JANUARY 15, 2004 – As moderate
independents, our readers are those who will make up their minds
individually, based on who they feel represents the best choice for
America, without regard to party or other label. And as the
top-rated news source for moderate independents, we embrace and
encourage that in our readership.
Yet as the place that moderate
independents turn to get news and analysis that cuts through the
spin and fills in the whole picture, that focuses solely on truth
and what is best for America, it is our duty to our readers to
inform them of who we believe is the best choice for America in the
upcoming election contest. And in this election, there is one man
who stands up head and shoulders above the rest as the clear best
choice for America.
From the beginning, Howard Dean has been
a voice of divisiveness. He is, essentially, a Bush for the left.
A Dean presidency would mean the same partisan division of the past
four years, just with the other side angry. We would sooner endorse
Kucinich than Dean, even though his policies are way too far left
for our taste. At least Kucinich is a respectable man.
Lieberman is another candidate we could
never support. Though he likes to try and claim the mantle as the
best choice for the independent voter, nothing is clearer than that
Joe is no John McCain. Joe believes he is the best choice because
he can appeal to the right, middle and left, but, in fact, he is
lost in the same veil of media bias that President Bush has ridden
to power. Joe thinks that because his ultra-right-wing views are
mainstream in the media that that somehow makes him mainstream. It
does not and he is not. On top of it, his viscous nastiness has
been embarrassing for what was once a highly moral man.
Of the remaining candidates, four
present decent choices.
Gephardt is a solid choice. Notice how
not a single scandal has arisen with his name on it. But in our
view he is not strong enough to be at the top of a ticket and too
far left for our tastes.
Edwards has run a nice campaign of
substance and positivity, but he just simply isn’t ready for prime
time yet – not in the current state of the nation and world.
John Kerry had a lot of potential but
has run an abysmal campaign. He has shown himself not to be a
leader but a follower who loudly treads trails others blaze. And
the most problematic trait with John is that his first focus is
himself. He is fascinated with his record and his ideas, not with
the people he would represent. He would make a good, strong, solid
choice, but on policy, personality, and leadership, we would not go
so far as to endorse him.
In fact, if these were the only
candidates in the race, as was the case early on, we would not be
endorsing anyone at all. Even if you believe President Bush
should be replaced, that is different than saying another man is
truly a great choice for the nation. The above candidates are good
possible alternatives to President Bush.
General Wesley Clark is a great choice
He does not have to point out his
military background, it is a part of him and exudes itself in his
words, demeanor, and adept strategizing. He does not have to
proclaim his southern roots, as his southern charm is natural and
his roots truly are as much in the whole of America – and the world
– as in the south. And he does not have to claim he is an
independent, as he has shown with his actions and choices throughout
the years that his first concern is what he considers best for
America, not party label.
When General Clark talks, he is clearly
talking to his supporters as people – something so many of the other
candidates are simply unable to do. He doesn’t have to claim his
humble roots – he is a humble man and lived a humble life which can
be felt upon talking to him or his family members.
He does not have to portray himself as
someone espousing “family values” – these values are apparent as you
witness him interact with his family. There is none of the forced
or projected nature others have. They are a close, loving family
who really each believe in each other and have shared their lives as
real families do.
He does not have to claim to care about
Latinos, his daughter-in-law and new grandchild are Latino. And
even so, he is not out on the campaign trail bragging about this ad
nauseum. Like with everything else, Clark wears his stripes
naturally. This is because, in fact, he is the real deal.
He is a man who values family, a
southerner, a leader, a military man, a straight talker, and an
independent. And he has the self-knowledge and confidence to know
these things speak for themselves.
What America needs right now is someone
who will put truth before party, America before personal interest.
General Clark is that man.
Clark related a story recently of how he
at last came to the decision to run for President.
“I was driving up the California coast
with Gert (his wife) and Wes, Jr. (his son.) And Gert said, ‘If you
run for President, we’ll never be able to just take off and do this
again.’ Then, from the backseat, Wes, Jr. said, ‘But the country
Wes’ wife Gert is not a prop, she is a
part of his conscience. His son Wes, Jr. is not a photo op filler,
but a voice that cares for his father and that his father respects.
General Wesley Clark was not a politician or a power hungry man who
was sitting around thinking how to get his way into power. He was a
family man deciding if he was ready to sacrifice yet again for his
country. After a lifetime of service, he easily could have claimed
to have done his due and enjoyed such drives up the coast with his
wonderful wife, son, daughter-in-law, and coming grandchild.
America is lucky he is willing to give
of himself yet again.
Before Clark’s entry into the race,
America was left with a choice between horrible – the current
President – and adequate – the possible replacements. Now, thanks
to the unselfish choice on the part of a man who has already given
so much to his nation, America has someone who can right the ship.
Wes Clark can heal the partisan divide.
He has voted Republican, voted Democrat, and indeed, his campaign
above all others has the participation of people of every creed and
party. One day last week a Clark group in California decided to
hold a “conversion” ceremony during which a Republican who supports
Wesley would officially change his registration to Democrat so he
could vote for Wes. As it turned out, word got out and others
showed up and over a dozen people of all previous walks – from Green
to Republican to Independent – were signing on and converting to
He can heal the Republican/Democrat
divide, and he has shown he can heal the white male vs. females and
minorities divide, as he has gotten strong support from the white
males that have been so loathe to side with Democrats of late. He
can appeal to the south without making it a divisive issue. And he
can appeal to people of all races, as he has led and served with
them in what he calls the most progressively diverse institution in
America, the US Military.
America is in great need of a man who
truly can bring the nation – and the world – back together as
friends and neighbors, all united in support of the nation’s many
needs. America needs a man who knows how to lead in a way that
inspires moral rather than ruffling feathers. And, most of all,
America needs a man it can trust, who will put truth and what is
best for America above party or anything else.
Wesley Clark can be that man if American