It's truly a square peg and a round hole sort of thing. Every
other match up combination looks boring and intellectually uninteresting
except for this one. Except for one thing: it will never happen.
But let's look
at these two guys for a moment. Personally, they are both nice
guys by all accounts. Bradley really wins in this category, but
Forbes is a solid contender. Forbes laughs at himself and eschews
the federal matching money. He is a faithful husband and a fine
father of five children from 11 to 25. He has never held a government
position. He graduated from Princeton in 1970. Innovatively,
he announced his campaign on the internet (http://Forbes2000.com/)
with a truly interesting and technologically advanced site. He
is unconventional, future-oriented, but he does have some draw-backs.
He is an uninspired speaker, and we like inspired speakers. He
is not particularly funny, and that really helps during a prolonged
campaign. He has adopted the religious right of the Republican
party, but we feel that means he has decided to be himself, and
let's face it, that faction and the conservative faction, which
he also embraces, is where the GOP really is today. His flat
tax proposal deserves widespread debate and discussion. On the
face of it, it seems fair, simple, and will get the job done.
It avoids the issue of sales side taxing which can be biased,
and it also addresses the incentive issue of a graduated income
tax. He is raising the "trust and sleaze" issue and
offering himself as a proven alternative. That puts the "morality"
issue front stage center. Remember, he won the Delaware and Arizona
primaries last time. To many, Steve Forbes will be a common sense
candidate and he is thoroughly intellectual and an energetic
campaigner. "Now, the central questions
of the year 2000 campaign clearly are these: Do you trust the
establishment politicians to protect your economic security and
to give you more freedom and more control over your life? Do
you trust them to protect your values and to protect the first
and most important freedom of every child: the freedom to be
But, the real dark horse, the really interesting candidate, to
this writer, is Bill Bradley. He states that after 30 years as
a basketball player, senator, speaker and writer, he has gotten
to know America in a way that few people ever have. "I
have learned that America is a country full of good people who
are, by and large, industrious, talented, optimistic, and generous.
In our short history Americans have settled a continent, won
world wars and created unparalleled prosperity. When we are given
the facts honestly, our common sense usually puts us on the right
course. I have tremendous respect for the wisdom and decency
of the American people. Today, when too many of our young people
have diminished life chances and when we stand on the brink of
convulsive changes wrought by technology and globalization, it
is good to remember that we are up to meeting these challenges.
We have done great things here and we will again." He runs across the political landscape with
the ease of a conditioned athlete and shoots
a arcing "nothin' but net" field goal. He is an easy
thinker, who has never lost an election. People like Bill Bradley.
His career as a commentator was a non-starter, but on the campaign
trial and person-to-person he is a winner. He also graduated
from Princeton University, five years before Steve Forbes. Bradley
was a Rhodes Scholar, and he could return that career item to
legitimacy. He served in the military, he has been married to
same woman and they have one daughter. He doesn't preach a tax
policy or a morality, he simply says, "I
run to improve the opportunity for more Americans to live healthier, more economically secure, more personally fulfilling
lives." He champions the GI
Bill, Medicare and Social Security as three great examples of
government policies that practice what he believes in. He speaks
of being worthy of our founders ideals. He leaves the podium
with an inspired audience behind him. He appeals to the common
good, working together, and achieving great things, greater things
in the future than in the past. All of the pictures I could find
of him are like these. See his bald spot? He doesn't seem to
have one ounce of ego, he is always depicted talking to real
seem to be genuinely interested and not put off at all. And,
in the "Scandals
of the Candidates" website, which
presents all of the dirt there is available on potential past,
present and future candidates for president, Bradley (and Forbes,
too, for that matter) looks like a boy scout.
Both of these candidates are the real deal. Forbes represents
the heart of the true Republicans and Bradley, the heart of the
true Democrats. Forbes is rich and already has the money, Bradley's
got to fight an entrenched incumbent and raise $35 million, and
he's busy doing it. Both candidates believe in the people. Both
are clean themselves. They represent a true alternative and a
chance for America at the changing of the centuries (depending
on how you calculate it, this year or next) to make a defining
statement about where we are going as a people. One of them represents
enlightened self-interest and individuality, and the other represents
enlightened group interest and the idea of progressive-togetherness
lifting all people higher together. To me , that would be a great
campaign. Liddy Dole, Al Droll, George W. I'm-Just-Like-Good-Old-Dad-O
will be another inconclusive choice whichever way we go. They
all sound the same. They are all the same, essentially. "Elect
me, elect me, elect me." They all have never really had
a job, a career, a boss, or a payroll to make.
|Oh, dreamer dream your
dreams of joyful campaigning,
O captive voter, rise and work, for these two, I plead of thee.
The campaign is here, and campaigners are already complaining,
Unloosing bonds of all evaporating verity.
These guys come to offer us times of healing,
To banish sleaze, and wipe all hype away,
They come anew, with bright ideas revealing,
The mounting footsteps of a better election day.
They come to give us choices instead of desolation,
Hope and promise for the ashes of these recent years,
For every voter, now to give full compensation,
And the chance to clear away Monica's phony tears.
They come to call the apathetic to the bell of freedom's ringing,
Our deaf-turned ears to hear, our television-eyes to see,
The glorious tidings of our bright future bringing,
O voter, rise, thy nation calls to thee.
Oh, well. It won't be long before Al gets the nod in LA and George
or Liddy take the GOP by storm. But, to me, Steve and Bill are
where its really at. We could listen, learn and finally on November
7, 2000, we could make an intelligent choice. Remember, in American
history, there really have been campaigns that mattered. Call