Early Thoughts on the 2008 US Presidential Election

23:48 Tue 06 Feb 2007

Looking ahead to potential candidates, I don’t see much that makes me optimistic.

I’ve never liked Hillary as a candidate, as she seems even more beholden to the DLC wing of the party than her husband was. She’s also been absolutely terrible on Iraq and appears to be just as bad on Iran.

Sadly, she has that in common with other prominent candidates, such as Edwards. As for Obama, it’s possible that he’s the best of a bad lot, although I don’t buy the hype around him either, and suspect that he’s shaping up to be another pawn of the big-money interests that run the Democratic party.

I can’t even support Kucinich wholeheartedly, as I increasingly find myself agreeing with the opinion that he’s there to make the party appear more palatable to actual left-wingers, and to convince them that their views have some representation in the organization (whereas, in fact, they seem to have very little representation).

I don’t know enough about Jim Webb yet, he’d be a dark horse candidate that might be preferable to the others.

On the Republican side, well, I can’t stand anyone there either. I have no respect for McCain, and consider it laughable that he gets a free pass as a “straight shooter” from the press. As for Giuliani, I thought he was a terrible mayor who got a lucky break, a chance to play tough guy, when the planes struck the towers—which he did quite well. But that lucky break doesn’t make him a good presidential candidate, especially when one considers his authoritarian streak. I didn’t think he had much chance at the nomination, but then read this Glenn Greenwald piece.

The sad truth is that neither party’s candidate is likely to represent mainstream views on big issues, like Iraq (and Iran), or on a host of economic policies. This has been true for many elections past, of course. But it’s still depressing.

And the problem with that depression is that it pushes people away from engaging in politics. It’s hard to reconcile enthusiasm and energy with such a bleak set of facts. Not that change is impossible. It’s just hard, very hard, and there’s a constant struggle against the lies, the hype (which usually consists of lies), and the machinations of those in power. And the temptation to engage in the cult of personality, to think “hey, there’s someone who seems great, I’ll follow them”.

Wendell Phillips was certainly accurate when he wrote that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Sadly, it means vigilance to keep even the reduced liberties we now have; the forces of erosion are constant, and do not relent when they’ve made gains, but rather try to extend their grasp to everything. Also, again sadly, vigilance itself is not enough—inspired and committed action is also necessary.

2 Responses to “Early Thoughts on the 2008 US Presidential Election”

  1. garret Says:

    Read a rumour that Al gore, who has been nominated for both an oscar and a nobel prize may actually run again. the dems are keeping an eye on his waste line, why?
    Aparently when he gets determined about something i.e running for president he starts to avoid jack in the box and the pounds start to fall off.
    They are all lizard people who live in electro magnetic pyramids if you ask me, but john he is our only hope at least he is aware that there is a big hole in the roof above Earth and that we’ll all be eating acorns if we don’t take climate change seriously.Check out his oscar nominated documentary.
    Drop the words “Nun pope” in conversation at twelve pm this friday.

  2. garret Says:

    John Kerry is Al Gore and Al Gore is Jimmy Carter and Jimmy Carter is a hero in a half shell peanut farmer who is Ronald Reagan who in turn is Clint Eastwood they are all the same person:one to rule them all

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