The theme of this series has been the need for some loose cannons in politics. The Democrats (almost) have one as a V.P. candidate. The Republicans (almost) have two with John McCain’s surprise pick of Sarah Palin as his V.P. candidate. More than anything he has done in the last decade, that shows he still has a maverick streak. Despite the fact that James Garner will always be Maverick.
That’s a good thing. We need a loose cannon running for President, darn it. After all, the President sets policy, not the Vice President. The President writes pardons, not the Vice President. The President vetoes bills, not the Vice President. The President gets the glory and the barbs, not the Vice President.
I doubt it is enough.
Every candidate–incumbents included–since 1792 would have you believe he is an “agent of change.”
Candidates who want to “change the system” don’t want to change the system; candidates who want to change the system actually want their own policies implemented in the system. A true loose cannon doesn’t care about the system. A true loose cannon will subvert the system and find a way to get some real work done.
I am no longer a Republican Town Chair (political parties organize committees at the township level to nominate candidates, refine platforms, and get people elected) mostly because I now vote in Florida but also because even in liberal Vermont the Republican party has gotten too impressed with its dogma and not impressed enough with accomplishing anything.
I really may join the Librarian party.
Did you know there are more Library card carriers in these United States than there are card carrying Repuglicans and Demodonkeys combined?
Not only that, the Librarians are mostly willing to stand up to those who would erode our liberties by making us declare what we read. I may feel compelled to tell you what I’m reading but I hate being compelled to tell you what I’m reading.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States…” A Librarian taught me that.
So what offices most worry us?
Remember the five basic responsibilities of Government. That means the next president needs to (1) teach the kids, (2) build the roads, (3) share knowledge and (4) encourage growth, and (5) keep other people including the government itself from robbing or nuking us.
(1) In the wake of the current “No Child Gets Ahead” program, none of the candidates is talking much about schools. A loose cannon in the Oval would surely understand that today’s first graders will pay my children’s Social Security.
(2) In spite of the epidemic of bridge collapses none of the candidates is talking much about roads. A loose cannon in the Oval would see there is a better way to fix the roads than “borrowing” from the transportation tax revenues for the general fund.
(3) Sharing knowledge has slipped from everyone’s radar. Every administration has tried to restrict information flow, whether about government action or scientific data. A loose cannon in the Oval would see that each good, open, scientific program has moved us from rolling stones on logs to rolling Rovers on Mars.
(4) Encourage growth? The dirty secret of the economy is this: the rate of invention, the rate of production, and actual income have all fallen, year after year after year. Popularly quoted statistics show only that our population and inflation have both grown. In fact, the population has doubled since 1950. More people mean more stuff but the rate of making stuff isn’t keeping pace. A loose cannon in the Oval would see that putting people to work is far better than talking about how it’s all working.
(5) Every American has heard about the pork-barrel spending^H^H^H^H, er, the “Omnibus Spending Plan.” Doesn’t that sound like the diesel fuel spreadsheet for a public transit company? There is no spreadsheet in it. Did you know the last 40,000-page Omnibus Spending Plan was bigger than Thomas Jefferson’s entire library? A loose cannon in the Oval would see there is a better way to spend my money than with an Omnibus Spending Plan.
I’m back to Paris Hilton.
If Ms. Hilton joins the Librarian party, I’ll vote for her. Heck, if she gives us a 30-second lesson in economics, I’ll vote for her in a heartbeat.
Unfortunately, the Librarians are all whackos who keep trying to shush me.
The only other choice is to vote for me at DickHarper.com/campaign . Keep trying. The site is very popular and very busy in this campaign season and it may time out.