Do we really want the President to be just like us? For my part, I do not. Maybe I’m not a good example because, although incredibly smart and intuitive, some think me a bit zany. But do we want the President or the Vice President to be “just plain folk?” We seemed to like it when Jimmy and Rosalyn got out of their secure vehicle and marched down Constitution Avenue, (some of the crack Carter staff were holed up in a warm, comfortable townhouse on Capital Hill), but it was downhill after that. We liked Jimmy Carter, but we didn’t want an “us” running the country, we wanted someone who we could aspire to be—like the wealthy and not so ordinary Ronald Reagan. (This is in no way an endorsement of that Presidency, it is simply a fact.)
When Sarah Palin says she’s ‘just a soccer Mom with kids,’ I think that’s swell. And if ever I knew a kid who happened to live in Alaska and wanted to play soccer, I’d want her to be screaming “kill, kill” on the sidelines. I do not however, want her to be screaming “kill, kill” from the West Wing. We’ve had too much of that already. And by the way, as Governor, she chose for her child to carry a baby to term, but she line-item vetoed funds for other single young women, whose parents couldn’t support them, to care for the children they chose to keep.
In addition, and regardless of the size of her budget as Mayor, or 16 months of being a Governor, her experience is small town, small and unusual State, (they have a surplus of money from oils revenues) neither bears a resemblance to what it takes to govern the United States. You may say that Bill Clinton was the Governor of a small State and look how great he was (the same people who think she’s great, won’t give Bill the same credit.) But he was also a Rhodes Scholar who had traveled quite a bit and lived abroad and had been a Governor for more than a year. True, he didn’t sell the plane on e-Bay, which some might think is fiscally conservative, but as cute as that is, it shows that she never needed to have a plane at her disposal for any international or national emergency and she doesn’t care how inconvenient it is for “just plain folk” when a Governor and all their security need to travel anywhere. Or maybe there have been no threats on her life because she was that unimportant. (And I mean that in the nicest possible way).
John McCain is not just like us -- an ordinary person, so you might think I have no issues about his candidacy. Of course, you would be wrong. I would have no problems with John McCain if the list he presented as all the things he would do, did include some of the things he has already supported. Like increased health care benefits for veterans, money for improving the equipment we give to the troops serving in harms way, or alternative fuel research—all of which he has consistently voted against. Or I might not stick my fingers in my ears and run screaming from the room when he says the do-nothing Democrats are to blame for all the problems that exist in the entire universe. I do agree that the Democrats in the Congress have been a disappointment but they have only had the leadership for less than two years. Let’s look at the one thing that has cost the nation the most money and sent us spiraling into financial disaster and deficit—the war. Like good soldiers, they trusted the President’s information was real when they OK’d funding for the war. When they found out the war was based on lies, they still supported funding because it was equated with ‘support of the troops’ – and what person, elected or not, doesn’t support the troops—it’s unpatriotic.
Speaking of not patriotic. Have you noticed that, as citizens, just plain folks, we are no longer allowed to protest, (anything). The Conventions were a perfect example of this loss of civil rights – this time the right to disagree. In Denver, there were police in riot gear just waiting for those veterans to walk close enough to the convention site – to use all the new equipment purchased by funds allocated to the conventions to prevent terrorist attacks. And in St. Paul, the police voided the permits that peaceful demonstrators had obtained to prevent them from demonstrating and then launched into ‘arrest’ mode. Oh there were lots of important arrests -- an ABC producer who didn’t move fast enough in Denver, and an NPR radio host and her producers who she was trying to help – we’re not sure they had committed a crime other than just being there.
The questions we need to ask ourselves are many among which might be; do we want more of the same—the lies, denials, misplaced blame, lack of concern for the environment, health, education, and welfare, of people who are not advantaged, as well as a loss of civil and human rights, determination to win an unwinnable war, and ongoing antagonism of any international friends we might have left. Or do we want to be a nation that thinks about the reality of the world as we know it, and use all the tools we have to make it better. And there’s nothing plain about that. We’re just saying... Iris