Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Great American Presidential Contest

Every four years United States loses it collective mind in the contest for the most powerful person on the planet -- the President of the United States, or in military parlance, POTUS.

This year is no different, except that from the perspective of a long distance away, there seems to be a very serious and clear cut choice of which way this benighted country will move in the future.

On the one hand we have the first ever African-American candidate, as a relatively liberal Democrat. On the other hand we have John McCain, a relatively middle of the road Republican (read conservative). The spoiler in the works, due to a brilliant bit of spin is the Vice-presidential candidate for the Republicans, Sarah Palin, the current governor of Alaska.

I have heard all candidates speak, and I have come to the conclusion that Ms Palin is one very, very scary woman whose beliefs fly directly in the face of all that I stand for.

Now ordinarily Vice-presidential candidates are a sort of non-entity, but in this case, not so at all. Mr McCain is 72 years old and could potentially be the next President, which not to put too fine a point on it, is a stressful sort of job. That leaves Ms Palin as the next POTUS.

Duck for cover if that happens, kids, because we have the quintessential 'rugged individualist' running the most powerful show on earth, with little or no understanding of just what that means, and with even less understanding of the needs and aspirations of the human race outside of the state of Alaska. This woman may well have her finger on the nuclear button.

So the Republicans stole a march on the Democrats by selecting her as Veep, but at what cost to their party and to their country, and to our planet?

And then, I was always under the impression that the United States had a very adamant belief in separation of church and state. Is that so any more? Not bloody likely, with the religious fundamentalist Christian right calling the shots.

Americans have a very clear choice before them. A robust Democratic party leading the nation putting serious domestic issues to the fore, such as health, education, housing and other things that most citizens are beginning to seriously lack. Or a religious right Republican party who follows what in my honest opinion is a perverted and very warped version of Christianity, who sees its mission as one of evangelism.

When any candidate for a senior public office declares than an illegal war, such as that being carried out in Iraq, as "[...] part of God's plan", I run for cover.

And finally, lest you ask what right I have to comment like this from Oz, I was born and raised in the United States and emigrated to Australia in 1973 as a political exile from Richard Nixon's America. And look what happened to him...

Enough for now.

P B White