Black President? Woman President? How about Right President?
This has been one of the longest ‘pre-season’ campaigns in history with some of the candidates announcing their intentions as early as late 2006. Now with the Iowa Caucuses and the ‘official’ season finally underway, I’m hoping that my fellow Americans don’t make the same mistake they always do. That is to vote based on spin and soundbites, fear and sensationalism.
Oh it’s clearly still a problem as three of the front runners are basing their entire bids for the White House on the power of their celebrity. Do I think America is ready for a Black President or a Woman President or (God forbid) an Italian President? To be honest, I don’t give a flying fuck what color or gender or nationality our next president is, as long as that person is qualified.
So far, neither Hillary, Barack nor Rudy have proven anything other than their ability to double talk. I never liked Hillary. She weaseled her way into becoming a New Yorker so she could run for Senate in a big market. This would (and did) leave her open to run for the bigger office. There are a couple of things wrong with this. One; if she wanted to be in the Senate to help people as she claimed, she would have been more helpful in Arkansas.
The truth is, as a big fish in Arkansas, her celebrity may have actually done some good. Maybe the poorer Southern states could have benefited from someone with her clout fighting behind them when needed. But then again, staying in Arkansas would have seriously delayed any presidential considerations. I don’t blame her for being ambitious. I blame her for being two-faced since she had recently accused Barack of similarly using the Senate as a stepping stone. That’s the other thing wrong with her choice.
And what of Barack? The golden child. The next coming of Abe Lincoln. Are his chances any worse because he is half black? Or are they better because he is half white? Does it matter? I liked Barack when he stepped out into the fray. I thought, “Yes, yes, here is a fresh voice. I like it.” And then, as time went on … nothing. No answers, more spin, more appearances on Oprah, more of the taking the tie off and chatting like a real man. These things are all good and fine. They help win elections. The problem is, they don’t help to get the job done.
Is he too inexperienced? Probably. But then again can anyone truly say they are ready for such a job? What Barack needs to do to win me back is answer a few questions. He can’t just tell us he’s gonna make things better or he has a plan. Spell it out. Show us. What has he got to lose? It’s not like the secret recipe for some billion-dollar snack food. The more we know, the better we can trust him. And we want to trust someone.
Then there is Rudy. Oh Rudy … you were so loved after 9/11. You were strong. You were funny. You helped us all heal when many of us didn’t want to even think of the wounds. But then, that became all you talked about. You tried to rewrite NY state law so you could run for another term as mayor based on it. You started using it as a political weapon. Then when you threw your hat in to the presidential ring, your heart-string tugging worked. Well, until the rest of America noticed you had no other answers.
In the past couple of months, the landslide-level numbers the three of these characters held began to seriously falter. This filled my cynical heart with glee. Could it be that the American people are finally tired of the rhetoric? Are they finally not willing to just rollover and let government sponsored fear sway their decisions? Could this be why John Edwards is gaining? By the way, I don’t usually announce who I support, but Edwards is my front runner. You should listen to him (or even Kucinich) sometime if you wanna hear what answering questions sounds like.
So as we ring in this Primary season, all I ask is that you ask … forcefully. Don’t take what these politicians say at face value. There are far too many things at stake. Make them to tell the truth and reveal their plans. Don’t settle for a promise that somehow, someway they will make things better, but only if you vote for them. That smells of extortion.
And above all remember this; Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a politician as a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons. Let’s once and for all weed those suckers out and take control of our future.