I first posted this on my old blog site some two years ago (February 11, 2006). When I wrote it, there were many, many candidates; the front-runners back then are not the front-runners now. And, of course, not one of the candidates responded to my poll. Not that I expected anyone of them to read this blog (or its predecessor) but it would have been nice.
As I originally stated back then and again on December 14, 2007 (“A Few Thoughts On A Friday In December”), I was thinking of supporting “none of the above.” Of course, in New York, that is not an option. So I will vote for one of the “minor” candidates as a way of protesting an election process that offers nothing but fluff. My wife is so disillusioned that she will also offer her vote in protest as well.
Since this post was originally written, the economy has tanked. The housing boom is over and people are now faced with foreclosure because they can’t make the mortgage payments that were predicated on high housing prices. Gasoline in this area will go over $4.00 per gallon in the next day or two but people keep driving big, gas-guzzling vehicles and complain that the government is not doing enough to bring oil prices down. Those who complain don’t understand that our gas prices are some of the cheapest in the world.
I don’t know the unemployment statistics but I bet they are rising. And what people probably don’t realize is that there are good number of people who are unemployed but not receiving any sort of unemployment money.
And the present government either doesn’t care or doesn’t know what is happening.
I will not blame any of the presidential candidates, be they past, present, or even future, for the state of politics, political campaigns, or the direction this country is headed. They are only responding to what the people say and most of the people are not saying anything. If the people are not clear about what they think or they do not speak out, then the politicians can have no direction. And if you think about what we have, that is what we have received. We expected little and we got it.
So, before my additional comments become a blog onto themselves, here are the questions I posed some two years ago.
Even though the next Presidential election is not for another two and half years, we are already seeing lists of potential Presidential candidates. Of course, the nature of Presidential politics is such that the campaigning for the election of 2008 actually began the second Wednesday in November of 2004. So it is that we have to begin thinking about who we will support, if we support anyone other than “none of the above.”
In the spirit of the times, we are conducting our own Presidential Election poll. This is not a poll of the populace about who they will vote for but rather a poll of the candidates and what they are thinking.
First, how will you conduct the “war on terror”? Will it be as it is now, a military response? Or will you conduct it as a political, economic, and moral war? Will you seek to fight and eliminate the causes of terror? Will you work against tyranny and oppression? Will you seek to remove poverty and hunger as forces which drive people into the arms of terrorists and fanatics when they have nothing more to lose?
If we have to send troops into a conflict, will it be to start the conflict? Or will it be after careful thought and consideration? Will war be what it should be, the last resort? Will the troops that are sent into conflict be properly equipped for the conflict they will encounter? Will troops that are wounded be given the best possible care and not forgotten when they come home? Will veterans of previous conflicts and wars be treated with the respect their service entitles them to or will your administration throw them on the scrapheap of history, to be forgotten the next day?
Will each citizen of this country be given an opportunity to succeed? Or will it be the size of the check that was given to one of your political action committees that determines one’s success?
Will your commitment to fight the causes of terror, poverty, hunger, and oppression, start with concerns for the citizens of this country? Will social programs designed to help the least fortunate be raised up or cast aside? Will the budget for your administration reflect the moral qualities of your administration? Will each part of the American government receive equal funding? Or will the size of the bureaucracy dictate the amount of funding that each group gets?
Will there be a concern for the environment in your administration? Or will you take the attitude that caring for the environment is only a nice thought but without any long term consequences?
Will your campaign be a campaign of honor and glory? Or will it be like the campaigns of the past few years, one based on fear. Will it be a campaign that speaks of what this country can do? Or will you denigrate and destroy your opponent, saying that you will “save” this country from the damage your opponent seeks to cause? Will yours be a campaign that reflects the nature of those who sought freedom from tyranny and oppression in 1776?
Will your administration be one people want to join, because of the great promise the future holds? Or will people want to join your administration because it will allow them to profit and prosper at the expense of the populace? Will yours be an administration of “the best and the brightest”? Or will it be marked by incompetence, ignorance, and apathy for the growth of this country?
Will the moral tone of your administration be driven by the person you are, your heart, your mind, and your soul? Or will it be set by the extremists in your party who use morality as an excuse for a political agenda of exclusion and hatred?
We do not expect too many of the prospective candidates to respond to this poll? It is not a poll of focus groups; it is certainly not a poll that many people would ask. But the political campaigns of the past few years demand that we, the people, who will exercise our Constitutional right on the second Tuesday of November, 2008, ask such questions of those we seek to be our leader.