Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Have we got the chutzpah?

Ralph Nader's decision not to run for president on the Green Party ticket seems to have paralyzed many of those who should see this as a major opportunity rather than a set back.

First, it is really necessary to keep this all in focus. On this issue, I think that Nader has done this better than his supporters within the Green Party... or his detractors for that matter. His focus is strictly on the problems that Bush and Co have brought to the USA... and the fact that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama offer anything substantially different. Even when confronted by the Audacity of Hope I find only another apologist for the same tired policies that have created this mess. I find myself asking what are these Presidential Qualities?

We have seen, once again, that the presidential race may come down to the nuclear option. I am old enough to remember having seen the famous "daisy" ad that Johnson used against Goldwater in 1964. It worked. So did Walter Mondale in his campaign for the nomination against Gary Hart in 1984. The San Francisco Chronicle seems to think that this is just politics and expects more of the same between now and the Democratic Convention.

As Greens, we need to think about what the current campaigns are telling us about the American Voter. For all the talk about "it is still the economy" it would seem that the ability to be Commander in Chief during a time of crisis is still a requirement for serious consideration by the voting public. It is the paradox of the Bush administration's entering into a perpetual war.

So far, I have not heard any our our Presidential Candidates take on this issue directly. If we really have an alternative, then it should be heard. If we really are the "peace party" then how do we bring it about? How do we move from protest to having policy credibility?

That is no different than trying to deal with our economic conditions (yes, still the economy). Like the Democrats, we chew around the edges of the problems but do not have the chutzpah to deal with them directly. In other words, what alternatives do we really offer?

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