I didn't think it was fair for John McCain to compare Barack Obama to Paris Hilton. But when Obama, citing the number of homes McCain owns, suggested that McCain is unable to relate to the struggles of average folks, it gave me pause. Does Obama not realize that McCain spent years being tortured? When offered the chance to leave — because of his father's military rank — he chose to stay rather than allow his captors the public relations propaganda points?

Perhaps the comparison with Hilton has merit. A society saturated with make-believe images and promises begets citizens who kneel at the altar of living icons of the surreal, like Hilton and Obama.

When Obama is tested, will he be a McCain or a Hilton? Can we take the risk?

Ryan Larsen