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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Never Speak of Politics or Religion-But It's President's Day

Sorry. This is long. It is important to me. It is not overtly political, but politics is the backdrop for my thoughts. I am totally sincere; hoping against hope that I am totally wrong.

Today, I spent 2+ hours on the road. I listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival's greatest hits. I began thinking about politics in my life since I could vote. My first election was 1980 (Carter v. Reagan). I realized that I am a product of a two-family dynasty in our country. Since 1981, a Bush or Clinton has been in one of the top two positions in our country.

1981-1989 George Bush (Vice President)
1989-1993 George Bush (President)
1993-2001 Bill Clinton (President)
2001-2009 George W. Bush (President)

I find it interesting that our country has created this monopoly on the White House. It is as if we want a royal family after all. It appears easier to have a dynasty than to have idealogical changes. We are happier with the familiar, aren't we?

With that said, I'm ready for a change. To be consistent with my personal wishes, I do not think change will come if another from the Bush or Clinton family takes the reigns of the White House.

In my heart-of-hearts, I think McCain and Obama will be the two who lead the ticket. I don't care what your political affiliation is (because there really is no difference between the two anymore), in my mind, there is no way anyone should not respect McCain. He spent over five years (1967-1973) in a prison camp during a war in which the soldiers who returned home were not treated well. He had all reasons to hate his country, but instead of giving up on it, he sought to make a difference by choosing politics in 1982 after serving in the Navy from 1958-1981. You and I may not agree with his politics, but I cannot fathom anyone who could not respect him for his life. I respect him enough to wish he wouldn't run for president.

I fear something terrible if Obama (or Clinton) wins the election. We live in a country where people become famous for stupidity. With the advent of web 2.0 technologies, "reality" TV, and instant news, there will be many someones who will believe they will become historically (in)famous if they assassinate the first black president or first female president. There have been four successful assassinations and numerous unsuccessful attempts. Most of these were over a political/philosophical differences (or Jodie Foster ;-) - sorry, I needed a humor break).

Call it a lack of faith in our society, but to kill the first minority president is a sure ticket to all-time annals of U.S. history. And, yes, I do believe there are plenty of crazy-enough and skilled-enough people to attempt it, and succeed. For that reason, I wish Obama and Clinton wouldn't run for president.

So, I'm conflicted. Kids at school ask me all the time who I am going to vote for. I tell them I don't know, since the candidates have not been decided. The truth is, I don't know. There is much more to this election than Democrat vs. Republican.

Our country, once galvanized by 9/11/01, is now fragmented down party lines again. How soon we forget. Web 2.0 has not only made communication and connection "flatter," it has made historical revisionism quicker.

I think if McCain wins we will continue in a war with no end, as was promised by President Bush in 2001.

This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen...

Our nation has been put on notice: We are not immune from attack.

If Obama or Clinton wins, we may have another verse to Abraham, Martin, and John.

We live in terrible times. Why would anyone want to be president? I guess because someone has to be.

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