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Why We Support Wesley Clark as the Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2004

Our politics pages suffer from a severe case of Bush-Bashing. We don't have any pretenses of being a real source of information, is just a place for us to let off steam. We therefore have no compunction about being more partisan than Fox News, and we've picked our candidate for 2004. Below are Terry & Ian's thoughts on Wes Clark.

Terry's Comments:

About a year ago I started to hear the murmur. I tried to ignore it because it seemed absurd, almost impossible. An ex-military general with Democratic sensibilities? "The only man who could beat Dubya in 2004," said Esquire magazine. A campaign devoted to drafting him to run for President in 2004 got Nightly News attention, and everywhere I turned, the murmur got louder. Who was General Wes Clark? A four star general, who actually fought and led wars? A Rhodes Scholar? A humble, good-looking man from Arkansas who had deep concerns for our great country? And the only problem was that he had no plans on running for President.
Wesley Clark is running for President, and despite my belief in every Democratic nominee running against Dubya, I'm supporting Wesley Clark because I believe people who once supported President Bush, but have tired of the drain his wars and benefits to the wealthy have caused us, will choose General Clark as the next President of the United States. I believe he is a good man and I do not care if he had past Republican leanings. I do not distrust him because of his military background, and I do believe he is the only man who can give Bush the run for his money.

I share a view that many Republicans and Liberals alike share, and that view is, "Anyone but Bush in 2004!" If you are one of these frustrated Americans, who tire of the secrets and lies of George W. Bush, your vote can take America back to a time when we truly were safer. Voting for Wesley Clark is a move towards economic stability, honesty, and true security because of one solid reason, Wesley Clark loves America! Wesley Clark loves America in a way George W. Bush could not because George W. Bush is clouded by religion and wealth. His privilege and wealthy upbringing truly prevents him from getting into the average American's shoes. George W. Bush attacked affirmative action on Martin Luther King Day, has the worst environmental record of any previous American President, and has earned America the scorn and hatred of the rest of the world. George W. Bush is signing laws that give him and government the right to search and monitor anyone without consent or warning, arrest that individual and detain them permanently. George W. Bush is creating a police state that is reminiscent of Hitler's early days. (People get so upset when this comparison is made but Germans and Jews alike who lived through this period that I have talked to have said this. They say the environment is eerily similar to the era before Hitler took power.) Well, Bush is in power and his team will do anything to see that he stays there. The Supreme Court, (Bush Sr.'s friends,) saw to this in the 2000 election and Team Bush will be scheming how to fix the re-election.

If you want Bush out, the best way to remove a military deserter like Bush, is to call in a General who actually served and commanded, but respects all that is great about America. I want a man with integrity who actually fought for our country, rather than a cowardly, rich, wannabe-cowboy! I'm standing behind Wesley Clark for President because he will turn this country around and pave the way for a better future! He will preserve our freedom, and restore America's moral standing to the world. Even if you are a die-hard Republican, I think many of you will agree, this country needs a change of guard! Let that guard be a seasoned leader who isn't in corporate America's pocket!

Ian's Comments:

I long ago banished from my psyche the delusion that we operate in a two-party democracy. The only way to get elected in this country is to maintain a stance so centrist that one appears to have no values at all. We're then left with a field of candidates on either side that skirt any controversial issues (which are often the most important ones) and who then establish a feelgood patter based on health, education, and tax issues. This was quite evident in the 2000 elections, when the brilliantly centrist campaigns of both Bush and Gore split the country literally down the middle, with Bush winning in spite of receiving 500,000 fewer votes than Gore out of 105,405,100 votes cast in the popular election.

Most intelligent people I know (including staunch republicans) agree that the only issue in 2004 is getting Bush out of office. The "Bush Restoration" and the militaristic, constitution-shredding, petrol-centric policies that they represent have made America more hated or distrusted on the global scene than ever, and their pre-emptive invasion of Iraq (in the guise of enhancing our national security) has probably generated more al-Qaeda recruits than that organization could've ever hoped for on their own. It's time to get these plutocrats out of office before there's no America left to live in.

Since Bush is running unchallenged in the republican party, his camp is unfortunately going to be able to focus an amazing amount of money and resources on getting re-elected, while the ankle-biting pack of democrats fritters away months in mind-numbingly dull debates, unable, apparently, to find any real unity. As is often the case, I wasn't too fired up about the Democratic Primaries; my preferred candidate rarely gets selected, and I just vote for whoever makes it through the process.

This all changed for me when Wes Clark announced his candidacy. Here is a man who patriotically served his country as his career, is articulate, well-educated, has considerable foreign policy experience, is not a Washington insider like Lieberman, Gephardt or Kerry. He possesses none of the smugness (nor the ignorance) of an "entitled" wealthy brat like George W. Bush, and exhibits clear leadership capabilities.

His stated platform outlines, without pulling punches:

Plans to review the almost fascist Patriot Act;
Plans for exploring alternative energy;
The intention to eliminate the federal deficit;
Specific ideas for enhancing health care and education;
Plans to restore America's international relationships and moral stature.

Unless Wesley Clark is a bald-faced liar (and I maintain some hope here, since he's not a career politician), then he's the man to beat Bush in 2004. The current democratic frontrunner, Howard Dean, not only lacks the foreign policy experience needed at this crucial juncture in world history, but he is quite simply unelectable in the south, which is largely going to define the 2004 election. For all these reasons, I'm putting my full support behind Clark as the democratic candidate, and hope to work hard on his campaign if he indeed captures the candidacy.


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