you, Senator Kerry would sell out Israel in a heartbeat. Why do I think this? Because it is politically expedient and a quick review of The Senator's history shows that political expediency is at the very core of his character. I would have liked to have heard him spin it though.

Now, by way of a quick final observation, during the debate Senator Kerry sounded like he really would be strong on the war on terrorism, including Iraq. However his past history bears this warning. Senator Kerry's positions are like the weather here in upstate New York. Just wait awhile, it will change. So Beware! "wolves in sheep's clothing"


At 3:19 PM, Bodacious said...

Great post! Why couldn't someone in the media have come forth with the comments you wrote so well. I did notice that the President looked tired in the debate and thought perhaps it was because of his meeting with hurricane victims most of the day. Unfortunately our media is so used to bashing Bush they wouldn't even think of what was right in front of their noses. They never put the "best construction" (as I was taught in confirmation classes many years ago) on what the President says or does. Everything has to be so negative and in line with the liberal slant.


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