Yes We Can
I’ve been thinking about the world. As usual. Maybe too much. These days I’ve been immersed in the pros and cons, contingencies, cost-benefit analyses, and worst-case scenarios. And I’ve been thinking about the elections in particular. Weighing and breaking down each candidate’s positions, voting record, speeches, electability, media savvy, funding sources, demographic appeal.
And I was going to put the candidates side by side and score them like they were figure skaters. I had already disqualified the Republicans, a bland collection of the same old same old constantly tripping over themselves on their way to a triple turn.
There was Romney, the cookie cutter candidate who was built for media exposure but was exposed as the classic mega-rich Senator who said whatever it took to get elected and tried to spend himself into the Presidency. The Presidency should never be for sale.
There was Guiliani, the archetypal opportunist who was always there at the right time at the right place, but in the end shot himself in the foot, on each toe in fact.
Still standing is Huckabee, an aw-shucks minister from Arkansas, a kinder Christian Fundamentalist, the anti-Bill.
Leading the way is the wounded soldier, McCain, who sold his soul to the devil by aligning himself with Bush even though George and his men mercilessly slandered him eight years ago. How can you trust a man who willingly becomes the pet of his bully?
And most intriguing is Ron Paul, a firebrand, libertarian constitutionalist that even Democrats can love, were it not for the fact that he’s anti-abortion. I love the way he’s been shaking up the right, raising more money than anyone thought possible, attaining folk hero status. I hope he gets a cabinet appointment in the next administration.
Then there are the Democrats, one of the most exciting fields since I can remember. It’s down to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And it’s close. I liked John Edwards and was sad to see him drop out but wasn’t surprised he didn’t win any states since he’s been out of political office since 2004. I love Dennis Kucinich, the 2003 winner of the Gandhi Award, who wants to create a Department of Peace. Though he’ll probably never win, I hope he keeps running for the Presidency in future elections. His is a voice I’ll never tire of. The rest were the usual candidates you see every four years.
So between Barack and Hillary, who do you choose? Either way, it’s historic. Both are strong charismatic leaders. Both appear to want to do the right thing. Their positions really aren’t that far apart. One touts her experience, the other emphasizes his fresh perspective. Each has had criticisms directed at them. Yet, I don’t think Hillary is that divisive and I don’t think Barack is that inexperienced. I see two great candidates, each with some flaws. They’re both rich, that’s true. It disappoints me that all the major candidates are millionaires, that our government is a rich person’s game. Hillary’s got up to $50 million. Barack has a net worth of up to $5 million. They have skeletons in their closets, made bad voting decisions, said silly things, have questionable friends and allies. Still, you really can’t go terribly wrong with either.
Yes We Can
Until yesterday I was still undecided. I’d been thinking about the world. As usual. Maybe too much.
There was a time when I was a headstrong idealist. I thought a lot back then too, but it was thinking from the gut, from a feeling of following what’s good, what’s right. I didn’t analyze so much as seek the truth. Seeking justice and joy. And inspiration.
I don’t want to calculate anymore. I want to be inspired again. And I want a leader who’s capable of inspiring, stirring people to wake up, stand up, sing out. So I made my decision. And this video made by Will.i.am from the Black-Eyed Peas captures what I feel. Enjoy it.
Credits. Photo by Evan Vucci / AP, Video by Will.i.am