The growing one word problem of the 2008 election
**This can also be found at www.Presidentialraceblog.com, where I am a contributing author.**
There are few things that can be named that are the bane of not only multiple Presidents of the past, but the current and future President as well. Perhaps the most serious issue is the most complicated as well. Iran.
In one word I describe a key exporter of oil, a terrorist supporting nation, a potentially nuclear armed country, and a fanatically Islamic regime not to mention a government that would prefer to see America destroyed and in ashes since the 1970’s. Talk about a mouthful. I mean there is no simple answer to how this nation should be dealt with. Unless you listen to the Presidential candidates.
“On the Democratic side, there has been too much silliness on the issue of engagement, and a candidate's particular choice of words for conditions for talking. The rhetoric on the Republican side ignores a bunch of important questions - the Iranian response, our standing in the region and around the world, and poisoning relations with Iran for generations to come."
Why are the candidates so one-sided and tunnel-visioned? Because they are pandering to their respective parties to gain the nomination. While that seems well and good, as it’s been the manner in which the candidates have discussed Iraq, terrorism and most of the vital issues in this election-cycle, it has ramifications. It also fails to present a realistic outlook on what actions we need to take.
I consistently believe that any candidate that cannot present a plan that envisions, or even allows for; the best outcome for the nation does not deserve to be President. That does not mean that a poll-watching, publicity bandwagoner deserves the position any better. But we need to hear voices that can lead, not react to polls or hedge their bets as they await the other candidates’ responses. Yet that is what we are getting.
Iran has made it clear that they wish to see America crushed. It’s been televised in their speeches for decades. It’s been the sentiment since they took our embassy personnel hostage. And there is no doubt that given an opportunity they would use a nuclear weapon against the U.S., if not several if they had them.
But to attack Iran is to invite the shutdown of oil imports to America immediately. To impose sanctions is to invite higher world oil prices, and inflict pain on our economy. To simply have talks is to stalemate, allowing the development of the very weapons we don’t want and should not allow development.
Obviously we need a multiple pronged tactic that employs several strategies all at once. But multiple tactics and the implication that far more severe actions can take place only when the opponent believes the actions can be taken. Democrats have made it clear to date, that they will take virtually no action that would involve the military, and the Republicans have virtually guaranteed military responses. Where is the one person, at least, that can convey a credible ability to do more than just one thing.
As tensions grow, the threat increases, and the time and power of our current President wanes with the nearing of the next election (not to mention comments from political rivals that weaken and insult the sitting President) we need to see someone step up.
Maybe there is time left for one candidate to become Presidential in their stance, but not as long as they are all so preoccupied with trying to buy cheap votes by looking Presidential. And unlike comedian Billy Crystal’s character Nando Fernando famous saying, it is not “better to look good than feel good.” Our President needs to be more than an image of leadership, and the reason is again just one word.