Primary Concern Jan 2008
by Ted L Glines
Iowa. New Hampshire. Have you noticed these campaigns heating up? I was watching the five or six hard-men surrounding Obama during the after-speech hand-shaking and thank-you sessions. Blue-suited bodyguards. I have worked with the Secret Service (very scary people), and these observed body-guards are very much equivalent or better. Hired killers, and I got the sense that Obama has already received death-threats. Hillary's bodyguards are female, but they are efficiently there. One psychic has already predicted an assassination. This campaign is heating up fast and it has only just begun. Ten more months to go. Sort of like global warming ... do not look for a cooling trend.
Hot topics. Bush. Cheney. Congress. Corporate special interests. Iraq war (of course). Income and taxes. Global warming and alternate fuels. Two candidates are specifically promising to prosecute Bush and Cheney to the fullest extent of the law. Major medical insurance corporations are being attacked by name for refusing paid-for life-saving services. In board rooms across America “irresponsible corporate actions” is heating things up. And this is a ground-swell calling for change - by both Republicans and Democrats - and these candidates are loud and pointed and specific (rather than vague/rhetoric as in previous election primaries).
Things like 4-year enlistment bonuses where the Pentagon tries to get the money back if the soldier becomes a casualty before his/her four years of war is completed. Things like Sigma Insurance refusing to authorize life-saving services (tearful parents of dead children telling their traumatic stories on campaign stages).
And look at all the very young faces in those campaign crowds! “Change” resonates (always) with young people. November 2008 will see the young folks coming out in force to vote (something we have not seen for decades in America).
Independents, Liberals, and young people -- are empowering the angst of what we are seeing -- a surge which may swell to become a tidal wave in November. The word “tsunami” has been used.
The Zogby poll forecasts a 90,000 turnout for Democratic candidates in the New Hampshire vote, and a slimmer (60,000) turnout for Republicans. Will this skew the results? Maybe not, since all candidates seem a bit less than conservative in the face of “change.” Coming down the back-stretch, Obama looks to be a good bet, overall. Nationally, Clinton appears to have a lead, but this may be dwindling. Both McCain and Romney are worth watching as this plays out. An interesting dynamic is this: Obama appears to have adopted Clinton's original stance, and he is doing a better job of pressing it forward in the town-hall forums.
It is “status quo” which is the issue. A status quo which was appropriate for 1970 becomes broken and corrupted by 2008. Broken. Corrupted. Misused. Abused. Rife with ear-marks and pork-barrel perks for the high and mighty, and the people are not served nor pleased. We have seen this cycle repeat many times since the first presidential election in 1789, when George Washington and his own politicos established our very first American status quo of governance.
“We're all for change, but I am the most qualified to get the job done, and the most passionate,” is what we are hearing from all of the candidates, no matter what their political party. “I'm tired of the status quo,” is heard from Democrat and Republican alike. Basic familiar message, but people are sounding angry about it ... this time around. Apathy and disillusionment acts to paralyze the voters, until anger kicks in, usually spurred by rabble-rousers. To greater and lessor degrees, our crop of hopeful candidates are rabble-rousers. One wonders if this level of anger preceded the dumping of tea into Boston harbor.
The French Revolution, and our own American Revolution, taught us one simple thing. Never discount nor under-estimate the rabble. Viva la Rabble! Viva la Rousers!