The audience at the second presidential debate/town hall meeting was, supposedly, made up of "undecided" voters. Anyone who is undecided less than a month before the election hasn't been paying attention and ought to be disqualified from voting at all. The questions were terrible, the answers worse.
Why were there no questions about the Supreme Court, abortion, or immigration; three extremely hot topics? There was nothing about Barack Obama's leftist friends, like William Ayers. Was Tom Brokaw trying to protect Obama on these important issues and associations?
Listening to the questions (and the answers) was like watching TV poker. A questioner made a bid on, say, the mortgage crisis or health care. What will the candidates do for me? Obama would make a bet that his proposal was best and McCain would raise him. Inexplicably, McCain called for a reduction in federal spending as one way to begin fixing the spiraling economy, while he simultaneously proposed $300 billion in new spending to bail people out of mortgages they cannot afford. Do we need "real estate agent" added to the growing list of things government does not do well?
In none of the questions from the "undecideds" (or answers from the candidates) was there a suggestion that people should do more for themselves and be encouraged and rewarded (lower taxes?) for making right decisions. In none of the answers was there a challenge for Americans to rise above their circumstances and rebuild what might have gone wrong in their own lives. We left accountability and personal responsibility at Oprah's altar long ago. There is no better example of our entitlement mentality than on an Oprah show a few years ago when she gave cars to women who needed them, only to have some of the recipients complain that they had to pay a tax on the vehicle. They thought Oprah (or General Motors) should have paid the tax on their free car.
To ask people to take charge of their own lives is now deemed "insensitive" and "uncaring." The government is your keeper, you shall not want.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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