Because this time the threat is real.
Thinking the Unthinkable
The dangers of a nuclear war have receded from the public's mind since the fall of Soviet communism in 1989. But since the ill-advised invasion of South Ossetia by Georgian troops, and the swift response of Russia, the bellicose talk by American leaders means that the very real possibility of nuclear war must again be considered by every adult American.
Last week, in a clear warning to the United States, Russia flew nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela. The US, for its part, has sent naval vessels to the Black Sea, and is striving to make Georgia and Ukraine part of NATO. The Bush administration has been pushing to place missile interceptor systems in Poland, on Russia's border.
Conservatives still shake their heads over the 1964 anti-Goldwater "Daisy" television commercial, which showed a girl counting petals from a daisy as a mushroom cloud appeared in the distance. That commercial frightened Americans and helped elect Lyndon Johnson.
There is little doubt that John McCain is a hot-tempered man, given to volcanic bouts of profanity and anger. It seems possible that his long captivity in Hanoi induced a form of "frontal lobe disorder," a labile mood disorder characterized by impaired executive functioning, as well as disinhibition, emotional instability, aggression, irritability or impulsiveness. He has made asinine jokes about bombing Iran, and bizarrely declared that "we are all Georgians now."
Such a man, no matter his war service, is clearly unfit for the presidency. Sarah Palin, an individual with no foreign policy expertise, has recently said that war with Russia may be necessary. Such an idiotic statement should immediately disqualify her for the Vice Presidency.
This election is not about family values, or the color of Sarah Palin's lipstick or Barack Obama's skin. It is about navigating our way through these treacherous minefields without finding ourselves at war with Russia.
Do we really want the hot-tempered McCain, whose campaign chair is a paid lobbyist for Georgia, or the clueless Sarah Palin, sitting by the red phone, and by the nuclear football?
I think it imperative, and very possibly a matter of national survival, that Barack Obama, and not John McCain, becomes president. Yes, it will mean higher taxes and boondoggle social programs and yes, he has called for more troops in Afghanistan and waffled on any number of key issues.
But Obama, or even Joe Biden, will be better able to act prudently in a time of crisis and not plunge our country into a war with Putin's Russia. We should seek friendship with Russia, not war.
Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known Senator John McCain for more than three decades...endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Cochran said his choice was prompted partly by his fear of how McCain might behave in the Oval Office.
"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Cochran said about McCain by phone. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
Palin: War with Russia? Perhaps So!
"These are the stakes, to make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die."
LBJ's words suddenly ring true.