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Throwback Thursday: The People Have Decided

Madison Aument

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Original story written by A. Rahman Abdi

After the end of this long election season, America must now reflect on it’s candidates and the people who will take office in January. Both presidential candidates took insurmountable amounts of criticism, but strong criticism of politicians is not new.

In the article below, written in 1988, Montgomery College student and a writer for the Advocate (previously called the Spur), A. Rahman Abdi criticizes multiple candidates in the 1988 Presidential Election as well as criticize what the Presidency has become.

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Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart, a Democrat from Colorado, who withdrew from his second bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination after the Miami Herald ran a story about his alleged sexual relationship with model Donna Rice, is “back in the race” again and would “let the people decide” because “it doesn’t matter anymore”.

Welcome to the yuppie-style presidential campaign in the Banana Republic where anyone who was born in the United States and has celebrated 35 birthdays or more can aim for the Oval Office, which used to be the most prestigious office in the English-speaking free world.

Of course, nobody with common sense and political rationality expects Hart’s candidacy to be taken seriously. He just became the front-runner on the growing list of unelectables, which includes Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has never held public office, and Pat Robertson, ayatollah of the conservatives.

Senator Hart, who received more than 20 million dollars worth of free TV interviews from the generous media, including a full hour on Ted Koppel’s “Nightline” has adopted Nancy Reagan’s “just say no” slogan to reporters who raise the issue.

The other six Democratic candidates, who held more than a dozen televised debates but failed to capture the attention of voters, were diminished by the outsider from the Rocky Mountains who ran against the election system and political establishment. In effect, the Democratic party, once again, shot itself in the foot by failing to have electable candidates few weeks prior to the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.

A public opinion poll taken last year concluded that three out of every five voters would rather have a Republican in the White House. No wonder the Democrats have lost four out of five of the last presidential elections. In fact, Walter Mondale carried only his home state and the District of Columbia in his unsuccessful bid for the White House in 1984. It was obvious that the District residents, dissatisfied with President Reagan’s domestic program cuts, would have voted against him. For all they seemed to care, the opponent could have been Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua or Siad Barre of Somalia. By the way, it would have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for these ruthless dictators to see democracy in action.

It seems so much has been made out of Gary Hart’s sexual adventures that some people have forgotten that the U.S. presidency is not a priesthood; the Democratic party isn’t the Catholic Church; and the District of Columbia is not Vatican City. Come to think of it my friends, a hell of a lot has happened since President Harry S. Truman, yes the man who nuked the Japanese, said the Oval Office is “pre-eminently a place for moral leadership”, after all we elected JFK, the greatest seducer of all time.

In my view, the Democratic Party of the U.S.A. is no longer capable of producing the charismatic leaders that it once did. It is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to realize that this was the same party that raised larger-than-life FDR, the pioneer of the New Deal, and LBJ, the skillful legislator who completed the democratization process in North America by passing the Voting Rights Act.

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Throwback Thursday: The People Have Decided