I am so tired of hearing the word change, after watching the Democratic National Convention, that I think I'm beginning to jingle myself.
Thankfully, I have enough common sense to stop the insanity and get off the change wave before it breaks - and not in a good way, surfer dude Democrats.
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has ridden his change catch phrase for months now, and it was a central theme at the party's national convention in Denver, Colo., earlier this week. However, like the Democratic candidate himself, the mantra may sound and look good on TV, but it lacks substance.
Heather Goodwin Henline
I applaud Obama for his historic achievement. The fact that he accepted his party's nomination Thursday, on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Dream" speech, was inspiring. Even Obama's toughest critics have to acknowledge how far this country has come since Aug. 28, 1963.
But Obama is not Dr. King. Obama's calls for change are so wide-sweeping that they would impact almost all facets of the federal government. He outlined what he wants to change, but he failed to definitively say how he plans to pay for what many will view as a socialistic-type of government.
Obama said he plans to go through the budget, line by line, to make cuts and then will channel those funds to programs he thinks are more important and to pay for his goals. That isn't change. That is the same slash-and-spend philosophy Democrats accused President Bush of when he ran against John Kerry.
Previously, Obama issued the following request to voters: "I am asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington I'm asking you to believe in yours."
Well, I do believe. I believe in open, honest discussion about what these candidates plan to do for my country, for my state and for my family. I want documentation of how these pie-in-the-sky promises are going to be delivered once the candidate is in office.
And I expect that not only from Obama, but also from the Republican candidate, U.S. Sen. John McCain, too.
Just like our turnpike woes here in the Keystone State, no one gets any E-ZPass through this election process. Candidates should have to work to earn votes. Just as important is the fact voters also must do their own investigation into which candidate will make the best commander in chief. Who do they want leading this country?
That is an important question. How voters answer it is up to them. It is my sincere hope that the answers come from how voters feel about the candidates' stances on trade, religion, the war in Iraq, immigration, health care, foreign policy, energy, the economy and campaign politics, such as finance reform.
Voters should review each candidate's legislative record. Why? It is because the best predictor of future behavior is what one has done in the past.
Obama has no record of bipartisanship, opposes offshore drilling and voted to raise taxes on those making just $41,500 per year.
He spoke Thursday about tax cuts for middle-class Americans. Sounds good, right? Well, I was contacted by Andrea Mead, Obama's press secretary for Pennsylvania, on Aug. 19. She wanted me to know that she had just taken over that role for Obama in our state.
On Aug. 20, I asked her how the "senator defines the income level brackets for the middle class in America." I knew the subject of taxes would come up at the national convention. As of Friday, eight days after I made my request for information from his camp, I have yet to receive an answer.
I want to know why, especially when Pennsylvania is a battleground state in this election. One misstep could cost either candidate the presidency, it may be that close.
Yet, I get it. I realize that neither McCain nor Obama is perfect. No politician, or anyone in general, can be. But it is too risky for voters, or for candidates, to gamble this election on a foundation built on nothing but change.
That is why I propose a different litmus test for choosing a president. Voters should ask themselves in whom do they have the most faith. Faith is having confidence or trust in a person. It also means a belief in God, something for which Obama criticized Pennsylvanians during his bid for the Democratic Party's nomination.
Now that Obama has that nomination, it is time for him to inspire voters to have faith in him.
How he fares on that task ultimately will determine whether he wins the White House.
Heather Goodwin Henline is managing editor of The Sentinel. She may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.