Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal.

When I go from hence
let this be my parting word,
that what I have seen is unsurpassable.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Obama, Clinton, McCain

Looks like Hillary Clinton is finally out of the presidential race. Good. Never liked her. Pundits say that President Clinton will be better for India than President Obama but I don't care. Political alliances are driven by need. If America needs us and we need America, any president will fall in line. I would rather choose the guy who I feel has greater personal integrity. Clinton totally compromised hers when she condoned her husband for Monicagate. I can't help feeling she has a "you scratch my back, I will scratch yours" kind of a relationship with her husband. That she supported him in his presidency so that she could use him to get into the senate and then the president's chair. I just don't understand why women go ga-ga over her. I mean, this is the woman who humiliated every self-respecting woman by her conduct during her husband's scandals. Now she is using his name to get what she wants. How is she an inspiration to anybody? A feminist is someone who earns what she deserves by her own merit, not by using her father's or husband's name. Thats why neither Indira Gandhi nor Sonia Gandhi are celebrated as feminists in India, even though both of them were/are the most powerful persons in the country in their own times. I have heard a few of her speeches. They are so rhetorical and jaded. Her favourite line seems to be "It took one Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, it will take another Clinton to clean up after the second" or some such variation. That one sentence tells us all that is wrong with her. It's witty but it says nothing and it proves nothing. All it does is invoke her husband. Compare her with Obama. The first thing that struck me about him was how fresh he seems. The answers he gives to questions are well thought out and consistent. True, he seems a little long winded sometimes but thats because elaborating on some issue takes more time than simply coming up with a witty quip. And more than anything else, the stands he has taken on various issues have been consistent with what he has said and done in his entire political career and not changed with swings in public opinion. For example, he has been against the Iraq war from day one. Thats more than can be said about Mrs. Clinton. Now all I hope is that Clinton stops waiting for him to be struck down by lightening (cause that's the only way she is going to win) and gets out of his way as soons as possible. Let him and the party focus on taking on John McCain and the Republicans.

The Obama vs. McCain battle will have a far more serious impact on the world than Obama vs. Clinton. McCain seems like an older version of Bush, just more pig-headed. He reminds me of the war mongering general from Mars Attacks ("we must nuke 'em, nuke 'em, nuke 'em"). He plans to send in more troops to Iraq. Honestly, you would think that after Vietnam, Afganistan and now a decade in Iraq, Americans have learnt that you cannot crush ideologies. No matter how sick or pervert it is. Force is not the answer. People like John McCain do not understand it. They do not have the balls to stand up and say that what they did was a mistake and it will go no further. And when someone like him becomes the president of the most powerful nation in the world, it can only mean trouble for everybody. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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