Change, hope, and the Commander in Chief

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January 10, 2008 by 8junebugs

Abortion? Nope. Land war in Asia? Pshaw. I see the 2008 POTUS election as a referendum on just how fed up we are with ourselves.

I’ve been holding my tongue through most of the campaign. When a friend asked Mike whose bandwagon I’d chosen, he smartly suggested asking my directly…because even he wasn’t sure of the answer.

There is no final answer yet. I’m a registered Democrat and my politics run pretty true to the platform — anyone familiar with the basics could probably guess where my opinions come down. But the office of president deserves more than that. Electing someone based on his or her platform is like hiring someone based on resume alone, but electing someone you’d like to have a beer with is just as dangerous. It’s the difference between “That guy’s going to be the future of this nation” and “Yeah, I’m pretty sure he could do a good job.”

Yes, I want a president who will work on an agenda I can support. But I also want someone effing brilliant. Someone inspiring. I want a curious president who thinks strategically, learns quickly, and can recite the Bill of Rights with one hand tied behind her back and the other over her heart. I want to be impressed by a role model far beyond my level of…everything.

I want a CEO at the head of this country, but a CEO who believes that every employee should have no- or low-cost health insurance, a fair salary, and an ergonomic chair. The current administration wants an awful lot from us…for nothing. “Trust me” doesn’t get you anywhere when you have shown yourself willing to bend the facts to support illegal actions and personal vendettas.

I have also kept mum because this election is bringing out the true level of prejudice in this country and it scares the hell out of me. There are still people who will not consider Obama because he’s black and people who will not consider Clinton because she’s a woman, and that’s as far as their analysis goes. They are less concerned with electing the best candidate than with electing the one most like what they see in the mirror.

This is seriously screwing with my naive idealism, and I am not amused.

I want someone better than what I see in the mirror. I don’t care if he or she is descended from vampires who chewed with their mouths open — I want the right person in that office to move us into the current century, to say nothing of the future.

I am dismayed, though not surprised, by the way Clinton’s campaign is being run. I am more impressed by Obama than I expected to be by a first-term senator. Both of them are qualified in their own ways, and I take each more seriously than I take Edwards. But I am hesitant to claim one or the other as my champion until closer to the election.

Unfortunately, there are no Republican candidates I can, in good faith, consider. But at least there are one or two I can respect.

So, how fed up are you, America? What do you need from the leader of the free world? What do you expect of the candidates? Would you hire any of them to lead your company, much less your nation?

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