... I'm an election junkie.
Okay, so a poor man, a man of modest means, a woman of great intellect but low income, can't run for president ... all too true, but still I'm an election junkie ... I can't get enough of it.
Isn't it amazing that a politician, and a Republican at that, starts or ends every speech with a warning about "special interests"? And a clear call for "clean elections" so that the governmental process goes from "big money, its donors and our legislators" back to "the people"? I have to admire John McCain, his naturalness, his warmth and humor, and this daring stand on clean elections that raises the hackles of his party. They LOVE big money! Many Democrats too, just hanker to get huge donations which will just maybe perhaps might influence their votes on certain bills.
But because of his stand on other issues, I can't vote for McCain. Hard to say who to vote for. Not Gary Bauer or Forbes any more. They had their 15 minutes-plus of fame, a few million spent futiley that could have been better served to house some homeless or bring medicine to some low-income elders.
Don't you just love the infighting between George W. and McCain? About the embrace they showed on TV in New Hampshire, McCain said he was surprised -- "I didn't think we knew each other well enough!"
The grumbling between Bradley and Gore is entertaining, too. Bradley at first sounded so smart and thoughtful I was impressed; then I learned on "The Connection" that he had gone against the Democrats and voted to support the terrorist Contra War in Nicarauga that killed 34,000 innocent civilians. Not a compassionate stance.
Speaking of compassion, how do you like that "Compassionate conservatism"? Isn't that an oxymoron?
Many on Death Row in Texas might think so; they have less access to capable lawyers to defend them and less chance for appeal, even if there might be evidence of their innocence, than almost any other state. The Republican governor of Illinois ordered a moratorium on executions after law students found so many on Illinois' Death Row innocent. What about the states that don't have such law students?
At least the governor ought to make sure that the defense lawyers stay awake. In one trial, the listless attorney snoozed AND snored during the trial. The judge thought nothing of it.
But our Democratic president supports the Death Penalty. Hillary too? As a one-time New Yorker, born in Buffalo, I would not vote for her despite my admiration, if so. Not for, of course, that feisty, snide mayor of New York, Giulani, who fights with about everyone in his state including the Republican governor and, of course, is not afraid of combat with the weakest of his citizens -- the homeless.
And what is Gore's position? How do we know? Important questions many of us would like to ask all of the candidates, are never raised:
Tougher stands on guns
Homeless (they have no lobby, so who cares?)
Sanctions Clinton still holds against Iraq, killing 3 to 5 thousand persons, the majority children, every month, according to the Globe and the NY Times; and, sanctions against Cuba, also hurting the citizens there (and not Castro)
Record number of prisoners in our country, mostly non-violent offenders, so many in need of drug treatment given in only a few places
Subsidies for farmers? Help them or let them lose their farms and give the conglomerates the whole industry?
More and more enormous corporate mergers, which used to be stopped before they became monopolies
These are issues of importance, Gore and McCain, and even Forbes before he dropped out, have been raising SOME issues. But I loved Bradley's response: "This campaign is NOT about issues; this campaign is about LEADERSHIP!" Leadership on what? To where? Vague speeches by Bradley and Bush on "bringing back dignity and honor, realizing our dreams of loveliness and kindness, looking to the future as our forefathers would, oh, most glorious and beautiful, high thoughts and moral positions for the sake of the dignity of man and edification of each and every American..." Hallmark card rhetoric does not tell anything of how they will handle the crucial issues.
Frustrating. Teeth gnashing. Outrageous. Where are the great leaders with great intellect and noble, truly fair ideals for all of us?
Still, I push the button for CNN, Hardball, Crossfire, Sunday morning talk shows, keeping the remote control handy so I can turn off Sam and Cokie when they become too smug and unrealistic.
I can't help it. I'm an election junkie.
March 3, 2000