Evolving Peace

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Who Wants to Be President", America's Newest Reality Show

Landslide by the inevitable element of change, the Democrats regained control of the House and the Senate and within hours the news pundits began speculating the next president of the United States. Who do the media call out to be the favorites to become our next leader? The pundits are lined up for the forecasts like the sportscasters hype of the Kentucky Derby. According to them it might as well be Hilary Clinton versus John McCain but for myself and most others I think we would choose someone else.

Mainstream news fills us with threads of information speculating a run by Hilary Clinton. I suppose she already is a favorite of Rupert Murdoch the ultra-conservative owner of FOX. While he is the model of conservative businesses he has been willing to fill the campaign coffers of the right wing’s most hated liberal. How is that possible that a supposed liberal has become a big benefactor of a notorious conservative or is it all a show? Maybe Murdoch will reap the benefits of added viewers with his networks continually bashing of Democratic policy. Rupert a smart businessman knows that the Republican Conservative Agenda is dead so maybe he is just staying ahead of the game and keeping his influence within the power structure.

Or maybe we can just question Hillary Clinton’s supposed liberal agenda. From the surface Hillary looks like a liberal, but maybe it’s just the old hidden mirror trick. Leaders from the right have criticized Hilary as egotistical and power hunger. As far as I can see the only liberal agenda Hillary has promoted is a national health care policy and that is a stretch. For today’s American politicians anybody who does not say that health care needs to be reworked is practical suicide. Hilary has been a big proponent of the War effort and has only offered minimal criticism of the Iraq War and has balked any alternative plan just as much as President Bush has. We might as well have a Clinton/Lieberman team run for the Republican ticket; it’s not much different than their platform.

Oh, yeah Hilary the champion of liberal politics was on the board of Wal-Mart, see Hilary Clinton and Wal-Mart: A Love Story originally published by Huffington Post on Common Dreams.Org. We can look to the record of her husband as further evidence of contradictory policies. The champions of liberalism agreeing to the passage of NAFTA, the continual bombing of Iraq and blockading humanitarian aid from reaching children and the veil of secrecy that hide information from the public. While the Clinton’s may have given a sense of hope to a portion of the public after years of Reagan and Bush H.W. the record was marred with rhetoric that conceded with the wishes of corporate America. Yes, I still believe there were some misdoings with the Clinton’s in the Whitewater affair, so do I want Hillary for President, the answer is Hell NO.

Barack Obama, as well gets the nod from many. While it has been stated that he is “talented” a “rising talent” or the “next star” of the Democratic Party, I question that notion. Does the American public want a media star or do we want a President who has the courage to stand up for what is right? I ask people what he stands for and all I get are blank stares. David Sorata sums it well in his article “Barrack Obama Is the Almighty - Bow Down To Him Now” about the upcoming rock star image.

We might as well make a new TV series “Who Wants to Be President.” Contestants have to raise as much money as possible, say very little to the media except for five second sound bites and flood the airwaves with marketing dollars trashing their opponents. Rupert Murdoch and Fox will have America captivated for a whole year, sounds like a cash cow. Fox and its cohorts are already working at discrediting Barack, see the post from Philip Baruth at the Vermont Daily Briefing. I must confess I do not know a lot about Barack and would like to hear more but at the same time I do not want the news media telling me who should run.

While the mainstream press gears up for the horse race, other candidates have entered the race. A return to the campaign trail, OH Rep. Dennis Kunnich has just thrown his hat in. Kunnich ran in 2004 but received very little press coverage. An early opponent to the Iraq War and has called for investigations on President Bush’s illegal activities. As a Representative he has been strong on Health Care, strong on the Environment and strong on Labor. Most strikingly his proposal of creating a Department of Peace shows his commitment of peaceful intentions, rather than partisan political rhetoric. The President must be willing to use the voice of the people to be a broker and advocate for world peace but the corporate media wants the war machine to roll on.

Continuing on military issues a declared candidate I have seen very little press on, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel had declared his intentions months ago. Gravel is primarily known for entering the Pentagon Papers into the Senate Record, which helped expediate the end of the Vietnam War. He has been a proponent of decreasing the size of the Military Industrial Complex. President Eisenhower had fore-warned the country about their emerging rise of control of US policy by the Military Industrial Complex but very few have dared to answer to his call. Additionally he has called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and closures of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Not just a one-dimensional candidate, he supports a single payer national health care plan and reformation of the tax codes. He is a strong advocate of strengthen Americans participation in Democracy. So while little fan fare will arise over his candidacy, his issues resonate strong with me.

On to Iowa, Governor Vilsak joined in the race by focusing on the issue of energy independence. The issue making its appearance into the national campaign is something to look hard at. We are witnessing the first hand detriments to our environment from the burning of fossil fuels and the international tensions created to fuel the demand for oil, energy dependence needs to be prioritized. Vilsak coming from Iowa has a strong commitment towards expansion of ethanol production. The debate on alternative approaches need to be highlighted but I fear Vilsak’s has enormous influence from the large agro-businesses in the production of corn. As well, Vilsak has been molded by the Democratic Leadership Committee which had virtually sold the Democratic Party to the hands of corporate America, leading the progressive roots of the party out to dry.

There is still a year to go before the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa Caucasus take place so I am sure that many more candidates will emerge. Rumors emerge that Al Gore is wrestling the idea after his new found charisma and success of an Inconvenient Truth . I was just forwarded a petition to urge Gore to run again but as well I have my reservation on him. But as my future father in law told me “anybody who would want to run for President must be a psychopath”, so beware of anybody who really wants this job. So stay tuned for the next installment of “Who Wants to Be President.”

Peace
Robb Kidd

“There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president." Kurt Vonnegut

2 Comments:

At December 12, 2006 8:15 PM, Blogger nvittal said...

I agree, Obama is media creation. Remember, how media projected Dean prior to 2004 elections? If I am right, he was on TIME cover page, right?
I think Clinton is going to get the nomination. I agree with your point that she is more to the center than left.
Isn't it the same thing on Republican side as well? Look at their super stars! Juliani is more of a democrat than republican in issues like gun control and abortion!
It would be interesting to see how things will go!

 
At December 30, 2006 8:11 AM, Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

There are good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”

http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2006/11/odyssey-of-armaments.html

The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the new Sec. Def.Mr. Gates, understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

 

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