Friday, January 11, 2008

Ask Me a Question and I'll Cry You a River!

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As the results from the New Hampshire Primary were becoming official, I couldn't help thinking about the old expression of "Be careful what you wish for... you might just get it." I'm beginning to think New Hampshire is called the Granite State because of the contents of the citizenries' heads rather than its geological makeup and its tradition of self-sufficiency. The United States of America took one giant leap for mankind backwards Tuesday night by basically canonizing two washed up relics from the 20th century named John McCain and Hillary Clinton. After nearly 20 years of America being subjected to the divisive regimes of the Hatfields and McCoys also known as the Bushes and Clintons, Americans claimed they were ready for change. Finally the college students were going to stop whining about the status quo and actually do something for themselves and their futures. They didn't. Middle-aged Americans tired of seeing their kids being sent to Iraq for nothing and seeing their homes foreclosed, were going to seek change. They didn't. Seniors were tired of deciding which medications they could afford and which ones they couldn't as a result of spiraling health costs by looking forward to a new voice. They didn't either.

What did they do then? They momentarily, at least, stopped looking forward and retreated to the past by throwing their support behind a 71 year old fossil whose life is predicated by reliving his past and paying no heed to the future. Then, if that weren't enough, the other side chose a 60 year old woman who repeatedly bangs the drums of change by touting her 35 years of experience. I've never been able to figure out what specifically this so called experience is. I can respect the fact she graduated college, law school and was a junior staffer on the Richard Nixon impeachment proceedings, but mostly her resume is that of the First Lady of Arkansas, and then the United States. To her credit I suppose, she parlayed her name recognition into becoming a US Senator from New York. She never lived in New York and never accomplished anything of note either, but her husband's popularity was sufficient enough to earn her a US Senate seat. If that sounds harsh, so be it, because it's the truth. Every single 60 year old person on the planet has 35 years experience doing something, doing anything. Should that be the springboard to justify becoming president?

John McCain has been an elected official for 25 years. The last 21 of those years as a republican senator from Arizona. He also has 5 years of experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. So McCain can tout his vast experience as well. Did McCain do anything to prevent Bush from continuously torturing enemy combatants? Did McCain's 25 year history in Washington politics benefit his constituents more or himself? He considers himself to be a maverick politician, but a maverick is defined as an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party. Yeah, after 2o years of democrats and republicans bending over backwards to screw each other over, this country is desperately seeking a leader who gets along with nobody. If McCain were to be elected president and served two terms, he would be 80 years of age. I have no prejudices towards seniors. In fact, some of my favorite grandparents have been seniors, but when you're at that stage of your life, it seems to me, more emphasis is being placed on where you've been than where you're going.

I used to have a great deal of respect for Bill Clinton. I realize he had as many faults as he did virtues. But when you respect and admire a person, you tend to accentuate their accomplishments, whilst overlooking their failures. I never fully understood why so many people loathed Clinton. I assumed it was primarily jealousy. But now as I look at him more objectively, I understand that they were not fully wrong just as I was not fully right. The former president mostly uses and often abuses his personal charm to benefit himself. I salute him for his foundation which has raised billions of dollars for AIDS research, disaster relief, global warming projects and affordable housing for people who legitimately need assistance. But I also see a reckless, smarmy lounge lizard who thoughtlessly and recklessly was bagging bimbos in the same house where his wife and daughter were at the very same time. He committed purjury when he was finally nailed and disgraced himself as well as the office the people elected him to.

I almost found it somewhat funny this week when he was criticizing Barack Obama for the same qualities he himself relied upon to win elections. You know the one, the young, idealistic outsider coming in to corrupt Washington to fix a broken system. Clinton went on further to tear into New Hampshire election officials for scheduling their primary so close to the Iowa Caucus. He excoriated them by claiming their system was so unfair because the momentum of whoever won in Iowa would automatically be sufficient to propel them to victory there as well. Well big daddy, it turns out you were wrong on all levels. Firstly, New Hampshire officials had no idea who would win in Iowa, nor did they care either. If they did give it a moment's thought, I'm sure they assumed the overwhelming front runners, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney would easily cruise to victory in Iowa. History of course, will show neither did. It will also demonstrate you should spend more time being the blank staring, robotic and smiling spouse, (see Laura Bush) and stop making accusations that are neither proper nor true. Both Iowa winners lost in New Hampshire. So Bill, it turns out your theory held even less content than Monica Lewinski's legendary blue dress.

I keep hearing what a dirty game politics is. Most of the candidates demonstrate their great knowledge of the issues not with action, but by spewing forth mind numbing oratories. They don't do this by thoughtfully dissecting what's broken and applying a fix, but by proving how low they're willing to sink to get elected at any cost. Some candidates will sigh and cry whereas all candidates will lie. They throw mud at each other but only the electorate get stained. In a perfect world, everybody would just honestly present themselves to the American public and let the public decide who the best candidate is. But a perfect world doesn't have Bushes, Clintons and mavericks everywhere you look. Instead of listening to these politicians telling you what they think you want to hear, listen to yourself and tell them what you want them to hear with your vote. You can't effectively move forward if you're looking back. This country needs to be led into the future much more than it needs being pulled back into the past....



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