Monday, May 16, 2011

True Patriots

After weeks, even months, of blathering on endlessly about how they were thinking about running for President, and how great they would be as President, both Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump have both finally announced they are not going to be candidates. This is not at all surprising in the case of Trump as most everyone, including myself, never believed he would run in the first place. Huckabee’s decision is not much more surprising as there were at least some who predicted earlier he would not actually become a candidate. What I find most interesting about this is the completely unserious and cavalier attitudes that were obviously at play. Being President of the United States, probably the single most important position in the world, is not, I think, something one should merely toyed with, but that is what both of these individuals were apparently doing. Our country has serious problems at the moment, two (or more) “wars,” an out of control national debt, a badly divided electorate, problems with Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, Health care, and so on. We desperately need leadership, serious people who would be willing to sacrifice themselves for the national interest, dedicated patriots who are truly interested in seeing us through these difficult times. You might think that anyone who would spend weeks, even months, touting themselves as serious candidates, would be of this type, but you would be wrong, at least in the case of these two phonies. I doubt that anyone took Trump’s donkey brayings about how great he was and how he would be a marvelous President (because of his business experience) seriously. It was pretty obvious he was interested more in publicity than running for President. Huckabee has recently claimed he would be a much better President than Obama, and has been rather outspoken in his criticism of President Obama. He was doing fairly well in the early polls and it appeared he might well have had a chance to at least capture some of the early, more conservative states.

But consider what both of these basically false candidates have done. In the case of Trump, who has some idiotic TV show that pays him lots of money (that he apparently needs in spite of his grandiose claims of fortune) he has chosen to continue that rather than try for the Presidency. Huckabee is no different, he, too, has some TV show, is apparently building an large expensive house, and does not want to give up his new found luxury for the possible (mere) Presidency of the United States. In other words, neither of these jerks were dedicated to the nation or seriously interested either in the Presidency or in solving the problems of our country, but, rather, in their own comfort and well-being. So why did they take up our time for so long with their absurd posturing and false claims? It must have been partly ego and a desire for attention, but in these two cases in particular it had nothing to do with the needs of the nation and everything to do with their own naked self-interest, true fake patriots all the way. Of course neither of them would have been decent Presidents anyway, Huckabee so ignorant and religiously intolerant, Trump so grandiosely ridiculous and phony.

I cannot but believe that running for President ought to be a serious business, not merely a lark engaged in for publicity or ego satisfaction and attention. There is no doubt in my mind that Newt Gingrich is in it for no reason other than his massive ego and belief that he is a really important person, a worthy historical figure (rather than a pathetic has-been or never-was, hypocritical, dishonest faker, willing to say anything at all to further his VIP fantasies). He, too, is wasting our time. Sarah Palin is another one, as are Rick Santorum and what’s-his-face, Cain. Pawlenty, Romney, and Huntsman are probably the only serious candidates at the moment, and even they are flawed more or less second raters. Unless someone truly unusual and unexpected turns up I fear the Republicans will have to wait until 2016, if they have not completely imploded by then.

I suspect there are at least two reasons the Republican candidates are so unusually weak in this election cycle, (1) they don’t believe they will be able to defeat Obama in spite of their overwhelming desire to do so, and (2) they realize that it doesn’t matter much who the President is as he will serve and dance only at the whims and desires of those “who brung him.”

Patriotism, I fear, is dead. We no longer have leaders with a genuine interest in the well-being of our nation, with extremely rare possible exceptions, they are now all in it for themselves, serving those who pay them well and allow them to continue to serve in office under false pretenses. “The best government money can buy” is no longer just a cynical phrase, it is now an accurate description of how our political system functions.

As an aside, Germany has renounced nuclear energy and Japan has now done the same. Will we be intelligent enough to do the same? Don’t bet on it.

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