Moments of turmoil and chaos are moments of opportunity. George Bush and his war in Iraq have presented this nation with its most difficult moment in seventy years. The next election may be seen as our chance to climb out of the coffin. Yet with this election we are offered the possibility of maybe an even more abominable abyss. Hillary Clinton presents herself as our savior. Almost nothing could be further from the truth.
Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of the problem. She is corporate America’s acceptable alternative to Bush because she will rule within the bounds of their demands. Let us take the two most important issues before us, health care and the war.
The polls have told us for twenty years that the people of this country want single payer, universal health care and are willing to pay for it, even though the vast majority, in saying that, will in fact save money because they will no longer be required to pay premiums to the insurance industry. Democratic principles suggest that we should now live in a country where all its residents are in essence covered by medicare. But we are not, and all three so-called frontrunners in the Democratic Party refuse to endorse this fabulously sensible answer known throughout the developed world.
The tendency to conclude, as a result of this fact, that all three frontrunners are owned by corporate forces is quite strong, but other positions taken by Obama and Edwards offer hope. Edwards’s championng of the cause of the poor is the principle example.
With regard to Iraq, it is difficult to match Clinton’s bellicosity and at the same time her principleless pandering to an obvious anti-war mood in the country. Even now the Republican Guliani is making hay from her unstudied, and spineless, support of the war in its beginning. Of course, every other opportunity for combat in which she has had a chance to express an interest has demonstrated the same penchant for force and the global projection of American power.
Hillary Clinton, thanks to the reporting of Gerth, Van Atta, and others, can only be swallowed by sentient Democrats with massive and sustained efforts at denial. Why should we, the Democrats in this country, hand to the Republicans the barrels of raw meat in the form of scandal and misfeasance that is the career of Hillary Clinton, when two, perfectly serviceable, though uninspired in terms of courage, possibilities await our support?
Here is a suggestion to Mssrs. Edwards and Obama. Join forces and do it now, and acknowledge that the reason you are doing it is because the Republic will suffer immeasurably, not be saved, by the ascension of Hillary Clinton.
Edwards and Obama should declare now that they are the ticket. If one or the other deems it right, he should agree to be the Vice Presidential nominee. As Solomon did, maybe then we would know which of the two is the more deserving of our support, but it may well be that the principles of democracy should here rule instead of the generous gesture of one of the contenders.
Let the people of the first primaries speak. Whoever has attained the most support as between the two by some date that they will choose, will be the Presidential candidate and the other, the Vice Presidential.
This is a strategy that will require enormous strength and courage. After all, Hillary has the support of wealth and power, and in victory she and they will be brutal and merciless. Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama really needn’t worry about the condition of their lives in a Clinton victory if they have not taken the bold step here suggested. It is the rest of the nation and the world, that will suffer in unknown and predictable ways in the event she wins.
Therefore, what is required of Obama and Edwards is a degree of selflessness, a measure of courage, that has been unknown in those who have led this country for almost all of its history. To make the point in ways that everyone will be able to understand, the two should pledge, at the same moment that they announce their strategy, that they will demand a single payer health care system on behalf of the citizens of this country, and will not rest until it is achieved..