Letter to the editor: Obama ticket was right choice

Ben Forlaw accused me of gloating, and called me a "spin artist" and an ostrich. Wow! Exchanging letters to the editor seems a poor forum for debate, but Forlaw's letter demands a response.

No gloating on my part, just disappointment in John McCain's attacks on President-elect Barack Obama's character. In the end, the real damage by McCain, Cal Thomas and others was inflicted not on Obama, but on our electoral process and the American people by appealing to fear and encouraging hatred. Contrary to Forlaw's assumption, I care more for our nation than the outcome of any election.

Forlaw's claim that Obama has a so-called "far-left, divisive record" which I ignored is meaningless in its generality. I look at specific actions, proposals and stance on the issues in deciding who to vote for, and concluded that Obama's positions, intellect and temperament were what we needed at this critical time. Further, Obama has shown a propensity to work with Republicans in the U.S. Senate on nuclear arms control, ethics reform and other issues. Call me an ostrich with my head in the sand, but I fail to see Obama's record as divisive.

Eighty percent of Americans think we are headed in the wrong direction and 67 million of them voted for Obama's message of change and unity on Nov. 4. I suspect a significant number of McCain voters will respond to Obama's call for unity because they recognize we need a new direction. It remains to be seen if Thomas, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the like will help or hinder that effort. The deep-seeded divisions in our country as sown by extremists on both ends of the political spectrum will be difficult to overcome. Especially after a campaign that sought to exploit those divisions.

However, during the campaign, Obama avoided attacking McCain's character, consistently talked of unity, inspired millions to get involved and appealed to our better selves. If McCain-Palin had won, would I be calling for unity? I hope so. Do I think unity is more likely under an Obama-Biden administration?

You betcha.

- Allan Burns