Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Media Image Centered Superficial She Devil Brand Of Shallow Politics

Is foreign policy experience overrated?

Hillary Clinton hopes to make a case that it’s not when it comes to framing Barak Obama’s candidacy. But history and other factors could indicate it’s not that important when it come to determining what quality of president you’ll get when the individual actually becomes the commander-in-chief.

I’ve always believed that along with experience moral character, defined here as moral strength mixed with originality of thought and ideas, is the most important ingredient to look for in anyone seeking your vote for a political office. Including the highest political office in this land of President of the United States.

“The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

All to often the media pundits get caught up in the more literal interpretation of on the job political experience as the touchstone of political legitimacy or intelligence rather then looking at an individual’s character. Based on this type of argument Senator Ted Stevens from Alaska may be the best qualified to become President.

Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell certiainly had experience and they led us into one of the worst foreign policy disasters in our history. I would argue that with the possible exception of Powell it was due to a major lack of person character.

George W. Bush had little foreign policy experience prior to his election in 2000. Something that surprisingly doesn't ever come up in the current discussions about candidate experience. Frat boy Bush repeatedly has difficulty remembering the names of the other countries in the world even to this day.

Perhaps a problem of not being that good a student or curious enough about the world or just lazy together with being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Passed through school and other challenges in life including his run for the Whitehouse without much personal effort other then to show up on time and doing what he was told by Carl Rove or his media handlers.

Al Gore was far more qualified by any standard of measurement than Bush berfore the 2000 election. Yet the issue was not that paramount during the 2000 election mostly due to Gore’s reluctance or inability to make it a major issue. With the factor that the election was probably stolen not even addressed here. Gore did get more votes so perhaps he did win this argument with voters about his experience. The following Gore quote from 1999 seems somewhat profound given the nightmare that we’ve suffer through under President Frat Boy these last 7 years.

"You deserve a leader who has been tested in it, who knows how to protect America, and secure peace and freedom." Gore's point: That Bush lacked the experience to lead America in a complex and dangerous world”.
George H. Bush when running against Bill Clinton during the 1992 campaign stated that “my dog Millie knows more about foreign affairs then these two bozos” when referring to Clinton and his running mate Gore. Once again it made no difference in the final outcome of the election. Bush the senior was Vice President and had been a congressman a former head of the CIA an ambassador to China and winner of the first Gulf war.

Harry Truman didn’t even know about the development of the atom bomb prior to being thrust into the presidency by the death of FDR. He had little foreign policy experience. But he now is considered among the more successful modern presidents because he is credited with having a strong character and lots of common sense that helped guide his decision making. His character guided him in ending WWII, rebuilding Western Europe, starting the UN and fighting the Korean War.

John Kennedy was a US Senator and Congressman. He’s one big failure was probably the Bay of Pigs invasion. But Kennedy succeeded in getting the Russians to remove missiles from Cuba after a tense showdown. Lyndon Johnson had only been a Congressman and Senator from Texas and Vice President for a short time but ended up seeing historic civil rights legislation passed during his presidency. The Viet Nam War was a disaster for the country and Johnson and ruined his presidency and severely tarnished his legacy.

Tricky Dick Nixon was Vice President for eight years under Eisenhower and it could be argued an experienced politician. He gets credit for opening up China and being president when the war in Viet Nam ended. His presidency ended in disgrace when he had to resign because of criminal activity and corruption within his administration. He certainly lacked character one could argue.

Jimmy Carter was a former Governor and naval officer but he got blamed for not seeing that the Russians were going to invade Afghanistan and because he was unable to rescue the hostages held in Iran or deal with the economic chaos of an OPEC oil boycott. He was defeated after only one term. Ronald Reagan had little experience in foreign policy or governing anything yet he gets credit for ending the cold war and significant disarmament treaties reached on his watch. He's been rewarded with god like status when he is spoke of by conservatives.

So experience matters if your Eisenhower, Johnson, Carter or George W. Bush but doesn’t if your Truman, Nixon, Reagan, George H Bush or Bill Clinton I guess. Little experience didn't matter to some and lots of experience didn't matter to others.

Bill Richardson has all kinds of experience. He’s been a diplomat, a governor, an energy secretary. Joe Bidden has extensive experience with foreign policy matters given his long tenure on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It could be successfully argued that both are more qualified at foreign policy and many other things then both Clinton or Obama. But it seems to make little real difference when considering who should be president from what you garner from listening to the "horse race” centered mainstream media diatribe.

Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards both strike me as having tons of character and intelligence. They probably lack experience of the type Hillary would like you to think she has in the way she’s tried to framed that argument. But I trust them more then I trust her because she strikes me as one who lacks real character. In fact I would argue that she is the one Democratic who has a serious problem when it come to questions of character. I think this is demonstrated by her problem being seen as trustworthy by a number of voters.

"Hillary Clinton represents an old media centered image driven superficial and shallow style of politics that needs for the good of the country to pass into history."
The argument that Obama makes about his experience is more about his strength of character. I was against the war and it was the right position even though not popular at time I took the position. Experience is absolutely no good if you end up making the wrong decisions in the end. Which is exactly the case with Hillary he argues.

I agree with Obama and given the history of the modern presidency I think that the experience factor may not be the only thing we should be looking at when choosing our president.

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