The last couple of weeks have seen some interesting developments in the campaign of 2016. I have read that there are now nineteen Republican presidential wannabes. Information has all of them, with the exception of Rand Paul, “hawkishly” promoting a more involved role in Iraq with regard to ISIS. (Lindsay Graham even advocated, in his coming out speech, putting 10,000 American troops on the ground in Iraq.) Concomitantly, I am rather appalled that Fox News has shifted their influence, which is considerable, from a primary talking point of financial responsibility to that of war. I wonder if it has occurred to them how those two ideas are not compatible. The complete fallacy in advocating for heightened military intervention has been recently, and brilliantly, laid out by Damon Linker in an article for The Week magazine.
By eschewing Senator Paul, the Republican machine continues to proffer us Tea Party and conservative hawks that want to police the world and remake it in our image. A noble goal for sure but, the world is a large place with a lot of problems. Too many for even our capable military and wealth to police. So, how to pick and choose?
Meanwhile, the Democrats continue to put forward a candidate that has knowingly furthered her own interests and financial wellbeing above that of our nation. Hillary is simply a crook and deserves to be told by us, the electorate, “Hell no! You have shown yourself to be untrustworthy.” Yet, she continues to lead in the polls. As far as I can tell, her support is based simply on out of control political correctness in all of its national self-defeating glory.
Coming on strong however, we have Bernie Sanders, an avowed Democratic Socialist. Bernie says some wonderful things about equality and fairness and government responsibility to avenge those with less opportunity. Pretty words that put the government in the forefront of our lives and on the controlling edge of building a utopia. Some of my more left leaning friends have become quite enamored of Senator Sanders and it is not difficult to see why. However, there are two issues that they fail to take into account. First, slightly less than half of this country strongly believe in out of vogue concepts like self-determination, small government and self-reliance. They are the cowboys, independent truckers, and soldiers. These are the producers that make this country successful and they equate socialism not just as a bad idea or as inconvenient but as Black Bart, put Nelly on the rail road tracks, evil. If Bernie were to be elected, it would split this nation in ways reminiscent of Lincoln’s election. Similar results are not beyond the imagination. (Those advocating for Bernie and Socialism need to pause and consider the fallout from such an election along with who has the guns. In all seriousness, there could be some consequential objections to a Bernie Sanders Presidency.)
Second, Congress is currently controlled by Republican conservatives. Should Senator Sanders be elected and the nation hold together, Bernie could do nothing toward remaking our nation in Sweden’s image unless Congress were substantially altered as well.
So there you have it, war, crooked cronyism or socialism. Wow, the choices are almost Robin Williams depressing.
So who is to blame for this underwhelming lot of political wannabes? Folks, the politicians take their stance on what they think will win votes. The problem therefore, lies with us, the voters.
So who are we and what flaws have gotten us to the point that we just can’t seem to inspire great leaders anymore? On the left we have those who stand in support of fairness, choice and equality to the point of supporting immorality and infanticide. We base those stances on pseudointellectual rationalizations such as women’s choice and a false understanding of love. In so doing we then congratulate ourselves on being more enlightened and smarter than the other, down on the farm dumb, opposition. It is very reminiscent of those people of antiquity who built a high alter to which they would individually ascend and in a loud voice pray to God and thank him for making them better than everyone else.
In counter position some of us, “Americans”, are too deeply entrenched in a false and unbending stance of conservatism. We label all change as evil and use the traditions of our fathers to stand unflinchingly against compromise or growth. We sit in denial that there are vastly more people in this country than in years past. We fail to comprehend that with population growth, new problems needing new solutions arise. Once again, like people of antiquity, we have became so propagandized in tradition that we are incapable of breaking free of false teachings and of discerning what is true.
Is it not interesting to note that while the left allows no room for a changing natural environment, the right has no tolerance for a changing political scene? Ultimately, in our division, left versus right, Democrat versus Republican, Liberal/Progressive versus Conservative/Tea Party, CNN versus Fox, black versus white, legal versus illegal, women versus men, even the poor against the rich; we seemingly have dug a hole wherein we may bury our hard won freedom.
We are all Americans and need to embrace each other and not shirk the difficult work of compromise to the benefit of all. We need to stand on true principles where long lasting solutions to difficult problems are found only after diligent effort. We need to encourage leaders that are willing to put in the time and energy to do so. Currently I see only two. Rand Paul who might be able to make conservatism work for all and Jim Webb who would seem to understand military intervention better than others. An attribute which we desperately need at this point in our nation’s history. Both candidates have their flaws but both are willing to stand apart from the crowd of divisiveness and govern on principles that won’t divide the electorate nor further mire this country in unwinnable wars.
Help me continue the search for ethical candidates who can unite, rather than further divide us. If you have found one, please share. All serious, non-profane comments, will be approved.
Samuel Waen Jensen