A few days ago I emailed you about the election and our dedication to show up at the polls. At the time I said that I wasn’t going to endorse anyone and didn’t mention who I intend to vote for. It is important that Realists make up their own mind and not follow any leaders. We are a religion of explorers, not followers.However ….
Several people have emailed me wanting more information and I am one of those people who are obsessed with politics and I probably pay closer attention than a lot of you do. So what I’m going to do is share with you information about the candidates that I consider important. This will help you make up your own mind.
Having said that, this is my perspective and when it comes to politics everyone is biased. And even though I like to think I am above that it is clear that I am not. So I am going to admit that my bias is in favor of Hillary Clinton so that if you are reading this you can subtract points for Hillary assuming that I have some bias in favor. Also, every candidate has problems. So after reading this you might not want to vote for anyone. However, we are Realists and we vote. Even if you vote for the wrong person I think that we need to make a statement that we will always show up to vote for (or against) someone.
So – here’s what I think I know about the candidates.
Hillary is a mixed bag. There are strong reasons to vote for her and she has some serious problems. So I will start with her problems. As we all know she voted for the authorization to go to war with Iraq. At the time she claims that this was supposed to be a threat to get inspectors back into Iraq and that the vote was in fact technically for that. It was Bush who took the authority and used it as a license to start the war in a way it wasn’t intended when it passed.
However …. I’m not buying that excuse. There is also another factor where Democrats who voted against the first Iraq war that was successful paid a big political price in 1991 and that the Democrats were in part worried about what it would look like to not vote for the war. In September of 2002 Al Gore came to San Francisco to speak at the Commonwealth Club and he talked about the upcoming Iraq vote. Al Gore described it as an election year prank quoting some Republican, (Rove?) that you don’t bring out a new product until after labor day. But then after saying that Al Gore went on to endorse the idea of voting for giving Bush the authorization.
I was appalled. I got up, interrupted him and confronted him on the issue. I told Gore that a lot of us were more afraid of Bush that we were of Saddam. He replied that I can’t be serious and I assured him I was. Al Gore didn’t get it. I’m looking forward to running into him again so I can say, “I told you so!” but he probably still wouldn’t get it. And neither would Hillary. Shortly after confronting Gore I was part of a protest in San Francisco that drew somewhere around 100,000 and 150,000 protesters who like me also got it that Bush was going to start a war. So it’s not like I’m the only one who figured it out.
Just this last year she voted with Bush to declare part of the Iranian army, the Revolutionary Guard, as a sponsor of terrorism. This was at a time when Bush was trying to beat the drums of war. I don’t even remember Hillary’s lame excuse but after getting screwed by Bush on the Iraq war the last thing we want to do is empower him in any way to start a war. So Obama is one up on Hillary on this issue.
I was also uncomfortable with the deafening silence from the Clintons for the first 2 years of the Iraq war. At a time when people should have been speaking up they said nothing. In contrast Nancy Pelosi spoke at anti-war rallies along with Barbara Lee and Cynthia McKinney and West Wing actor Martin Sheen who made impassioned speeches about how wrong the war was. I burned a flag in from of Nancy Pelosi to show her how passionate I was about the war.
So at this point you’re probably wondering about my statement that I’m biased in favor of Hillary. As said, I attempt to look at the big picture. So here’s the argument for Hillary.
Hillary has spent a lifetime working hard to make America better. She has never in politics been just the spouse of the guy in charge. The Clintons are very much in many ways one mind with two bodies. Hillary is an always gas been deeply involved in the decision making process. I personally believe that she is the smarter of the two of them and a lot of the reasoning behind their success in Arkansas and the White House are her ideas. The Republicans had always accused her of secretly being the president. That is not true, but it isn’t entirely wrong. When Bill ran in 1992 he said that you get two for the price of one, and that really is the way they are. And it is still two for the price of one. In real terms Hillary has 8 years experience of being president and with 8 years as Senator she comes to the White House more prepared to be president than anyone in history. Far more ready than Bill was in 1993 when he took office.
The Clintons were extremely successful as president turning the economy around and bringing in an era of peace and prosperity. America went from huge deficits to huge surpluses and even managed to do that with 6 years of Republican control of the Congress. So the Clinton know how to accomplish great things in spite of adversity. In 1994 the Democrats in Congress, believing the Republican controlled media turned against the Clintons. They publicly distanced themselves as the media convinced them that the Clinton were poison and as a result the Democrat lost control of both houses. As it turns out the Clintons were popular, the Democrats were not.
In 1996 the Republicans put forth Bob Dole, because it was his turn, and Clinton crushed him.
In the 1998 election, during the breaking of the Lewinski scandal the Democrats who had learned their lesson in 1994 stuck with the Clintons and in 1998 they gained seats. That was the year I run for Congress in the 7th district of Missouri as a Democrat. In my case I was running against an entrenched Republican, Roy Blunt, and had no chance of winning. And I spent no money campaigning, and I managed to get 43,000 people vote for me.
