America's search for a C-in-C... instead of a wise leader

As my Finnish friend summed up our coming presidential election during our last cyber chat, “You people in America have a bleak horizon in front of you when you are compelled to choose your next commander-in-chief instead of setting your sights on a leader with vision and wisdom.”

Amen to that!

It is sad, terribly sad, when Americans have to listen to two politicians, both candidates to the highest office in the land, try to outdo each other in pointing out their qualifications as War Lords: Bush, the War Lord of Conservatism; and Kerry, the War Lord of Liberalism. It’s a war we are fighting, or so we are told, and for that we need a “sink”… a superman of sorts that will keep us safe from that elusive multi-headed monster that we’ve come to call “terrorism” for the lack of a better word.

Yet, these two warlords represent neither the concept of conservatism nor liberalism… not in their true spirit. Conservatism and liberalism, American style, are in this day and age nothing but branches of the same tree, liberal-capitalism, in its ugliest pruned form, where the demo (people) in democracy is replaced by special interests, most often elitist economic interests, nothing less and nothing more.

The days of true American conservatism and liberalism are long gone… buried for at least four decades now. Both ideologies did not appear then as mutually exclusive, but rather complementary in a social context. Conservatives and liberals both came to work for the common good of all Americans, forcing checks and balances on each other so that socio-economic progress was made with a modicum of compromise and fiscal restraint. Much different from what followed in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s… and the socio-economic rape taking place in Washington under the current administration. How strange it probably seems to conservatives and liberals of the “classic coke” generations as they look at those days with nostalgia.

There was a unity of purpose then… or, at the very least, a semblance of one. Now there are two distinct, different Americas, and I am fast reaching the conclusion that one of them lacks the direction and leadership needed to be heard, even when it represents a fast-becoming impoverished majority. Only some sentimental, die-hard democrats, most well over 60, like to think that the Democratic Party stands to defend the economically oppressed from the wealth monopolizers; the little guy from the bully. Perhaps in an age of a divided America, the have-nots need to look for leadership among their own, and not cast their lot with some ambitious haves, no matter how socially-conscious they appear; who, more often than not, are using this political venue, the Democratic Party, for their personal ambition and self-realization.

Now that the Republicans, in their neo-conservative stage of political metamorphosis, have usurped the soul of the nation by claiming patent rights to God, the Flag and every bit of tradition that kept us together as a country, what is there for the rest of us to do? Become new-born Republicans? Submit willingly to a benign form of economic slavery? Or simply just drop out, as many have already done out of distrust for our body politic? Or… perhaps just wait to see what happens in this crucial election, and what, if anything, changes after the election should the Democrats win.

What should be plain to all of us, it’s that our need is not for a military c-in-c… perhaps a commander-in-chief, but without the military regalia. We need someone to carry the fight against poverty and injustice in our nation; a combatant for justice and peace among other peoples in the world via a sane and just foreign policy; and a warrior for human rights, domestically first… then overseas. Our need is simple: a leader with vision and wisdom, one who can unite us and not be the scourge of the world.