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"MY HOBBESIAN CHOICE"

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Or, Who’s Oval Is Filled In On My Ballot and Why I Want A Third Oval Labeled "None Of The Above"

    For those who have read or heard my writings, there is probably little doubt who I have voted for.  A friend asked if I would vote for Obama because he’s black.  I told him no, although I strongly suspect that aspect would (1) go far toward restoring the trust and confidence of the rest of the world in the US which has been so badly lost and squandered and (2) finally offer indisputable proof this country actually means what it says in the Declaration of Independence (certain opening words anyway) and in the Constitution (certain amendments anyway).

    Actually, my first choices for President might surprise some.  Early on, I wrote to Bill Moyer, a former Republican speech writer and currently PBS journalist, trying to persuade him to consider running.  Since the self declared specialist and multi degreed “experts” running things don’t seem to know how to get them right, perhaps we should give a close observer a chance. Mr. Moyer’s insight and apparent honesty has always attracted me.  If nothing else, he might know enough to ask the right people.

    My second choice, someone I tried to encourage back more than a year ago was New York Mayor Bloomberg, a former Republican, now officially an independent.  It is no great trick to make money in an up market, but Mr. Bloomberg proved smart enough when it comes to finances to do it when others supposed gurus were going bust.  If we can’t get Warren Buffet or T. Boone Pickens, then perhaps Bloomberg who  has the bonus of knowing how to motivate in the political world as well as the financial one. 

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    Among those who initially announced actually seeking the office of President, my next fallback hoped for candidate was the very experienced New Mexico Governor Richardson. 

    And, fourth was former VP candidate Edwards (although he like too many politicians subsequently let his testicles fry his brain).  Still, I liked what he had to say.  And, at least his was hetro-stupidity rather than what several across the aisle seem to want to indulge in. 

    Senator Clinton seemed deserving of consideration back during her yeoman years as New York Senator, but her stance on the Iraq War made me look elsewhere even before her announcement was made.  Sorry, anyone who still insists their decision to support Bush on that fiasco is not to be trusted. 

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    Being a fiscal conservative and a human rights liberal, I might even have considered McCain if he was still the vintage McCain of 2000.  Sadly he isn't.  His choice of Palin really bothered me, but that was long after he had seemed to abandon most of his early principles starting with his embrace of those groups he used to rail against.  Wanna know why that particular decision picking Palin rather irrevocably turned me against McCain, even if I had not already been so disappointed in him over the last year?  

    Most Americans and most of our allies in the World would welcome a female US Vice President or even President.  Many would prefer it after what has gone before in the past few decades.  Me too.  Female Heads of State have been quite successful elsewhere (although no panacea) in both war and peace.

    And, there are probably hundreds of thousands of very talented, exceedingly bright, highly educated, well experienced, extremely strong American women McCain could have selected.  They include judges, attorneys, professors, CEOs, diplomats, politicians, career administrators and bureaucrats.  Most are mothers.  Most are married with socially acceptable spouses (read: males).  A huge number of the possible choices no doubt are registered Republican.  Many are also fiscally and/or culturally conservative.  Some of those believe intensely in preventing or restricting most abortions if that is a critical criteria. 
                               
    Yet, McCain chose Palin.  Palin of all people.  Palin despite the incredibly long list of other females he could have chosen.  Worse, despite months of opportunity to search, he appears to have insultingly pulled her out of his (hat) after mere days or maybe just hours of “vetting” her supposed “qualifications.”  Was that mere impulsiveness?  Was it crankiness, reckless indifference, outright stupidity or a more sinister disregard for the risk to this country which Palin and her “First Dude” hubby may present?

    Why did McCain force us voters into such a questionable choice, even for those of us who have supported McCain in the past?  Why?  Unfortunately, it makes us think of “Heckofajob Brownie” that Bush picked to head FEMA thereby seriously exacerbating the Katrina disaster.  Choosing Palin sure speaks ill of McCain’s decision making capabilities as far as I am concerned given the myriad of alternative choices so much better.  Who will he select for all the other critical jobs?

    We can disagree how good or bad Obama might be, and maybe if Obama is elected we will have to turn him out in 4 years.  Frankly, given how badly the Republicans have hamstrung us with debt and sunk us in the Middle East quicksand, a reincarnated Thomas Jefferson himself probably could do little.  Nevertheless, of the two, possibly Hobbesian choices some have suggested, which we have in November, the combination of McCain picking Palin, plus his tar baby adherence to continuing the Iraq War, plus his being a member of the particular party that must be held primarily responsible for the astronomical financial mess we are in, makes me want to insure that there is at least a change of which parties get to appoint people to the regulatory agencies for the next election cycle.  And, as a matter of general principal, I firmly feel there needs to be some penalty for what went wrong, something along the lines that the Captain of the ship always ought to take responsibility whether he personally caused the wreck or not.  It might make future Captains more careful.

    Unfortunately, we no longer have the useful “Custer Concept” help us weed out the idiots.  You know, where the leader who made the dumb decision actually gets to bear the burden of it along with all the other poor SOBs he dragged along in the process.  These days, the person who screws up the most is the one least likely to suffer.

    So, no to McCain and that leaves only Obama as a realistic choice.  He got my vote, I admire what he has done, limited though it may be, and I will hope for the best.  But, there might be something good come of our being forced continually into Hobbesian choics if we are bright enough to seek it.  They present an opportunity.  Those of us who are disgruntled with all the continually questionable choices should band together and ask for something truly new.

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    Let’s use the discontent to enact new laws that would put on the ballot for each office a choice of “None of the Above” so that if that particular button/oval/chad is pressed/darkened/punched wins the most votes, no one is awarded the office.  Instead, a new election is held shortly thereafter.  In that new election, the only people ineligible to run again would be those who wasted our time the first time around.

    It might cost more, but maybe there would be savings in the long run of having second elections since maybe the parties would start giving us better choices the first time around.

 

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It's probably obvious I'm a CYNICAL PESSIMIST. Why a cynical pessimist? Possibly it's the result of expending a full lifetime defending, first with rifle in hand and then with a legal pad, "truth, justice and the American Way." Observing the less (more...)
 

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