I am a registered Democrat. That said, I have been, like so many people, disillusioned with the Democratic party. It used to stand for fair labor practices, civil and gender and racial equality, funding education, and progressive thought in general. Now what does it signify? The Democratic party is a muddled, message-less mess, which has only strengthened the Republican party. Republicans know what they’re about and what they want.
Which is why I’ve liked Barack Obama. He’s had something shiny to say, and his very wet-behind-the-ears affect has been a strength, because it makes him believable. I believe that he could be as idealistic as he sounds, because I haven’t watched him compromise himself–and poll himself–into mediocrity for the last decade. I have hope that a naive Washington outsider could effect changes that an experienced insider wouldn’t even attempt. Obama lost the New Hampshire primary last night, but he could still come out as the people’s Democratic presidential candidate. If so, and if he were elected, would he be able to get us out of the war in Iraq? How would he do that without leaving a gigantic blighted mess there? Can he repair the damaged US reputation? Would he try to turn the US into a welfare state? Would his inexperience ripen into an asset, or an obstacle? Can he live up to the bright message he’s delivering?
I also like Hilary Clinton, even while having doubts about her. She’s smart, tough and competent. She has an ace up the sleeve: charming, rascally Bill Clinton. She’s been around. But has she turned into an irredeemable bureaucrat? My husband says she’s rigid, that she wouldn’t be capable of creative thought, that she couldn’t galvanize people around her into concrete change. She’s infected with Washington inertia and we’d get more of the same, only a little less so. I’m not sure I agree. I think Hilary’s ‘rigidity’ could be the same quality that we call ‘determination’ in a man, and that she wants better things for the American people.
Kucinich intrigues me, too, but that’s another posting. For now, whether Obama or Clinton is the candidate, Democrats would benefit. They bring different strengths to the table, but they both want change and improvement. But is this all moot, anyway? Someone in the government told a friend of mine that Bush will invade Iran in the fall and use that as an excuse to suspend elections.
It seems fantastical that even Bush–who claimed the Oval Office after not being elected to it–would go this far. In general I am a big fan of conspiracy theories; I like creative imagination and I think Americans are too willing to buy whatever’s spoon-fed to us by a media that’s largely controlled by a few very biased, very wealthy individuals. So when my friend told me what he’d been told, I laughed it off. The problem is, it has the queasy ring of plausibility to it.