In the 2000 election Al Gore decided to separate himself from the Clintons over the Monica issue and decided to distance himself from the Clinton record of peace and prosperity. Al Gore could have won in a landslide if all he did was say, “I’m just like Clinton minus Monica. Peace and prosperity will continue.” But Gore didn’t do that instead picking Clinton hater Joe Lieberman as his running mate (and who will probably end up being McCain’s running mate on the Republican ticket). the kept Bill Clinton far away and I think to this day Gore and Clinton have not been together publicly since.
As you know Gore failed to achieve the Presidency. And when member of Congress wanted to raise the issue of election fraud Al Gore was the one who shut them down, denying them a voice to even protest. Something that will cause me to never support Gore for public office again and made me lose respect for him, even though he has accomplished great things since in the environmental world.
Change involves 3 steps. You have to identify the problem. You have to formulate a plan to deal with the problem, and then you have to implement your plan. That’s something the Clintons understand. They aren’t just (usually) on our side on the issues, they actually make change happen. If you ask them how they are going to solve a problem they have a well thought out answer. Generally in the form of, “To do that we need to do 3 things. First we need to do A, then B, and then C.” No other candidate running, with the exception interestingly enough of Mike Huckabee, talks like that.
Barak Obama is a better speaker and he presents the problems in a way that people like to hear. Obama has charisma and he’s funny, sharp witted, and he things fast. I really enjoyed his response to the Prime Minister of Australia who made some stupid comment about losing to the terrorists if Obama was elected. He said that if he was so concerned then why doesn’t Australia send in 20,000 more troops. I also remember early on that some people were concerned that he was “black enough” being mixed race and raised in a white man’s world who’s father was a real African and he wasn’t the decedents of American slaves. But when threw a basketball through the hoop from center court in a high school gym he showed he was black enough. I mention this because Obama has a great sense of humor and it works.
For some reason, and I don’t know why, men generally are funnier than women. Why is that? There are some really good female comedians but it’s rare. Men just do it naturally and that’s an advantage Bill Clinton has and Barak Obama has that Hillary doesn’t. Hillary does have more humor than most women but when it comes to funny, Obama wins.
Of all the candidates for president Obama has the shortest resume in either party. In fact his win of his Senate seat was pure luck. For those of you who are into Star Trek Voyager, Obama’s win started with the actress Jeri Ryan who plays the hot Borg character “7 of 9”. In real life she was married to and getting divorced from GOP candidate Mike Ryan who was favored to beat Obama in the 2004 election. However the divorce got a little messy when it was revealed that in the divorce complaint Mrs. Ryan complained that Mr. Ryan pressured her to go to sex clubs to have public sex and she refused. Since Republicans are morally superior to Democrats he was expected to and did drop out of the race leaving Obama unopposed. The Republicans scrambled Allan Keys to fill the slot on he ticket but he had no chance and Obama lucked in.
Obama’s history is somewhat unremarkable. He seems to be a good guy but not a great guy. He just doesn’t have a record of accomplishment. His candidacy is in large part a creation of the news media who are being really soft on him while at the same time viciously attacking the Clintons. Obama has taken advantage of the media bias very skillfully (which counts in his favor on electabillity) to give the media what it need to attack them. This gained him some points before South Carolina where he helped the media paint Bill Clinton as a racist. Obama has been really loose with the truth and he’s fought dirty and got away with it.
A common trick is to deliberately misunderstand what the other person said in a way that is too complex for the average stupid view to understand. So for example when Hillary says that that she’s against drivers licenses for illegal aliens but understands why the Governor of New York is for it, referencing that because there is no national solutions Governors have to do things that they wouldn’t ordinarily do, that is beyond the mental bandwidth of the press and the viewers. So they report she is both for it and against it. Hillary however did the same thing to Obama when he made some stupid remark about Reagan inferring that Obama was a Reagan supporter. Obama’s remarks however were made to minimize the accomplishments of the Clinton administration as insignificant, which is what the Republicans want us to believe as they try to rewrite the history of the 1990s.
In listening to the two candidates what strikes me is in the debates both of them have virtually the same positions on almost every issue. So the difference is who is most electable, and if either could win who is most likely to actually get things done. So first, lets see how can win.
Many Democrats are easily fooled by the media. Everyone loves Obama. He’s a uniter. Even Republicans love him. He’s nothing like Hillary who is the wicked witch for the Wizard of Oz who has the “Clinton Machine”. She’s divisive, calculating. In fact, it was Hillary who talked Monica into seducing Bill so as to undermine Gore and get Bush elected so that everyone would hate him and elect her president 8 years later. That’s how calculating she is. Once she gets in she’s going to have Bill executed like she did Vince Foster and she’s going to marry Jane Fonda and put an abortionist in every grade school and throw Christian children in jail for praying to God. That’s what the media wants you to believe.
