Austin Hill

We must be living in separate worlds.

That was the only conclusion I could arrive at, as I recently sat and watched video coverage of a major presidential candidate’s speech in Iowa.

It was early Thursday morning, two days after Christmas. I was preparing to host the mid-morning talk show at Washington, DC’s 630 WMAL, one of the many talk radio outlets around the country for which I work.

While sifting through the morning‘s most recent headlines, I happened to glance up at one of the television monitors in my studio, which was tuned to CNN. And the image on the screen said it all.

Senator Barack Obama was standing at a podium delivering a speech, while the podium displayed two signs attached in the front. One sign bore his familiar “Obama ‘08” logo; the other sign bore the theme of his speech: “Safer Toys For Our Children.”

What a neat thought during the week of Christmas. Parents across the United States had just finished gift wrapping likely thousands of toys. And children had just finished unwrapping these toys. And now many parents and kids were likely deciding whether they would keep the toys or return them or exchange them, and many parents were likely concerned about the safety of those toys - - especially the ones manufactured in China.

And here was Barack Obama, assuring Iowa voters than when he becomes President, his administration will work to ensure “safer toys for our children.”

I stopped and contemplated this for a moment. I was once again reminded that, for most of this past year, watching the presidential campaigns from each of the two major parties has been like watching people in parallel universes. And while all the candidates talk about things that “threaten America,” Democrats and Republicans have very different ideas about what those threats are.

On the left side of the aisle, our nation’s greatest threats are mostly home grown. In no particular order, the list includes: global warming; pharmaceutical companies; a lack of “free” health care; “tax cuts for the rich;” “partisanship;” oil companies; “the status quo in Washington;” “a lack of good jobs;” increases in college tuition costs; and now, apparently, “dangerous toys.” To the extent that Democrats talk about international or militaristic threats, those all seem to be home grown as well - - it’s a dangerous world because President Bush has made it dangerous and has damaged our global reputation, but when he’s gone and America embraces a “humble foreign policy,“ the world will like us again and, presumably, the dangers will go away.

Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.