Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Edwards and Electability

I hate it that agents other than the electorate decide who is and is not "electable." Even worse, these agents' interests are almost never those of the electorate, and these agents' values often forestall any efforts members of the American electorate might make towards analyzing key issues independently and determining their own set of values.

These agents, of course, have easy access to the media and to the ears of community leaders and control of the channels of information and the commentary that processes and interprets this information for the general public.

But the truth is that only electable candidates get elected, even though it's quite possible, though decreasingly probable, that the American citizenry will grow a brain of its own and prove that reportedly "unelectable" candidates are actually sometimes electable.

Right now the officially electable candidates are John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton among the Democrats, and Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Rudy Giuliani among the Republicans.

If I had to vote today for one of these half dozen, my vote would go to Edwards.

Edwards seems the most progressive candidate of the six--the one most seriously addressing the issues of American poverty, social and economic injustices, and an embarrassingly inept and venal healthcare system dominated by cutthroat insurance companies.

He seems (emphasize "seems") the least encumbered with corporate alliances, the least attached to the current administration that has overseen the collapse of the federal budget, monumental attacks on American soil, the bottoming out of the United States' reputation among the other nations of the world, and perhaps the highest levels of religious hysteria and intolerance since the Inquisition or the Crusades.

Certainly, he would be a lot more attractive to me as a candidate if he were also an African-American lesbian unaffiliated with any religion or political party. A certain smarminess in his public presentation also counts as a deficit and undercuts his Dick-Clark boyish charms.

However, unlike Clinton, Romney, and Giuliani, he comes with relatively few connections to the Washington establishment. Unlike Obama, Romney, and Huckabee, he comes with relatively little theocratic drum-beating.

Even the "trial lawyer" stigma is linked to a career of standing up for little people against giant corporate, special-interest, and governmental agencies.

My allegiance may change, of course, as my knowledge of the candidates changes. But for now, removing non-front-runners Kucinich, Dodd, and Richardson from the playing field, my vote would go to electable Edwards.

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