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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Clinton and Obama: America's Ticket back to Prosperity

As we near the close of the US Primaries, "coaching" of a particular sort rears its ugly head, and along with it, the worst aspects of behaviour deemed to achieve this, through a combination of character assassination and/or bullying, showing us, once again, the worst of the Democratic Process.

Were it not so!

America has the best potential Presidential/Vice Presidential combination for the Democratic ticket, arguably, in history, and what is the country subjected to, by those who should know better? A combination of Gloria Steinem and memories of Martin Luther King Jr? Pray, no.

Railing from the pulpit with such delicate sideline comments as "God sent Hitler", and "Hillary thinks she deserves the Presidency because she is white", it's a wonder the two candidates for the Democratic ticket for the Presidency of the most powerful nation in the world, understandably, are not taking a quick quaff of Wiser's before Bible study - just to prepare themselves for the latest "supportive" outbursts.

And these two gems came from what touts itself as "spiritual leadership!" Both candidates must be, understandably, somewhat mildly disturbed, and at the very least, somewhat bewildered, while continuing to slog on, with what they hope will still be the "believable dream" of a true team effort.

Observers, like me - Canadian, (and, therefore, in a world forum (incorrectly) normally deemed "benign" - as a compliment - in an age when "character cancer" seems more prevalent than its physical counterpart, - rather like the "almost compliment" of telling someone they're "not really ugly; just past their prime") watch with growing concern, hoping they find champions before the process implodes in on itself. It's a grudging acknowledgement that you remember, that "oh, there you are", as the quiet hand on the arm of the World Power nearest, smoothing waters and opening doors. It's a reputation hard-earned, at the very least. We know about earned reputation, all right. We are still the UGG company's secret dream market, and Renee Zegweller doesn't want to visit us anymore, because it's too damned cold. The fire is all inside....

And so, this week, we are treated to a pastor wildly throwing about the spectre of Hitler as God's atonement on all non-Christians, and a Catholic priest lambasting, of all people, one who should be benefiting most from what - to most people - is deemed to be the most determined relationship preservationist boxer ever to hit the floorboards. One is perplexed.

The Democrats definitely need some coaches who will not blow the efforts of the combatants, or my nickname isn't "Wild Thing"...and although, at 44, I am a somewhat rounder version of my former self, without symbols to replace either my middle initial or my middle finger, I have assigned myself the task. I hope both of them will not be embarassed at my efforts to defend them both, too. I am, after all, an foreigner. Oh, you know; one of those people across the steadfastly guarded gun border whose own border officers can't point flowers at you anymore, while asking you three times what citizenship you are, just to try and trip you up. (And that's just as you enter.....we took that John Lennon/Yoko Ono weekend in Montreal seriously, Mister, and we're not going to let you forget about it, either. We may even ask you to spell your street name, so you had better do it grammatically correctly, or ELSE. Twice, even. )

America has the perfect political ticket with these two: First Woman President and First Black Vice President. I have placed them in that order, not because I do not want to see America's First Black President, but because, enamored as I am, like many Canadians still mesmerized by the ideal of cultural mosaic, with the romance of the idea, in the same "Camelot friendly" way that most America would love to regard its electoral process again, I have actually given serious, and lasting, consideration to the idea of Who would be Best at the Job. More than any time in history, it would be tempting to ignore this, in favour of an election which concentrates not on the depth of experience IN OFFICE, during a time of acknowledged success, peace and progress in American History, but about the undeveloped characteristics of leadership in office of yet another of America's Possible Firsts: A black man in the oval office.

The thing is, like the astoundingly idiotic accusation incorrectly thrown out by what, one hopes, is NOT a priest charged with family counselling as a natural forte, no one expects to get in because they are either black, or white. They expect to get in because they can do the job - and no one is more qualified, experienced, learned, better prepared and mentally capable, or better able to handle the pressure of The Job, than Hillary Clinton.

When the worst a Catholic priest can accuse her of, is (ridiculously incorrectly) being concerned with the "race" issue - or any minority issue, for that matter, having survived in a vicious and souldestroying arena like politics, with both a sterling reputation, and a decidedly inclusive attitude about who belongs, and why - he had better bring back the accusations of " pantsuit fashion folly": this Woman would be King. The "flawed process" had better reflect the intelligent, considerate, rock solid possibility of bringing back the best of itself, with both of them standing side by side on deck. I sincerely believe she should hold both the wheel, and the pen.

Alongside one of the toughest administrative minds - in a time when America truly needs the kind of concentration on its economic health, its peace policy, and its place in the world's peacekeeping hotspots - should be a man whose natural grace, thoughtful demeanor, and genuine concern for the welfare of a Nation will be fine tuned by the Veteran who will have earned the Veto, and proven why, many, many times.

It has always been so for a woman. Ask the ones who should be voting for Her, now, and aren't, because they are, simply, jealous of the progress. Grow up. Make history. Be empowered.
Your children will thank you.