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Father`s Day Lessons From Obama, McCain

Posted June. 17, 2008 03:54,   


Marking Father’s Day on June 15, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama addressed a packed congregation at a Chicago church.

“Too many fathers are MIA, too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes,” Obama said, to a chorus of approving murmurs from the audience.

Obama challenged the very sensitive themes of African American families, in which a host of the families are led by single moms.

“What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child. Any fool can have a child. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it," he stressed.

Such remarks can bring a huge controversy in the African American society, particularly because he emphasized the conservative view points when liberal and conservative stand points sharply conflict one another.

The liberalists offer a way to break a vicious circle of poverty through a systematic solution such as ban on racial discrimination. On the other hands, people with conservative view points try to find the solution within the African American community.

Obama invoked his own absent father to deliver a sharp message to African American men, saying, “I know what it means to have an absent father. There’s a hole in your heart if you don’t have a male figure in the home that can guide you and lead you and set a good example for you.”

Republican presidential candidate John McCain went through similar childhood with his father often away from home. For this reason, he had hard time controlling his temper when young. His father, coming home after a long interval, would throw his persistent son in a bath tub filled with cold water even without taking off his son’s clothes.

When John McCain was a U.S. Navy pilot during the Vietnamese War, and his fighter jet was shot down in Hanoi in 1967, his father was serving as commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Although the Vietnamese communists offered a release to McCain who had his arms, knees and shoulders broken, and became a prisoner of war at the time, he refused to take the favor and remained there with his comrades.

Furthermore, his father followed an order to bomb the city of Hanoi even though he knew his son could become a victim to the bombing.

Senator McCain later assessed his father, saying, “My father was faithful to his job.” McCain’s son enlisted in the Marine Corps and was deployed to Iraq in 2006.

Despite the fact that the two presidential candidates’ fathers were either too stern or failed to keep their family happy, their influence on their children were enormous. The two candidates graduated from the same college their father attended (Harvard University for Obama and the Naval Academy for McCain), and both wrote books on the theme of their own father.

“One day, my father gazed at a lofty place and stood firm in his belief that there are opportunities for the black people.” (Obama)

“The endless ambition of my life is to become a man of honor just like my father was. Though he passed away long ago, the desire to won his recognition has been the driving engine of my life.” (McCain)