Thursday, January 3, 2008

Primaries! Read all about it!

Tonight begin, at least by all practical standards, the Presidential Primaries. Months--perhaps even years--of hype are now coming down to the line. Will the promise of change win out over experience? Will fame, fortune, and good looks conquer honesty, virtue, and determination? For the first time in over 50 years, there is no front-runner for the Presidency, and the amount of money campaigns have spent on advertising are through the roof. One word sums up this year's primary: craziness.

We are at a turning point in our country with no truly desirable option: either we continue to pursue our interests abroad, expanding and deepening our hold in the Middle East, or we retreat altogether, leaving a bloody mess in our wake. Continue to foster unfounded environmentalism and our economy will slowly cripple; continue to be ignorant of the problems of pollution and energy consumption and we may be oppressed by many forces--both human and natural, tangible and intangible--from outside our borders.

The next President will guide the country in a direction with real consequences which, probably coinciding with my own increased interest in politics, have never been so apparent to me in any other election. Here and now is the opportunity for one man to change the course of global events forever and to restore to this country some of its more laudable qualities such as patriotism, a true sense of liberty as opposed to license, and the ever escapable American Dream which is family, community, and a sense of peace and security.

Who will guide our country? Who will live up to the task?

I encourage all readers of the blog, as I come to realize I'm probably preaching to the choir, to follow this Presidential Primary with the utmost vigor and attention. Before candidates wind up the rhetoric and turn a yes into a no, or question the definition of the word, "is," it is important to see a man (or woman) as he truly is, standing in front of his friends and colleagues explaining to THEM, "This is why I should be President."

As for us at Notre Dame--students, staff, and faculty--there is a special need to not let the Notre Dame bubble form an impenetrable barrier to our involvement in this year's elections. Students need to get involved in the voting process, forums for political discussion must be held, and no one should be afraid to voice their opinions. I would be very excited to see pranks played on members of the "enemy" on campus, as long as its done in good taste, of course.

As for me, expect me to be supporting McCain in the coming election. He is the only one with the character and virtue to guide the country in the right direction and answer all those hard questions which for reasons of security and morale are kept hidden from the general public.

Now, as I wait for the Hilary Bricks to be thrown through my dorm window, let's all be thankful for the Democratic Republic called America which produces such free and safe elections. As recent events in Pakistan have demonstrated, there is much that we must not take for granted.

God bless all the readers of the Rover Blog and God bless America.


Anonymous said...

I was not surprised that Obama won the Democratic primary but I was really surprised that Hilary took third place.

On the other hand, I am also glad that Romney did not get first and that Giuliani is wayy down at the bottom. Both are poor representatives of the Republican party.

Dan Amiri said...

Despite the fact that I was also not surprised that Obama won the race, I have to admit that Obama represents for all intents and purposes the embodiment of "feel-good" politics. He's too young, too inexperienced, too liberal--although that's just me. He's little more than a big smile, big ears, and some sound bytes.

I just saw a poll that placed Obama ahead in New Hampshire. First of all, there is no way that poll can be true. Second of all, oh my gosh! Is this what elections have come to? I would be severely disenchanted with the American electorate if Obama even comes close to winning the Democratic Primary and utterly and inescapably depressed if he becomes President. Being President is the last thing of public importance that any man should ever do in his life. I don't know if I would ever vote for a man who would have every opportunity to return to the Senate or House after his Presidency. (Has this happened before? Is that even legal?)

Greer Hannan said...

But Dan, do you honestly think any of the likely candidates are capable of being as high-minded, practical and virtuous as the situation requires? I'm trying not to be apathetic, but I get the impression that a score of my friends at Notre Dame have a better sense of the good life for man, have thought more analytically about the nature of the body politic and the purposes of the national government, and are frankly more honest and have greater integrity than any of the frontrunners. That probably says as much about Notre Dame as it says about our increasingly sterilized political society. And do you really think what you're watching is an un-produced, pure depiction of the candidates, unclouded by the rhetoric and sophism that doomed Athens? These politicians have been carefully crafting their public and personal images since they first sought public office, and the stakes are higher than ever in the presidential race. Everything down to the timing of their announcements of candidacy was carefully engineered.

Dan Amiri said...


I take pride in a candidate who knows how to relate to people as a representative both of their needs and of their nation. Rhetoric is only wrong--aka sophistry--when it keeps people from the truth, and one's "crafting of one's personal image" takes a lot more effort than a few well-placed ads. It takes a lifetime of character building, dedication, and genuine service to the country. This is why I believe McCain is the best candidate for the Presidency, across the board.

Furthermore, McCain proved his integrity to me and to many other Americans during his time as a soldier and then as a POW. I don't know if he has read Aristotle or Plato, but it seems to be that he's enough of a man to know what the right thing to do is. Just because one man was able to explain it all, doesn't mean that these principles aren't written in all men's hearts, ready to be acted upon provided the previous formation of a good conscience.

American politics is not corrupt. It is "old" and partisanized. It is fashioned with ideologues and bespeckled with idiots. It is a lot of the time inefficient and, despite this, still remarkably influential. American politics is the slow-moving system of democracy it was intended to be.

Truth is, however, and I cannot stress this more, the next President will change the country for the better or the worse, and regardless of what MacIntyre says, there is only one candidate which no one should shy away from: McCain.

If you are curious to get through the rhetoric, read your history and read debates. Read the criticisms of the opposition candidates and don't be suspicious of a good man when you see one. This is one of the most exciting election years in a long time. I promise you that your efforts to get interested in this election will be fruitful. May I recommend as a great website to keep abreast of the issues.


Greer Hannan said...

I do have a lot of personal respect for McCain because of his experiences in Vietnam and he is one of few politicians whom I think of as a real civil servant. Thanks for the web suggestion; you do have to work a lot harder over here to keep up with American politics and find intelligent commentary.