Sunday, January 11, 2004
With the first Primary contests in the US elections imminent it is crunch time for the Democrats. I do not have the time now to write all the things I want to say but for my money it is between Dean and Clark for the Democrat nomination. In citing Clark as Dean's main rival I am of course falling into a trap set by many political commentators. They argue that Dean is unelectable because he is not running for centre ground on patriotism. Clark is able to get away with this because he has credibility by virtue of being a four star General, Dean has no such safety net. Yet Dean occupies the centre ground on many of the key domestic issues including balancing the budget and even the Environment, where his inconsistency as an SUV owning environmentalist chimes with the self-interest of many Americans. More importantly, isn't it about time that we had a real contest? The 2000 Presidential election was frustrating if only because it was difficult to find any real differences between the two candidates. Technically, Bush should have been unelectable but Gore gave him credibility by the ineptness of his campaign. Was it not also the case that Clinton was once branded as unelectable too? Maybe we need to get away from spin doctors and actually concentrate on the issues. Let the voters have a real mainstream choice and take a gamble on somebody who has something to say, is attracting new people into politics and who knows how to campaign. Somebody who has a message that is in stark contrast to the establishment and who is not afraid to speak out.