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Sitting Out the Election

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It looks as if the 2008 presidential campaign may be over at my house. I am considering what other things I can find to do in order to be busy on election day. The choices have been winnowed down until I can find no reason for hope with any of the remaining candidates. I realize that there is much fodder for the talking heads on television as the pseudo rivalry continues but I have now lost interest.

So Rudy Giuliani bowed out in favor of John McCain. Big deal. Rudy wasn't going anyplace anyway and he would have been a disaster in the White House. The great loss was John Edwards. With the withdrawal of Dennis Kucinich, Edwards was the last best hope for any chance for the common man to receive any real consideration in the future policies of our government.

It is reminiscent of the summer months in television entertainment. All that we have to anticipate is a choice among reruns. On the Republican side, we are left with Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist preacher who would prefer that we return to the dark ages, with witch-burning and stocks in the public square. Then there is John McCain who has nothing more to offer than the old men on Memorial Day, stuffed into their uniforms and trying to look as if they are ready to take the next hill. In addition, of course, there is Mitt Romney, the son of "what's good for General Motors is good for the country."  We can choose our reruns between the forties, the fifties or from the Puritans at the Salem witchcraft trials.

It is little better on the Democratic side. Now that Barack Obama has been favored by the Kennedy family, we can look forward to living again in the sixties, to being inspired by eloquent speeches of hope and progress only to be faced with another war for another "good reason."  In order to be just a bit more current, we could boost Hillary Clinton and get more rhetoric about lifting up of the poor, which will not happen because of the same knuckling under to the opposition that disappointed us in her husband and that she, herself, has so ably demonstrated during her time in the Senate.

Of course, there is still time for a third party to take shape and get sufficient footing to provide a choice in November -- ideally Edwards and Kucinich at the head of a Progressive Party -- but it is not likely since the establishment candidates have already sucked up all the money available for their campaigns. We are faced once again with the spectacle of our White House once more being up for auction. 

As President Bush again tries to prop up a dying economy by donating more borrowed money to the taxpayers while ignoring the plight of the truly needy, and the Fed cuts interest rates so we can borrow even more, and as the Middle East, the Orient, and Europe devalue and debase the dollar and we owe ever more of them to those same entities, we find ourselves facing the same fate as out parents and grandparents suffered at the end of the Hoover administration.

Nothing short of a total overhaul of the government in the manner of Franklin Delano Roosevelt is going to correct the mess that George W. Bush has made of our government and none of the remaining candidates appear to have the intelligence and the drive to do what must be done to save the nation from it. Hillary can't seem to make up her mind whether we should withdraw our troops from Iraq immediately or whether we should leave a large contingency there to "protect our embassy," that sprawling, fortified monstrosity that contractors built at great expense for no conceivable reason.  Obama says that he wants to bring the troops home "as soon as possible" but hasn't voiced any plans for what might happen next. Of course, the election of any of the Republicans means eternal war in the hope that the fiscal mess will not catch up with us.

It's time to plow up the back yard for a vegetable garden and order tomato plants to put in the flower beds in the spring. It's going to be a long time before stability is restored to this benighted land. I cast my first presidential vote in 1952 for Eisenhower and have voted dutifully in every election since, even if I had to hold my nose while voting for the lesser of two evils. But now I am old and I am tired. Why should I get in a snit because the rest of the country is more interested in the squabbling children playing at debate?  If the youth of today are willing to choose those who will be in charge of their future by a remake of "An American Idol," is it not their right?

My generation had ambitions to leave to our children a free nation with honorable leaders in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, living peacefully with equality.  It is saddening to find that this ambition is not to be and, unless someone who is able to restore the rights and freedoms which we have lost. I will spend election day sitting at home with a tall cold drink!

 

This writer is eighty years old and has spent a half century working with handicapped and deprived people and advocating on their behalf while caring for her own workung-class family. She spends her "Sunset Years" in writing and struggling with The (more...)
 
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Great essay, Mary. I loved reading it. You know, i... by welshTerrier2 on Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 7:55:52 PM
There are many ways in which we could correct the ... by Mary Pitt on Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 8:34:12 PM