Sunday, April 20, 2008

A choice of candidate

It seems to me that there are not significant differences in views between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They are socialist; they both see war as a necessary ingredient of foreign policy. My perception is that the differences between the two boil down to differences in means and methods, style, gender, and rhetoric.

Hillary has a significant political history where Obama does not. Therefore, Hillary carries a lot of political baggage where Obama carries less. However to acquire the change that I expect, a president would need to start without political baggage – he/she would need a clean slate. I don’t know if that is possible.

John McCain is a militarist and warrior. There will be no significant change if he is elected president. Despite all the controversy over just how conservative he is, he is, nevertheless, a Republican and conservative, and we will have more of so-called “compassionate conservatism” if he is elected.

They all seem to have addressed and have a handle on the issues that concern Americans most. The ways and means of getting there are different, and America’s vote for president will obviously come down to whether America’s collective ideology is conservative, liberal or somewhere in-between, not so much as to whether they are Republican or Democrat.

All of the candidates use the word change in their political mantra, but it has not one bit of authentic meaning.

None of the candidates will be willing to explore the radical, thinking outside-of-the-box kind of change that needs to take place. No American is willing to support the necessary risk that embraces all change.

A herculean task needs to be undertaken: a change in the American mindset. Changes in our attitude and ways of thinking about God, religion, morality, and what it means to be human and our purpose in life. New ways of thinking in areas such as economics, education, foreign relations, war, government, health care, globalization, energy, environment, justice, and our constitution.

We have had the same fundamental problems since the founding of the United States; we have the same problems now, and will continue to have the same plethora and hodgepodge of problems for years to come as long as we continue on our nation’s current path.

Effective and long lasting change is in nature evolutionary and cannot be effectively implemented with coercion. So, I am not looking for extraordinary change -- revolution or anarchy -- just new ways of thinking that will lead to change in the areas mentioned leading to a culture of peace. After all is said and done, world peace is the ultimate.

That being said, we will have historic, pivotal, and evolutionary change, an indication that America is embracing new ways of thinking, if either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton become President of the United States.

I understand why your choice of Hillary Clinton for President.

For me: I just don’t know.

In my view, if we only had a Hillary or Obama expressing the views of Ron Paul, I would have a candidate that for whom I would seriously consider giving my vote. Ron Paul was on the right track; however, he could not articulate those views in such a way that would excite the electorate – libertarians need to have someone who would bring gravitas to their views and thread them to current issues. Ron Paul did not frame the libertarian view in a way that was comprehensive; he seemed to continue with clich├ęs such as “printing money out of thin air.” Ron Paul would not be a good president and provide effective leadership precisely because he lacked the charisma and presentation skills of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Libertarianism is a philosophy and achieving it is going to be a process. It would be contradictory to the philosophy if it were to be accomplished in any other way.