First of all, I've been on the record as saying Obama "hit the ball out of the park" with his magnificent nomination acceptance speech. That being said, I feel one area that was not adequately addressed was just how radical the Bush adminstration's view of executive power has corrupted our Republic and undermined generations of countervailing views on the balance of powers within our government. The fact that McCain supports this radical view of republican democracy should alarm anyone concerned with the health of our republic.
It is instructive to remember, that our founder's rebellion against monarchical authority was based in part on a fear of too much power held in the hands of one person, unaccountable and undeterred by the will of the people. It wasn't base tax burden, but taxation without representation, that infuriated American patriots to rebel from the monarch whom they had sworn allegiance to.
The radicalism of the Cheney/Addison/Yoo doctrines of unfettered powers in the executive branch during undeclared wars, against un-nation states is so radical, that even many conservative legal experts have cringed. The willingness to abrogate the Geneva Conventions, conventions we not only supported as a nation, but helped frame, shows that a fundamental shift has occured in our Republic. The lack of noise from people other than those labelled radical liberals and right-wing libertarians (Paul supporters) indicates that many Americans are willing to surrender the basic foundational republican structures of our nation in order to gain a measure of security. To me, this is an appeasement to terrorism. Those who have taken these measures, have surrendered our foundational freedoms and institutional structures to a bunch of radical, islamic fundamentalist, who in my mind, are first class idiots.
The willingness of this adminstration to justify spying on it's own citizens outside the parameters of FISA, is alarming, but perhaps no mention of this was made because Democrats have been complicit and share the responsibility for this surrendering powers to the executive. Our willingness to accept torture and detainment without recourse, shows that as a nation, we have descended to the morals of third world dictators, not constitutional government which respects the rights of the individual.
At some point, Obama needs to define the difference between someone committed to the rule of law, and someone committed to unfettered executive power. Americans must be able to rid themselves of the green pod at their side, that says, so long as I'm granted the illusory perception of safety, I'm willing to have people spy on me or detain me if I'm considered a threat to the government.
The moral high-ground surrendered by this administration leaves us vulnerable. It leaves us short of allies and short of ammunition against those who would use force to impose their will on others. Though Obama needs to speak to the general populace, he also needs to awaken them to the tragedy that has occured under his would be predecessor. He needs to lead us through enlightenment, not pander to us based upon what his pollsters and out of touch political consultants tell him.
I support Barack Obama. Barack and his amazing abilities to communicate with the citizenry can and should be used to convey both our loss and our hope for restoring what we've lost these last 7.75 years. I know I sound like I'm preaching, but I truly fear for the Republic my old mentor J.D. Williams advocated to me as a remarkable institution of checks and balances and devotion to liberty for individuals. Barack is clearly better than his opponent, but I want him to show a commitment to our basic, fundamental beliefs in the rule of law. Barack, "yes you can."