October 13, 2008
Posted: 11:49 PM ET
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/13/art.sheryl.crow.jpg caption="Singer Sheryl Crow says Barack Obama's, 'lofty ideals and inspiring calls to action resonated with all of us.' "]
By Sheryl Crow
This will be, without a doubt, the most important election in our lifetime.
It is with conviction that I say that we are standing, as a nation, on the precipice of real change or a continuation of the same policies that have become so familiar. We will be forced to redefine who we are as Americans, to ourselves and to the rest of the world, by who we elect to lead us in the future.
As I watch John McCain losing his way on the path to the presidency, I am reminded of how quickly we can all lose our vision when fear steps in. I remember in 2000, when running against George W. Bush for the Republican nomination, how nasty and personal the campaign against Sen. McCain became. I recall how McCain promised he would never let his campaign become dirty but that he would instead stick to the issues. I have no doubt that John McCain is a good man but to watch him sink to the lowest form of campaigning, much in the tradition of Karl Rove's campaign tactics of fear and insinuation, makes me feel sad for him.
Underneath it all, I feel certain he knows he has gone in the opposite direction of who he planned on portraying himself to be, before his numbers started plummeting.
When Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, Bobby Kennedy, who was campaigning for the Democratic nomination, spoke in Indianapolis. Although he was grieved over the loss of this great leader who was also his friend, he chose to keep his obligation to speak. In his address, he spoke of how easy it would be to turn the situation into anger and rioting but that this would be exactly what MLK would've considered to be counterproductive. He, instead, had these words to say, "In this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in."
This is real leadership. This is the kind of leadership that this country has been lacking for the last eight years; leadership that inspires us; leadership that asks all of us to show up; leadership that is not based on campaigns of fear and deception as motivation but instead is based in truth and reality.
When this presidential campaign began what feels like decades ago, the one man who seemed to transcend the rhetoric of all the other candidates was Sen. Barack Obama. His lofty ideals and inspiring calls to action resonated with all of us. However, no matter how beautiful his words, the question now is how do we find a way to trust our leadership again?
The failing economy could be attributed to a distinct lack of risk management in the recent administration. However, as our economy has plummeted, we have seen McCain's behavior become erratic and reactionary while Obama has continued to be methodical without rushing to judgment.
Obama seems to be listening to all those involved and has surrounded himself with good people, while, as things worsen, McCain has become more erratic while his fan base becomes more and more angry and emotional, as displayed at recent "hate" rallies.
It is my belief that Obama's steadiness has separated himself from his opponent.
Where the economy is concerned, the problems are real and difficult to understand. Because at the core of the problem exists politicians, economists, and the administration, the distrust in the American people continues to grow. The damage done can only be measured by the damage to our country's good name in the world theatre.
How is trust restored at home and abroad? It will require great sacrifice and patience from all of us to turn around the challenging position we are in of redefining what America stands for.
Sheryl Crow will be a guest on tonight's "Larry King Live." Weigh in now!
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