Dick Swanson, who has been a friend of ours since Nixon was President (ok.. since Degaulle was President.. does that make you feel better?) started to write a comment today, and it grew to become blob-length and, as he is a dedicated fan, blob-worthy. So, here is today's Guest Blob:
I grew up in the farm lands of Illinois where there are no mountains and no oceans to break up the prairie. As my old pappy used to say, “If you don’t like the corn fields turn around and look at the soy beans.” In the six decades since, I’ve learned that he was trying to tell me there is always an alternative no matter how similar.
Extrapolating that to the 2008 campaign for president, he could have just as easily given me a third option…the barn yard.
In the beginning (waaay last year) I told myself I wouldn’t feel like leaving the country if Obama, Clinton or McCain were elected. Since then the race has degenerated into, “Mine is bigger than yours” (yes, I include Hillary in this squabble). The race is periodically interrupted with discussion of the issues but mostly it is about race, gender and geriatrics. Furthermore, anyone running for president must pander to get elected. It’s the nature of the beast (if my opponent promises this, then I must promise that). The candidates promise the moon (in good faith, we hope) and we vote (some might say, selfishly) on what we think is good for us but it hardly ever turns out that way.
I now feel that McCain will bring us more of same (the Bush legacy), Clinton will bring us chaos (her management skills and Bill). Obama will bring us youth without experience (not always a bad thing but preferable to the alternatives).
Instead of addressing the problems of economy, health care, the military, diplomacy, security, education, immigration, on and on, the candidates are trapped in circumstances that are mostly beyond their control: though they make change and experience their centerpiece, they are plagued with surrogates out of control, bad but innocent choices and saddled with marital legacies.
And they all will inherit Bush’s war.
As far as I am aware, none of the candidates have addressed, in a continuing way, the broken America that is Bush’s legacy. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfson, et al, have broken America, and any credibility we had with the rest of the world has disappeared. The tragic results of Bush and his administration cannot be overstated. I don’t believe it’s a stretch to blame the Bush eight years for the accelerating deterioration of our values.
Also, I am becoming fearful (scared shitless is more like it) about Obama’s candidacy. Given the events of the last week or so, he is becoming more polarizing than inspirational. These events will continue exponentially as we near the nomination process and certainly engulf the electorate if he is nominated. What we don’t need are the fundamentalist democrats and misogynists (there are just as many racists and misogynists in the Democrat Party as in the Republican Party) taking the rest of us hostage.
The by-product of this election year will be that the fundamentalist Christians, the religious right, racists, misogynists of every political persuasion and skin color will co-opt this election and send us further down the path of social disintegration. The anger in the churches, both black and white, will taint the process of democracy.
Ironically, tragically, the candidacies of Obama, Clinton and McCain (all fine people) through no fault of their own, have exposed this anger (in and out of church).
To quote Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us”.
It’s another way of saying that it’s the bad guys against the bad guys. In a perfect world it would be the good guys against the good guys.