I feel disheartened and disenfranchised about this year’s U.S. presidential race, and I have for a very long time. There isn’t a single candidate I can get behind, and there’s hasn’t been one from day 1 of this campaign almost a year ago. I was raised by parents who were ardent Democrats (born in Massachusetts, what can you expect?), but I’m more of a Demorepugreetarian, meaning I’m some wild hybrid of leanings or opinions that fit into Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green parties.
I started this post when there were still a few semi-viable candidates. It certainly looks as though it will come down to Obama versus McCain. For me, that’s like having to choose whether to cut off my right arm or my left arm. They are both too far off center for my tastes. As much as I want to vote a woman into the Presidency, Clinton wasn’t my candidate, either, although in some ways, I feel like she is/was the least of some 30 evils. But that’s neither here nor there – both the Republicans and the rest of the Democratic party have successfully managed to make any negative thing Bill Clinton has ever said or done a big campaign issue. Rarely has the press harped upon Senator Clinton’s position on an issue as hard as they have upon former President Clinton sticking his foot in his mouth while campaigning for his wife – which I freely admit his done a few too many times…which makes me wonder if he hasn’t a tee many martoonis, if you know what I mean, because Bill Clinton has always been a great speaker in the past…either that, or he just doesn’t really want to be the First Man. 🙂 Meanwhile, there’s one tiny little blip on the news radar when Michelle Obama slams the entire nation by saying she is now finally proud of our country and feels like this is “home” for the first time in her life, all because Barack Obama is getting votes in the primaries. Didn’t the Obama organization slam the press a while ago for trying to make the campaign about race? Didn’t Obama’s *wife* just make it about race??
At any rate…there’s no candidate for me, as I said to start. I want a candidate who is vehemently against illegal immigration and anything that supports it and will, as President, veto any bill that looks, smells or feels amnesty. But my candidate also favors some sort of healthcare reform that will help those in need – preferably without asking me to personally pay for it – I may have work-sponsored health insurance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I can afford the healthcare I need, either, not with a $1K deductible and annually-shrinking covered benefits. I want a candidate who believes they will somehow be able to extricate us from Iraq, but not overnight and not 100 years from now, either. I want a candidate that has a realistic plan to improve the economy and balance the budget, but I am the middle class, and like everyone else in my little lifeboat, I am tired of living from pay day to pay day in order to support non-payment of taxes by those in the brackets well below and well above me. I want a candidate with some history I can point to that tells me the person has the ability to lead this nation, but not one so inured to Washington politics that they can’t see the problems. I want something different than we’ve had for the past eight years, that’s an absolute.
One thing I would really like to see – a candidate who will publicly state and personally enforce a moratorium on aid to foreign countries until we clean up our own house. When hunger, hopelessness and homelessness in the inner cities and outer rural areas are the exception instead of the accepted, when healthcare is reasonably available to those who need it, and when our swollen welfare rolls shrink to something reasonable (and carries only those here legally), when senior citizens don’t have to eat cat food and work till they die in order to pay for their medication and have a roof over their heads, and when I can depend that I will actually receive a social security check when I retire (and that I will be able to retire before I’m dead!!), THEN and ONLY THEN can we return to being the world’s saviour. That’s my opinion, anyway. THAT candidate would probably never get elected, but that’s what I would like to see.
I want it all and I want it now. Where is my candidate?