'08 -- Get a Grip
Don't care. Really.
Yes, it is important who the Republicans choose as the flag-bearer for the Next Biggest Election Of Our Life This Time.
Yes, it is important to know that we have a clear winner that everyone on our side can get behind and support as well as draw the losers over from the squishy middle and some disaffected lefties.
Yes, it is important.....actually, no, it isn't. Not really. Not yet. We're still a year out from primaries, which is about 11 months too long in terms of public interest, probability of saying or doing something incredibly damaging to one's candidacy, and the overall fatigue in terms of news cycles and how much extraneous information will be required to fill the time.
Let's face it; none of these people are that compelling or have such amazing ideas that anyone outside of the political junkies really cares. So why subject themselves (and us) to their banal statements and potential gaffes so far out?
The Founders were incredibly great (if flawed) men. They achieved the most amazing thing mankind has ever done, replaced only by the lunar landing nearly 200 years later.
These men were not professional politicians, nor were they power-mad wannabes. They were merchants, soldiers, gentlemen, financiers. Of course there were squabbles amongst themselves, but it was always about the best interests of this new nation they had created.
Most importantly, they were GIVEN power to lead our new country because they were responsible for the creation and stability of it. There were bitterly contested elections
early on, but it was a struggle between the best men of the time, the ones who wanted the power and frankly deserved it.
George Washington in particular is the most famous example of "republic first" thinking since Cincinnatus. He resisted the presidency initially, then chose to leave after two terms, setting a precedent that was honored until FDR served 4 terms and the Constitution was altered to force future presidents to limit themselves to no more time in office than the first Dubya had.
Adams, Jefferson, Madison -- these were the men who wrote the most sacred American political words we have. The Declaration and the Constitution, along with all of the letters and arguments leading up to these documents were the results of the framework built by towering minds.
Today we have professional politicians, usually attorneys who made millions by milking the very system created by the above-termed Towering Minds, or by hiding out in one government job after another, climbing the political ladder. These men and women are not interested in serving the nation as much as they are in having the power. This of course is not a new complaint, but every single one of them is a transparent phony. Both sides are exhibiting a distinct lack of proper presidential material.
If you doubt this, imagine asking this question of each of them: "Candidate X, the developments of nuclear issues and terrorism are arguably the greatest challenge facing the next president. Can you please explain to me exactly why you are so bent on taking a job that will require you to deal with such issues as:
1. A hostile Iran with nuclear weapons, missile ability to hit anywhere in Israel, and a fanatical death cult in charge,Of course, sir or madam, the perks of being POTUS are many. But given just these few things that you KNOW you will have to deal with, why exactly do you want the job?"
2. A situation in Iraq that continues to be very shaky due to the internecine struggles of the same death cult mingling with millenia-old conflicts,
3. The same situation in Iraq that is currently a political football in the hands of congress so it is likely that regardless of your plan, it will be watered-down at best and scuttled at worst,
4. The sure knowledge that leaving Iraq WILL result in a situation similar to that of Cambodia and Vietnam -- perhaps the name Pol Pot will ring a bell,
5. Syria and Lebanon continuing to be the outreach arm and suppliers of Hezbollah -- you know, the group that has killed more Americans than even Al Quaeda,
6. A nuclear North Korea continuing to test missiles that land near Hawaii and off the coast of California,
7. An increasingly industrialized/devoloped China that is in the process of testing its own ballistic missiles by shooting satellites, thereby increasing space debris and endangering our own satellites,
8. The sure knowledge that losing our GPS and communications satellites will instantly cripple our military strength and force us to fight (if necessary) on technological terms equal to, instead of superior to, any given enemy,
9. The looming crises of illegal immigration, social security bankruptcy, and healthcare provider issues resulting from the aging Boomer population,
10. A hostile congress regardless of election results -- both sides have largely moved to the socialist middle and pretty much only argue about details -- so any bold plans you might have are likely to stay just that: plans.
Answer: Insert some bland blathering about serving the nation and "getting us on the right track again" and "believing I am the one best suited to face these grave national challenges" etc....
The watering-down of talent and worth (in presidential candidates) over the history of this country has, in my opinion, reached an all-time low.
My next post will deal more with the candidates themselves.