The next phase of the race to become the next president of the United States has begun. View the following two speeches by the presumptive Republican and Democratic nominees for US President in 2009. Both speeches were given on June 3, 2008.

Both candidates blend the vision they want us to believe they have with spin-doctoring about their opponent that they hope you won’t recognize as distortions. See if you can separate authentic vision from pandering, authentic differences between these candidates from the spin they are using to distort their opponent.

Make a point of noticing the surprising number of similarities between their attitudes and messages as much as you notice their equally important differences.

And, no matter which candidate you resonate with, always remember that our responsibilty in a democracy is to separate fact from spin so we can make decisions based on facts rather than propaganda. That is called discernment: a quality that has been woefully lacking in far too many Americans for far too long.

This year is the time for Americans to return to discernment.

See what you can discern from Senator McCain’s speech:

Now see what you can discern from Senator Obama’s speech:

Now stay tuned and remain teachable because the spin is going to keep flying from here and our responsibility as citizens is to become far more spin-proof than we have ever been so that the choices we make about the candidate we support is based on our own clarity rather than political propaganda. That clarity is what can help us begin the new era of societal, political and leadership integrity that we so desperately need today that I talk about at length in my two-award-winning book, The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World.