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Elections & Voting Last Updated: May 20th, 2008 - 01:27:22

America�s ongoing nightmare: Electing the next CINC
By Ben Tanosborn
Online Journal Contributing Writer

May 20, 2008, 00:14

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This past week saw �never-give-up� Hillary establish mileposts in her own Oregon Trail, this time without covered wagons or the many difficulties of an overland migration route. However, to some members of the Democratic Party her campaign appeared to arrive here not to settle but, disturbingly, to unsettle things.

Of all the local and out-of-state luminaries accompanying Sen. �Obliterate Iran� Clinton, her two family members outshone the rest. Chelsea did her daughterly thing, and did it quite well; while articulate Bill showed us good charlatanic reasons why he is at the head of the money list for honoraria received in the lecture circuit.

Oregonians, just like other Americans, keep asking themselves why this ambitious lady goes on with her campaign when her mathematical chance of success hovers between zero and nada. Is Hillary being an injudicious pain-in-the-butt for the party, or are we the ones with lack of knowledge and political savvy? Could it be that we, dumb folks, use arithmetic as our only tool to compute the candidates� chances while this presidential election has to do with higher math, such as functions and probability theory?

Okay, so the former president tells us of his wife that �she can win in the popular vote; that she is ahead in the electoral vote; and the most important thing, [that] she�d be the best president.� The Clintons, yes, both of them, are taking well-calculated risks. There is no need to resort to a Rovian mentality to figure this one out. Hillary needs to keep her candidacy alive, and stay hyena-close to Obama. In a wild and woolly country such as ours, where armed-nuts and self-styled �protectors� for all causes abound, Barack Obama is perfect target practice for anyone wishing him wounded or killed, politically or physically. And, of course, if Obama runs and is defeated -- not an unlikely scenario given the existing but, media-taboo, unrecognized racism -- the �I told you so� Hillary would be the shoo-in Democratic candidate for 2012, still young enough and very much electable.

And, what the heck, isn�t McCain saying that he is looking for some good Democrats to join his administration? She is hawkish enough to be a formidable VP candidate for him; after all, who better qualified than this trigger-happy lady to answer those 3 a.m. calls when McCain is likely to be fast sleep without advisors around to tell him whether or not he�s breathing. And Clinton�s �pro-choice� stance could also be changed around, just like her stand on Palestinian issues pre-senatorial days, before Jewish pressure came to bear. A McCain-Clinton ticket, given a few modifications for appearance sake, would be the American �dream ticket� and, one would think, pretty much unbeatable this year. Okay, I know this is carrying it a bit far but weirdness is alive and well in America.

We just don�t get it, do we! Every four years we go through the motions of electing a president for this country, but all we are doing is choosing another commander-in-chief. It�s been decades since the military-industrial complex in America put the nation inside Pandora�s Box, hermetically sealing it, standing guard so that it won�t be tampered with.

So here we are, boxed in, or, for the sake of translation�s accuracy, confined in a jar . . . and surrounded by all the evils: greed, vanity, slander, lies, envy, unfulfilled desire to rule the earth; and a limping virtue: hope . . . hope in a jingoistic false patriotism which hinges solely in waving Old Glory or in the wearing of a flag-pin, instead of the much-needed true love and concern for the nation and its people; all of its people.

It�s the same nonsense we have always experienced in our two-way stepladder politics. It�s about short-term American political economics presented by politicians to appease the base instincts of our consumer-gluttony; it�s about healthcare and education, now that we find ourselves uncompetitive, trailing most industrialized nations; it�s about all those things that we never seem to care about until we start experiencing their negative effects, such as the issue of unfettered globalization, lack of an intelligent energy policy, or adequate environmental care by a government in which special interests -- big business and the military for the most part -- pull the strings for action that always end up diminishing and impoverishing most citizens for the sake of a ruling elite.

So every quadrennium people are being asked to vote for a president who can handle dual roles, as chief enforcer of domestic peace, and as commander-in-chief for the conquered and unconquered provinces that make up the rest of the world. And 200 million potential voters are left to suck on their own personal lollypops, their own reason to vote to elect someone, without giving thought to the most important concerns that affect them, their neighbors, the entire nation . . . the entire globe: peace; the short term economic and social effects of globalization; the environmental stability of the planet; and social justice -- with the corresponding human rights -- for each and everyone.

Once again, Americans will be asked to vote for candidates who are, or appear to be, blind to the big picture in front of their noses: the need for world peace through dialogue; with no better place to start than solving once and for all the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, the epicenter of this turbulent world, by opening up the floodgates of accumulated hate and mistrust, emptying it all.

But dialogue and negotiation must originate in openness and good faith, not in a false notion that you have nothing to lose since you are doing it from a base of strength, as it is the case today. The voices coming from Hamas, Hezbollah, and others in the Middle East may sound repugnant to Western ears, but we must remember that so are those spouted by America and her allies to most Arab-Muslim people in that region of the world. The �definitive� truth can only come out of dialogue; and lasting peace can only be achieved through negotiation that involves all. Terrorists are only to be found when looking in the mirror; the rest, the assumptions we make, are only suppositions.

Yes, Portland�s record crowd wowed Obama on Sunday. These folks knew that neither Hillary nor McCain have a slight clue as to what world peace is, or the need to base all other American needs on that most important platform . . . for without peace, nothing else does matter in the long run. But will a maverick, dialogue-seeking Obama, assuming that�s what he is, be allowed to institute that thinking in government without the consent of those who really rule by way of power and influence, the very real military-industrial complex? It is doubtful that he can withstand the brainwash . . . but hope springs eternal.

Meantime we continue to show our tricolor flag of ignorance, jingoism and naivet� by how we view our current CINC, George W. Bush . . . as a person �lacking in popularity� instead of a monster �exuding in criminality.� Go figure! How can we be expected to advocate dialogue and negotiation with such entangled morals and mentality?

� 2008 Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at

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