Monday, January 28, 2008

Electile dysfunction

The current election race for the 2008 Presidency has introduced a new term into our political lexicon, "electile dysfunction," and I am a victim of this malady. I define it as "the inability to become aroused over any of the choices for the Presidency put forth by both the Democrats and the Republicans."

As a nominal Democrat, I am naturally underwhelmed by the candidates for the Republican nomination. I shudder at the thought that the likes of Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, or Mike Huckabee could make it to the White House.

Romney is a slick, smooth-talker whose ideological views depend on whether he's running to be governor of Massachusetts or President of the United States. Giuliani is a petty, vindictive man who has exaggerated his role in 9/11 and made that tragedy the keystone of his career. Huckabee, a likable fellow best known until recently for losing 100 lbs., would have been a more appropriate candidate in the 18th Century.

And then there's John McCain, who I believe is most likely to win the Republican nomination. He is an admirable man whom I have respected in the past. But his insistence on sending still more troops to Iraq and his belligerence on foreign affairs in general lead me to fear that he would repeat George W. Bush's policy blunders and accelerate our nation's loss of international influence and power.

If either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton emerge as the Democrats' Presidential candidate, I am convinced that McCain, assuming that he is the Republican nominee, would win the November election. Until now, I have felt that John Edwards would be the most electable Democratic candidate. Sadly, I think the American electorate is still unprepared for an African-American or a woman as President. But despite his impressive talents, Edwards seems to have been eliminated from the race.

Obama is a refreshing political personality. I do not believe, however, that he is ready for the Presidency. Perhaps it's because I'm an old grouch, but I feel that he lacks the gravitas and experience to lead the nation.

Of course, an argument could be made that the importance of experience is overplayed. Not many men, e.g., have had more government experience than Vice-President Dick Cheney. But imagine him as the nation's commander-in-chief! (Actually, he has probably served as such during much of the past seven years, and look at the results.)

I have a high regard for Obama, but I find his political agenda still obscure and his record of accomplishment limited. Hillary Clinton's credentials are at least as impressive, and I have been puzzled why she is plagued by such pathological hatred on the part of so many people.

I am turned off, however, by the dynastic quality of her candidacy. I voted enthusiastically for Bill Clinton, but I do not relish the idea of the dual Presidency that would result if Hillary were elected. Moreover, the Clinton camp's tasteless tactics to defeat Obama in the Democratic primary campaign have tarnished the ex-President's legacy.

Where is Al Gore when we need him?

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7 Comments:

Blogger Karlo said...

I've often thought the same. I'd vote for Al Gore in an instant.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 6:02:00 AM  
Blogger masdevallia said...

I completely echo your sentiments. I am at a loss. I have been routing for John Edwards because he seems the most Kennedy-esque. In a talk he gave in Los Angeles a couple of months ago he talked about our responsibility in ensuring that our children are fed, educated and offered medical attention as needed. He also spoke to our responsibility as a wealthy nation in assisting the global community in eradicating world hunger. Though these are big statements that many seasoned politicians would scoff at for their dreamy, utopian quality, in my opinion, that should be the paradigm that the leader of our land starts with. He should be a diplomat. He should be concerned with the welfare of humanity. He should lead us into a bold, new future.

You wondered why there are opponents to Hillary, besides the underhanded tactics her office has used recently. I'll tell you why I don't like her. She sounds just like THEM. She *is* seasoned. She has a good track record, but when she speaks, I hear another bureaucrat spouting rhetoric. I believe that she would just be another one of the inflated talking heads that I want OUT of there. I don't hear compassion for people, I hear an agenda. I won't vote for her, though I was a supporter of hers for years and was hoping that she would run for president.

I've already sent in my ballot (I'm a standing absentee voter.) I don't know why it only occurred to me now that we could have written in Al Gore. HE IS THE BEST CHOICE. Why isn't he available to us?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 9:17:00 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

I just want a candidate I can really get behind. You know, a candidate for whom I'd happily pass leaflets, not a lesser of many evils candidate.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger lilalia said...

Maybe if you take it from the perspective of how well you think each candidate is capable of appointing good people to surround them and help them lead a country. And how good willing do you think each candidate is to listen to their advisers without losing their principles or face. The fact that Obama has come so far in such a short time can only indicate his ability to hire and keep some very smart people in his circle.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:04:00 AM  
Blogger Norma said...

Obama is an inspiring speaker who says nothing of substance. Reminds me of many preachers who have an excellent delivery, but when they are finished, you have no idea what they've said. I don't like Hillary at all, but have been surprised at her content--much better than I thought.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 7:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I agree, Mort (as do the other commenters, I noticed -- I still have a forlorn Edwards bumpersticker on my car. I was very excited about his candidacy, and I don't understand why he was never seriously considered by the public, which is my impression.

I am not impressed with Obama. I can't figure out why the Kennedys endorsed him. I am disturbed by the tactics the Clintons have used; I am willing to vote for Hillary but I share your misgivings about the dual presidency.

I can't get over the feeling that everyone's fallen in love with "making history" and has forgotten that we're talking about electing someone to deal with the horrific mess our country is in.

Maybe I'm turning into an old grouch too. At least I have excellent company. A pleasure reading you, as always!

Saturday, February 09, 2008 9:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anti-Ageism Task Force said...

Dear Mort:

Since launching our Ageism in America blog last fall, the International Longevity Center has been watching the various players in the elderblogging community with great interest.

We're big fans of Octogenarian -- in fact, we mentioned it in our latest post: "Elderbloggers: A Cyberforce to be Reckoned With".

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue of ageism in the upcoming elections.

Many thanks for your intelligent work on behalf of the aging community,

Anti-Ageism Task Force
International Longevity Center-USA
New York, NY 10028
Visit our Web site
Learn more about The Longevity Revolution.

Friday, February 29, 2008 4:04:00 PM  

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