But I promise you that if Hillary drops out and Obama becomes that candidate it’s all going to change and they are going to do to Obama what they have been doing to Bill and Hillary, and what they did to Al Gore and John Kerry. And the Democrats are going to be wondering how they managed to lose an election that was certain victory.
In debates Barak does a better job of stating the problem. Hillary does a better job of stating the solution. I know the problems. I want solutions.
Because Barak has a shorter resume his campaign is a faith based campaign. “Change you can believe in” But there’s no reason to believe that he has the ability to make the change happen. I lean towards the person with the plan.
In the debates Hillary uses words like reality, realistically, and realism. Barak doesn’t. Hillary is seducing me using the sacred words. Saying reality to a Realist is like saying Jesus to a Christian.
And that is my pro-Hillary bias.
On the Republican side:
McCain is someone I find disgusting. He fakes likability and he fancies himself as Mr. Straight Talk Express but he is so week and timid that it just makes me sick. In 2000 I decided to run for US Senate (I ran against John Ashcroft in the Missouri Republican primary) because of McCain. It was the last day to sign up and in Missouri it’s really easy to run for Senate. Just $200 and you’re in. Ashcroft was unopposed and he was on Bush’s short list for VP, and if I ran and Bush picked Ashcroft then I would be the Republican candidate for US senate. My friends were saying I should do it but I just wasn’t in the mood. And then I read in the news that McCain sold out on campaign finance reform and it passed me off so I ran.
Unlike most Republicans McCain has a conscience. He’ll squeak up and say the right thing like “we can’t give tax cuts to the rich during a time of war” and then they squeeze him and he say, “I’m sorry” and folds faster than Superman on laundry day. Now he’s pretending to be behind making Bush’s tax cuts for the rich permanent. He’s so phony that even the Republican’s can’t stand him. But it’s his turn so like Bob Dole he’s probably going to be the nominee.
McCain even sold out to Bush on torture. And he was a POW that was tortured. At first he stood up but eventually, like he always does, he caved in. I think they must have took out his spine. 100 more years in Iraq. That’s a winner of a position.
You might hope that if he wins that he might turn liberal and assert his true nature but I don’t think so. He’s been a doormat for so long that I think the same crowd that controls Bush would control McCain and we wouldn’t have any change at all. The neocons would still run America into the ground.
Mitt Romney is an unremarkable Governor of Massachusetts who was fairly liberal and did work with both parties and accomplished a few things. He wasn’t great and wasn’t hated. He does have some business sense and is probably more qualified than McCain is. Like McCain he will say anything to get elected so what he really stands for is probably where he stood when he was governor. I’m not really up on his record but if he survives Tuesday I think his record will be a good indicator of what he’ll do as president. I don’t see him as muck of a puppet as McCain.
However …. when he made his speech defending his Mormon faith he depicted Mormonism as mainstream Christian which it isn’t. Usually I say that everyone who believes in Jesus is a Christian, I’m not going to sort it out. But Mormons believe in a different Jesus that most Christians. They believe in an American Jesus rather than just a Jesus for Israel. But – getting to the point. In defending Mormonism he said that their was this “secular religion” and he basically demonized people like us. Romney didn’t understand that if this country wasn’t a secular nation that Mormons wouldn’t be able to run for office. So screw you Romney!
I kind of like Ron Paul. I can see why people support him. He’s against the war, but he’s really more of an Anarchist than a Republican. I once helped a friend of mine, Mel Hancock, run for Congress and he was very much like Ron Paul when he ran. After he was elected however he became more of a partisan Republican and by the time his fourth term came up I was voting against him. But a lot of what Ron Paul says makes sense, but I doubt he would be much of a president.
Strange as it sounds I like Huckabee. He’s my favorite Republican. And when your favorite Republican thinks the universe is 6000 years old the GOP is in trouble. But – except for the partisan Republican and religion crap, he’s one of the few true thinkers out there. His record in Arkansas is more interesting than Romneys and there are a few things he’s said that impresses me.
For example, after Romney started his hate mongering against secular society they asked Huckabee about secularism. Huckabee said that America is a secular nation and every one who believes or doesn’t believe are all equal. He’s the only one who gets it. And I like what he said about the phony stimulus package where they are going to print money for an election year bribe to fix the economy. He said that we were going to borrow money from the Chinese to give to people to go out and buy thing made in China. His alternative, take the 250 billion and repair the nations roads and bridges. I’m 100% in agreement with that. If I were Republican I’d vote for him. That’s the kind of answer that I’d expect from Ron Paul.
I wouldn’t count Huckabee out. If Romney drops out Huckabee gets his votes and then he would be more popular than McCain. That could make things interesting.
So – that’s my perspective on all of this. Maybe it’s more thanyou want to know but this is the way I see it. As I said I have a bias so you sould factor that in when forming your opinion about who to vote for. But do vote because voting is important and if Realist get a reputation for voting them politicians will be asking us what we want to get our vote.