And Then There Were Two
Goodness gracious! What a difference a day makes, huh? It became official yesterday afternoon. In a statement from New Orleans, John Edwards announced that he was withdrawing himself from the presidential contest. This is unspeakably sad. Edwards was the only one of the three remaining candidates who was in tune with the traditional message of the Democratic Party. More than anyone else, he was articulating the horrible truths that the American people are going to have to force themselves to hear if we are to save ourselves from the mess we have stupidly gotten ourselves into.
No doubt about it, 2008 is going to be the most interesting of political years since 1968. Whatever the outcome next November may be, this much is certain: The next ten months ain't gonna be boring, that's for sure! So confident are the Dems that this is going to be their year, many of them are perfectly content to give the nod to Senator Clinton. My question is, has any one of them bothered to take a look at the polls? Every one of them has shown that she is the only one of the main Democratic contenders who will be beaten senseless on Election Day. Hillary Clinton will not inspire "the base" to show up en masse at the polls on November 4th. Barack Obama will. All Hillary is likely to inspire is another Ralph Nader-like, third party uprising. Her nomination will mean certain defeat in November.
Note to every black person in this country who was born on or before January 31, 1990: Forgive me for sounding like a cranky, middle-aged white guy, but if you have not yet registered to vote, shame on you!....OK, if today is your eighteenth birthday, I'll cut you some slack. I didn't register until at least a month or so after I turned eighteen in August 1976. I had my priorities, too - PARTY HARDY!....As for the rest of you: You have had few presidents in the past who have shown sympathy toward your plight. Now, for the first time in the two-hundred and thirty-two year history of this country, we are within reach of sending a man to the White House (no pun intended) who not only feels sympathetic towards you, but who no doubt also feels a very real sense of empathy. One year from today could very well find Barack Obama waking up in a bed in the Executive Mansion. But that's only going to happen if he gets votes - lots and lots of them. Register! Encourage your friends to register. Better yet force them to register! Blackmail them if you have to! This might very well turn out to be the most important presidential election in our lifetime. If the GOP wins this thing, get ready to write your country's epitaph. If Senator Obama is victorious, your lives will change; count on it!
On February 23 last year, I suggested that Barack Obama should adapt Bobby Kennedy's campaign theme song as his own. The tune, The Impossible Dream, was originally sung by the late actor Richard Kiley in the Broadway musical, Man of La Mancha. It was a beautiful piece of music that no one even remembers anymore, so jaded has our culture become:
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into hell
For a Heavenly cause
And I know if I only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest....
Isn't that beautiful? I can't even remember the last time I heard that song on the radio. This is not meant to imply that Barack Obama's campaign is an "Impossible Dream", but that it is, indeed, a "glorious quest". He has one hell of an uphill battle ahead of him and it is up to all thoughtful Progressives to get behind him and do everything humanly possible to ensure that he is the next president of the United States. It can happen. It will happen. We've got to get to work.
Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the Neanderthals who fuel the right-wing propaganda machine are already exploiting the fear that some less enlightened persons will feel on hearing the Senator's full name: Barack Hussein Obama. Whoooooa! How positively sinister!! Do you have any idea what the Arabic translation of "Hussein" is? It means "beautiful child" or "handsome boy". The name may actually turn out to be a positive for him. Right now - and for very good reason - America is not winning any popularity contests in the Arab world. How might they feel if we send to the Oval Office someone with, at the very least, a Muslim heritage? It could very well lesson hostilities - if only slightly. And remember that there is a video clip out there of Senator McCain a couple of years ago singing to the tune of the Beach Boys' classic, Barbara Ann: "Bomb! Bomb! Bomb! - Bomb! Bomb, Iran!" That's not going to look good to a people we desperately need to reach out to. Anyone who would make that kind of joke in private shouldn't be president of the United States. The fact that he made it on stage - in full view of television cameras - is inexcusable.
The campaign of 2008 is going to be the ugliest one in living memory. We are now living in the era of Karl Rove and the hideous tactics that he employed in the last two national campaigns. That at least some Democrats have adopted his methods was made crystal clear last week by the disgusting behavior of the Clintons in South Carolina. As bad as Obama was hit by Billary, just imagine the ammunition that the ideological perverts on the far-right are going to use. Yeah, this is going to get really ugly, campers! Really ugly, indeed. Buckle up!
America is definitely at a crossroad. Probably more so than at any time since 1932. We're now in a position to vote for real change. We now have a golden opportunity to ring in a new era of enlightenment and progress. The choice is still ours to make. Let's get cookin'!
This is a great time to be alive, isn't it?
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
It is the best book on the presidential campaign process ever written. It is a must-read for any self-respecting political junkie. And here's the good news: It's still in print. Please, buy it and read it.
Ann Coulter has just announced that she will support Hillary Clinton over John McCain. Isn't that heartwarming?