TWO PARTIES LOOKING FOR A CANDIDATE
by Mary Pitt
The 2008 campaign season must have started too soon. Neither party seems to be prepared as both have trotted out their second string to make public appearances on all the talk shows, festivals, county fairs, and well-scripted television "debates". First, there is no real debate in them, just a few controlled questions designed to show them all in their best light. To one who lives out here in the real world, it is simply another version of American Idol.
The Democrats were a motley crew. Hillary Clinton was her usual, well-prepared self as she sent the message that, if you liked Bill, you'll love her. (As if the Great Unwashed had learned nothing about nepotism when George W. "took" the presidency.) Barack Obama, the great writer and orator, couldn't seem to find the words which usually rolled off his tongue so easily, perhaps due to beginner's stage fright.
The Republicans met in California at the Reagan Museum with Nancy Reagan in attendance and it seemed as if the Ghost of Christmas Past hovered over the whole affair. President Reagan was lionized by one and all, though the current President barely rated a mention. However, when Mrs. Reagan proffered a question about embryonic stem cell research, she was firmly informed that it ain't going to happen so she may as well get over it. Of course, everyone applauded the recent Supreme Court ruling and agreed that it would be a good day when Roe v. Wade is overturned.
The front-runners were there in all their glory. Mayor Rudi used to be pre-choice but now he's pro-life and he promised to be an inspirational leader, just as he was in New York, (after 9/11 of course). Governor Romney was proud of the way he managed to turn the medical care in his State over to the insurance companies, and defended his statement that he doesn't care a damn what the Pope thinks.
And candidates of both parties appeared to be consumed with the necessity for protecting Israel against any attack from anybody. Wouldn't we be prepared to be as careful of any other friendly nation? They certainly don't seem that concerned about Somalia or Darfur, both of which are in much greater danger.
But, more pronounced than anything that we felt as we watched the opening appearances of the political "season" was the absence of the Real Candidate of either party. As the spirit of Ronald Reagan hovered above the Republican confab, they seemed to be waiting for the appearance of a Hollywood cowboy to ride up on a white horse and save them all. Maybe they hope the actor and former Senator, Fred Thompson will come along to establish Law and Order like he does on TV or Newt Gingrich will decide to take out another Contract On America. And all through the Democratic show-up was the burnung question, "Where is Al Gore?"
No matter. If either party had someone who would fill the desires of the people, they would surely have presented them. Instead of going back to Clinton or to Reagan, we are looking for someone who will go forward; someone who will scrape off the the barnacles of corruption from our Ship of State and re-create the shining dreams that we knew yesteryear, dreams of equality and brotherhood, fairness, and justice in a land where the contents of your wallet are less important than the kindness that is in your heart; dreams that our children may have a better life than we instead of having to labor and suffer to pay our debts; dreams that no matter the circumstances of your birth, you may attain success by your own efforts and diligence.
The best advice for both parties is to clean their paint brushes and start on a new picture. The American public is sick and tired of re-runs and old ideas. The past is prologue and we are concerned about our future. Perhaps the presidential election of 2008 is of even less importance than continuing the rollover of Congress to new people who really understand what the American public want. Get over it and MOVE ON!
Mary Pitt lives in a house by the side of the road in a little rural village in Kansas where she can observe the world both as it is and as she would like it to be. Questions and comments will reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org