I Have A Question For The Candidates
Mrs. Clinton, you have your credentials laid out before you, as though your life were a red carpet on which you have always walked. I do not mean to say you have not laboriously worked to put yourself in a position to have the substantial credentials you bring to the table. I do not doubt that you would preside over America with confidence and beneficence; what I do doubt however is the ultimate commitment you have to yourself, and, your commitment to the people who support your self; the people who's needs you'll pursue and meet before you engage to lead America forward in what you deem to be a positive direction. The reason I doubt this is simple: you are the Clinton Presidency Revised. There is no way politically, to separate you from your husband, just as, like it or not, there is no way to separate Bush Jr. from Bush Sr.
I also think that your approach is to repair the unfixable and trashable part of America, whereas Barack's is to make the best of (to idealize) the America which we have left from the Presidential Plunderers of the Past. I can't not think of you and your husband as plunderers, if for no other reason than this: you had political capital to fight Bush Jr. in 2002-2003 and your sorry ass went along: this says more about your judgement than anything else you have done: you are committed to the perpetuity of the American government more than you are committed to the real needs of the American People.
I can't say whether Barack has or doesn't have this commitment, because I am bewildered as his message rises out from himself idealistic enough to make up for his lack of experience: i mention this because we can't know what Obama will bring: we know what he wants to bring and by all accounts it seems he knows the dangers of "just wanting to do good, in a world which wants to be mostly bad."
You say you are committed to the American People, but your record, from my perspective, shows otherwise. Maybe, despite this, you still have good intentions. If you could put yourself in my place for a moment and see how I doubt you and your husband's sincerity, and then return to your place, and then think about what I am asking of you, (for only one vote out of 100,000,000),... I don't really have a question for you, because I know there is nothing you could say at this point to win over my trust.
You do have one thing going for you: you have the added responsibility of the First Female Presidency.
My question for Mr. Obama: You too have capitalized on your credentials: you put forward your vote against the War in Iraq as the quintessential vote you have made in the Senate. You also play to the American people's need for change in the wake of the sea of plunderers in fleet around Washington D.C., as they have not ceased to continue taking untoward advantage of the American people. You claim the slogan as your own: "Change we can believe in." I doubt little your intent, as you seek the office of the Presidency: you have even said over and over again that the change we need is beyond your power to complete: you need the Congress, the Courts and the People at your back.
"First, do no harm" is the slogan I can't help but consciously stream, as I think about the many times in Human History when some one or some group have gone out to help someone or some group, only to leave those people worse off in the end despite an attempt to help them.
You admit your organizational skills are wanting when it comes to "keeping your desk clean." The American Presidency is more than ideas and more than slogans, more than even your desire to do good. How well are you insulated from the D.C. scum? Are you going to go to Washington and rely on D.C. types to keep you organized? How do we know your Iraq war vote wasn't a political calculation just in the way we we know Mrs. Clinton's vote was a political calculation? If you cannot even keep your desk clean and your life organized without help from others, how can you convince enough Americans that you both know what is good for them, and, know that your attempts to provide it for them are going to work in the way you want them to? I am painfully aware that your advisers and helpers carry more power with you than I am comfortable with. Bill Clinton's thoughts seemed to be generated from himself, and yours more so than the other candidates and even the current occupant for that matter. Are you smart enough to know when the advice of your advisers has risen above your advisers' self interest? Also, who needs you to survive and flourish, and will go to every length to make sure you survive and flourish? (Mr. Bush's survival is made and realized by those corporate, international and secret interests, who have more at stake in Bush surviving, than even Mr. Bush himself).
I don't really have a question for you Mr. Obama either, because your words bewilder me with hope, as I venture to make a rational decision on the present matter.
Mr. McCain, the most true thing I can say about you is: you are a mirage. I look at your face and I see George Bush and a hundred more years of war. You stand there audaciously like a statue and co invent yourself as though you were authentic. It is clear to me that that is the last thing you are: authentic. Ironically, this is what you are most known for. Who are you so mad at John? Why do I get the feeling someone has done you wrong?
I know you are a military man. You endured pains for what you would deem service to our country. Perhaps you are scowling at me as I detest the way in which you went to Viet Nam and militarized your ideal upon another country. I can respect someone who defends his family on his own soil. I cannot respect a man who would aggress another person's family and soil, on behalf of his own occupation and ideal. You continually play the sympathy card as the only red carpet you could find leading to the American Presidency. I am sorry you were tortured by your captors. But you dropped bombs on their children...
I agree, there is no room for torture in a civilized society. But what is worse, being tortured and living to tell about it, or being collateral damage from a war of aggression and being dead? You claim there is a threat to America by radical islamic extremists. You claim we went to war in Iraq to protect Americans from this threat. You claim it may take one hundred more years of the occupation of the sovereign state of Iraq. War is such a blunt instrument. You will claim to use this instrument as one of the tools of your Presidency. I will say what I see: I see a mad man running for president. How do you ride the sympathy train all the way to the White house? especially when as far as I can tell, your being tortured pales in comparison to the torture you have already doled out? Be careful of the beam in your own eye before you start pointing out motes in other people's eyes. The sympathy you would have from me is no red carpet...
Please, now, tell me how naive I am again.
Oh, Mr. Nader, How deep is your concern? Your argument is laid out before you as profound as a bed of red coals is hot. Like nature's rush to fill a vacuum, the sound of your footfalls seem to echo every four years. The elephant and the donkey fill the room you want to enter because they built the room only big enough for two. So Ralph, as you wrap your head around the problems which America faces, are you smart enough to know whether you are smart enough to build an argument assailable to citizens, democratic and republican, which will do more than just convince partisans to adopt that argument, but will also motivate them and arm them with the power to rise out of their need to vote their own interests? Will your penumbra reward them with enough of a dialectic to convince those they know how your argument against the parties brings their long term interests to bear?