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We don't need a President McCain

John McCain, the certain Republican presidential nominee, sees the 2008 elections like this:

Often elections in this country are fought within the
margins of small differences. This one will not be. We are arguing about hugely consequential things. Whomever the Democrats nominate, they would govern this country in a way that will, in my opinion, take
this country backward to the days when government felt empowered to take from us our freedom to decide for ourselves the course and qualityof our lives; to substitute the muddled judgment of large and expanding federal bureaucracies for the common sense and values of the American people; to the timidity and wishful thinking of a time when we averted our eyes from terrible threats to our security that were so plainly gathering strength abroad.
In other words, McCain is a committed Republican, notwithstanding the screetches coming from nutjobs like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.  And that's precisely why either Obama or Clinton should be elected in the fall.

Like most Republicans, McCain fails to see that threats to our "freedom to decide for ourselves" can come from sources other than the government.  It's a childlike view of the world -- maybe not as destructive as the "with us or against us" approach of GWB, but it's still naive.  After eight years of W, the last thing we need is another ideologue who wants to "shrink the government" in the face of huge private accumulations of capital.  Multinational corporations aren't democratic, and the result of continued Republican rule will be that we exchange rule by consent of the governed for rule by the caprice of the tycoons.

What we need to fear from the next President is not that he or she will "avert [their] eyes from terrible threats to our security" from abroad -- none of the mainstream candidates would do that -- but that they will fail to see how extremely far to to the right this country has drifted at the expense of our public intitutions from schools to banks, and at the expense of our community life as the middle class melts away into opposing camps of rich and poor.

Perhaps after Carter, we needed a Republican president.  Perhaps.  But after Reagan, Bush, Clinton (yes, Clinton too), and Bush Jr., what we need in this country is a good liberal.  Either Clinton or Obama would be much better for this country in 2008 than John McCain would be.


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