15 July 2007

Running for President: Part I, Background

At my last count, approximately 2,346,972 citizens have announced their intentions to run for the office of President in the election of 2008. Ross Perot, in the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections, set an example of such shining stuff as to instill into the average American's conscious the ultimate truth that any bozo can run for office. As if some (most?) of the choices of the last three decades haven't been proof enough of that.

And boy, are the clown cars crowding city hall parking lots all over American as candidacy is filed. To print the ballots alone will destroy thousands of acres of forest land -- although this will keep a few people working a little bit longer raping the planet and reducing the chances that our children will be able to breathe outside without respirators, so I suppose it's a good thing after all.

Oh, I forget myself. We use touch screen balloting now - all the better for to control the outcome, doncha know. And don't forget the added benefit that the machines are made, in part, of plastic, which helps increase the demand for fossil fuels, which in turn helps line the pockets of the Oil tycoons....

Actually, I do feel that all of these unusual candidates are a good thing for the system. The two party system is hopelessly bloated and corrupt. The "rules" of elections have been written by the party bosses in such a way as to make the will of the people immaterial. Big surprise there, huh.

Partisanship is out of control. The system is broken. Drastic measures must be taken. Let us consider some of the more well known candidates.

On the Repellican side, you have ten nine wealthy old white men. Each of them angling to be the most Reaganesque xenophobe fearmonger of the bunch. And that appears to be the extent of their platforms.

On the Demitasse side, there are six white men - ranging form middle aged to old, moderately to very wealthy - a youngish Black man (not too bad off financially), and a woman (whose husband used to be President) who has lots of personal wealth. Their idealogies range from the Repellican in Demitasse clothing to the nearly Socialist. As Will Rogers (whose terms, "Repellican" and "Demitasse", I have gleefully taken to using) once said, "I belong to no organized party, I'm a Democrat!"

In the "other" column, we have: Mike Bloomberg - the former Demitasse, former Repellican, now Independent Mayor of NYC - whose personal wealth is on the sunny side of 5 billion dollars; Al Gore, who constantly denies that he has totally ruled out running - oh yeah, he's got gobs of money, too; Chuck Hagel, who has announced that he will announce his intentions to announce a potential candidacy at some unannounced point in the future; Fred Thompson, the lawyer turned lobbyist turned actor turned Senator turned actor who has announced that he will be entering the race if his next audition for a TV role fails. There are more, but I tire myself out trying to remembering them all....

There are some folks out there to whom you should really give a listen. But it's up to you to find this information. That is truly what democracy is. Each individual determining, for her or his self, what beliefs to have and what choices to make... in Presidential elections and grocery stores.

At this point, I definitely have a preferred candidate, but I believe it is up to each person to decide, without considering the prevailing winds, on a candidate of choice. Which is why I favor a national primary - but not in February, which seems to be what's happening.

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