01/17/2004 @ 07:21 AM: I must say I'm just a bit tentative over what I'm about to do for fear of acting prematurely, but my research during the last week has really shed light on the Clark for President campaign. Though my voice is small, I am throwing my support behind General Wesley Clark for the Democratic nomination for president.
Now before some of you fall off your rockers, tame the "but he's sided with Republicans in the past" criticism should you feel it bubbling up inside.
Picking one Democratic candidate from the current eight to replace Bush and unwind his administration's phobia/power-based initiatives is obviously much bigger than any everyday decision (especially for those of us following and participating in politics on a daily basis). There are several candidates amidst the bunch who would do a fine job in the Executive role, the other front-runners all matching that description: Dean, Edwards, Kerry, and Gephardt. And contrary to the fears of many liberal Americans (and possibly the over-confidence of the Republican party), all can beat Bush. So with that in mind, I raise the more important question: Who do you want to have as your forty-fourth president?
My attention, like that of many, had previously been focused on the Dean campaign. The former governor of Vermont has surely launched an amazing grassroots campaign--perhaps the first using the internet as its primary tool. And Dean is an excellent candidate in many respects. But his proposed policies have left me a bit in question.
Examine Clark's tax proposal; specifically, that he will eliminate all federal taxes for families making less than $50,000. The band-aid (at best) that was the Bush tax cut clearly benefited the wealthy and gave lower-income Americans only a few hundred dollars extra annually. Moreover, his cuts in federal funding has adversely strangled states, forcing most to raise taxes that exceed per home the amount those lower-income families got back from the feds. Families are now in fact worse off than before the tax cut (and don't even get me started on the Medicare bill). Clark's plan will put in place a 5% tax increase for the wealthy that makes up for the below-$50,000 tax cut--a process called "redistribution" that has been in practice for many decades of our democracy.
Michael Moore, the Academy Award-winner director and award winning author, posted an article to his website just a few days ago. It served as a catalyst and "last straw" if-you-will in my decision to endorse Clark. He defines in great detail the many strengths of Clark and why he is the best candidate among the group. I can't possibly word things any better, so I encourage you to go and read his article. I think you'll find Moore's logic to be very agreeable.
Finally, I want you to imagine something... Picture in your head one of the campaign-for-president debates that will occur later this year. It will likely have a very similar backdrop and tone as those of the 2000 election. Put your favorite candidate behind the podium opposite Bush. If you can believe that we have actually come to a place where George W. Bush is a threat because of his public speaking skills, who among the eight Democratic candidates has the most knowledge of the Bush administration, September 11th, the military, the Pentagon, and the war in Iraq, and will stand up to Bush by calling him out on all the misleading information, lies, and deception his presidency has wrought? I conclude General Wesley Clark will do so best, and I hope to see him there.
Be it known (in what has become generic form) that I will support whichever Democrat wins the nomination. All possess qualities superior to those of President Bush. With the Iowa caucuses happening on Monday, the upcoming election will soon start to take more shape.