Melissafrei’s Weblog

An Evolving Consciousness

Archive for 2008 Election

CHANGE vs EXPERIENCE

I have been quiet lately due to the fact that I have been overwhelmed by the history taking place in front of me.  It is the obvious historical inclusion of a woman, a Hispanic, a Mormon, and an African American running for the position of President of the United States.  The greater historical event and by far, most significant, is the activity of the population of the country.  Those that will participate in the election and those that will not.   

It has been described as a movement that surrounds Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee.  In spite of lack of money or ethnic make up, these two individuals are making a stand in this race.  Why is this so?  

I would submit that it is the masses of people that have arrived at the breaking point at the same time, all the events that have taken place over the last seven years that have challenged and changed the “every man”.   

I don’t know if you have heard the phrase, “you will until you won’t, and you do until you don’t”.  This phrase has always represented the “tipping point” for me … the point of equilibrium that is reached due to the preceding chaos of creation that has occurred. 

As I wrote in a post on January 1, 2008, I am ready to take responsibility for the change that I want to see in the world.  This is and has been the only primary election year in my life that I have ever looked at my choices and felt that I actually had a choice.  There are probably only two people on the Republican or Democratic side that I would never vote for or want them to win the election and the second person just recently put themselves on that list. Most of the candidates who are running in this election are people that I have held in the highest regard throughout the years for their service to this country and their accomplishments.   

That brings me to the EXPERIENCE vs. CHANGE argument.  One of the things that comforted me in the George W Bush administration was all of the experience that we had in the cabinet appointments.  I didn’t agree with Mr. Bush on issues or particularly care for his personality, experience or resume, but I looked at the people that he surrounded himself with and they were seasoned, thoughtful, intelligent people who had accomplished much in their careers.  I trusted the EXPERIENCE.   How bad could this be after all?  These were all people who have been in government for years with a wealth of knowledge and experience.   

So what happened?  I personally believe that these people placed their EXPERIENCE and REPUTATION before the health and security of our country.  They did not listen, hear or see any thing.  They were unchangeable and inflexible due too all of the things that they THOUGHT THAT THEY KNEW BASED ON THEIR EXPERIENCE.   

This is why I personally am going to harness whatever COURAGE that is within ME and as Bill Clinton says, “toss the dice, believe in the fairy tale”.  I made the rational, logical, conservative move last time and look what that got me.   

I have reached the “TIPPING POINT”.

I want in my next President, flexibility, the ability to think outside of the box and not depend on the usual solutions to problems that we have been dealing with for years.  I want in my next President, someone who is objective driven and will work with whoever it takes to meet a set of objectives and present me, the people, solutions.  I want a President who will be honest with me even when I do not like what I am hearing.

I want a President who believes in the United States of America, the People, the Democracy. 

Choices, choices

Well, I have finally narrowed my choices down to four candidates for the primaries.  My choices currently are:

  1.  John McCain
  2. Barack Obama
  3. John Edwards and…
  4. Mike Huckabee

Now, I can see the look on some of your faces.  This is a rather different group of people.  What do they all have in common? 

First, I believe that any one of these individuals represents change at a presidential level.  They all say what they feel is the best for this country regardless of where they are ranking in the polls on any particular day.  I have decided that for me, this election is about change and my individual role in bringing this about.  

Second, each of them is elect able.  Yes, I did say elect able, that is if you and I will elect them.  I will let you ruminate on that.  

Third, even though there were other candidates, like Biden, Dodd, and Richardson who have strong qualifications to hold the office of President, they just simply have not been able to effectively get out their message.  I would still love to see any of these three as VP candidates on the ticket.   

I had thrown out political parties quite some time ago and left that to the “POLITICAL ELITE”, those that profit or perhaps see politics as a game of some sort.  I would personally take the most delight at the end of the primary season to see that the people have selected Obama and Huckabee as the nominees.  Why would I be perfectly giddy with this outcome?  Because this would be the outcome that the “POLITICAL ELITES” never thought would come into fruition.  Even though, the media has been quite friendly to Obama, they counted on a population of fearful, biased, uneducated people to never elect someone who had an African ancestry.   

Huckabee on the other hand is the nightmare of those who profit off of division.  He is probably the closest that we have seen in the last twenty years to a true “Compassionate Conservative”.  Now, I know that there are those who will pull out the list: his views on abortion, homosexuality, taxes, immigration, ect.  Well, even though I differ with him on some of these issues, I am counting on the integrity that I believe that this man possesses. 

McCain, well, he is simply someone who I respect for his consistent sound judgment, integrity and service to our country.  He is also someone who places the welfare of this country before his own personal gain and political party.   

Edwards on the other hand has been signaling that he has intentions of taking Washington by storm.  I simply would not mind seeing exactly what that would look like.  I could be disappointed but I am betting on him as the strongest change agent in the race.  

The one thing that I know for sure is that I am extremely tired of the lies, and corruption in Washington DC and throughout our society as a whole and will accept my personal responsibility for my contribution to it which is just being silent and apathetic.   

I am a better person than that and we are a better country than that.     

The Candidates on Foreign Policy…..Let’s Re-Engage

I was against our invasion of IRAQ because I did not believe what I was being told about the reasons for going to war.  It goes without saying that our next president will have to possess strong foreign policy credentials.  But what exactly are those credentials?   

We have several candidates running with resumes that are filled with various experiences that could be quite advantageous for the times at hand.  We have senators, governors, representatives, actors, preachers, and mayors.  There are some who think that we should withdraw troops as soon as possible.  Then there are those who want to continue to surge.  And then there are those that want to surge and possibly take on a few more countries. 

There are those that say Americans have gotten the “war that we deserve” , because we as citizens have not been engaged.  We have been absent from the debate.  I just want to remind those of you out there that, just might not have remembered, that our foreign policy focus should be a lot wider in scope than “the war on terror” or IRAQ.  I don’t know if you have noticed lately about what is going on in Russia, the reluctant democracy or in the many other locations of the world that no longer simply embrace our wishes because we are bigger and have more weapons. 

We must begin to communicate with our neighbors respectfully. We in this country must remind ourselves that we are a young country.  Yes, we have been successful, but there are cultures that have been successful in there own right for thousands of years.  We must learn to respect the individuality of societies that have been where we are now; and usually, due to arrogance and hubris, have slid down the slippery slope of mediocrity and hypocrisy.   

What kind of foreign policy credentials am I looking for in the next president?  Here is my list: 

  • I will be looking for someone well versed in history.

  • Someone who has integrity and equally respects military capability and diplomacy, (the sticks and carrots of foreign policy).

  • I would hold in high esteem, those candidates that have served in our military and have diplomatic experience.

  • I will be looking for a candidate that places the security of this country first…. someone who will place human beings first, will act with wisdom and integrity and someone who has demonstrated strong judgment in dealing with foreign policy issues in the past. 

 How do they rank and where have they stood on this issue? 

  1. Bill Richardson

  2. John McCain 

  3. Joe Biden 

  4. Chris Dodd 

  5. John Edwards 

  6. Hillary Clinton 

  7. Barack Obama

Those that did not make this list, hold positions a little too far to the left or right for me.  Neighbors and friends, let us use a little judgment and wisdom here.  Let’s re-engage.

“The purpose of foreign policy is not to provide an outlet for our own sentiments of hope or indignation; it is to shape real events in a real world.”

 John Fitzgerald Kennedy