Recently, one of my favorite seminary professors asked for the political thoughts of a divided household (mine) on the upcoming elections, the choices for VPs, and other things political.
Here's my response:
As for Palin, I don't know much about her, actually. She seems rather dynamic and a nice change of pace from GOP business-as-usual. I know some Dems like to say she has no experience, but that's a surprising tactic given their own choice for Commander in Chief. Her down-to-earthness may be a stroke of genius given that America is still recovering from 8 years of entrenched political family leadership. Is it enough to offset McCain's image as a career politician? Don't know.
Here's what I'm pretty sure I do know. College kids. And since both parties seem to be tripping over themselves to "win" that demographic, the Millenials seem to hold a level of importance they have never enjoyed before. And college kids like words like hope and change. Idealists that they are, these things catch their ever-wandering eyes like a shiny object attracts a primate. And here's a word they don't like: war. Even when coupled with the word "hero."
I think the GOP may be making a grave mistake by playing up McCain's war record if they hope to attract young voters. For most of the 18-25ers I've spoken to, war brings up one image and it's not a particularly pretty one. It comes along with labels like "unjust," "unnecessary," and "unwinnable." Or, more to the point, how most of their history textbooks describe Vietnam, when McCain was carving out his place in our nation's hero history. Unlike their grandparents, who may still have misty memories of going to war to bring down a freedom-threatening genocidal tyrant, these students have no history with war heroes. Rather they see war profiteers. I fear that playing up McCain's war record will look like another type of profiteering to them. One played out on the world's largest stage of democracy.
I say I fear this result because I really do believe that McCain is the better choice. But, I don't hear his name breathed in the same "talking-about-a-boy-band" voice that these students usually reserve for the Junior Senator from Illinois. This worries me because, ironically, at this point in our history, what America may need most is a war hero in the White House.