I cannot help but believe that a friend of mine's post on Facebook today of a page from the children's book Dick and Jane was a message that went well beyond a reminder of the book many of us read, or even of the times of Eisenhower, his success in building American, and in ending the second of two consecutive wars.
It was a reminder that, when Barack Obama started his troops cutting a huge swath through the Clintons using heavy armor that still comes out today, our politics changed. Obama changed our politics from reaching across the aisle to contempt and refusal to negotiate even when a financial precipice faces our country at the end of the year.
There is no excuse for Obama's rudeness, attempting to make out Mitt Romney, a man whose service to others cannot be questioned and who is a gentlemen, to be a boob and the Republican ticket to be "out of touch." Consistent efforts to open a front that claims a man who is about the same age as many of our greatest presidents as too old and stupid to govern the country.
But rudeness, apart from the first debate when Obama simply looked down and did not seem capable of looking Romney in the eye, has been the hallmark of the Democratic ticket. It came out in full force with Joe Biden's reprehensible treatment of Paul Ryan in the vice-presidential debate. And it continues unabated today.
We can claim that this is merely politics as usual. But this would miss what has become the hallmark of Obama's first campaign and his current administration.
Obama injected attacks against his opponents in ways that exceed past attacks over the golden age of our country, from the 1940s through the 1960s. Those attacks remain on display, with the third presidential debate a prime example.
Who do we want as a statesman?
A man who was so uncomfortable with the head of state of Israel after a discussion that he and the head of state sat uncomfortably with each other, who would not meet with him in New York but instead met with the ladies of The View?
The man who holds meetings with so many people of Muslim faith that some claim have questionable backgrounds sympathetic to those in control of most countries that have overthrown dictators, and those who claim this country is still racist?
The man who attempts to put Mitt Romney in his place with horses and bayonets?
Or a gentleman.
The answer is that at least 47% of this country likes rude.
Fifty percent or more prefer a gentleman.
And 3% cannot decide.
So many things could have been done during the last night's debate. In the end, Romney decided that the choice truly depends on who you want to represent our country. An insulting, rude and entirely partial president, or a gentleman with a record of bringing people together.
Are we a rude country?
You will soon decide.