Letter to the Editor of the Journal News 9-4-08


September 4, 2008

 Letter to the Editor:of the Journal News

Since the time of Herbert Hoover, most nominees of the two
major parties have selected outstanding people to serve as their running mates.
A number of these individuals had a lifetime of experience in the mainstream of
American political life. Harry Truman selected veteran United States Senator
Alben Barkley, a former majority leader, and John F. Kennedy picked a powerful
United States Senator, Lyndon Johnson, who was also a Senate Majority Leader.
Aside from one’s philosophical perspective, Presidents Roosevelt, Eisenhower,
Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Reagan and George W. Bush picked individuals with
records of substance. At times Presidents have made mistakes with failures like
Spiro Agnew, and Dan Quayle. On the other hand, losing presidential candidates
have also made embarrassing mistakes with choices like, Bill Miller and
Geraldine Ferraro. But all of them, with few exceptions, had maturity, national
experience and exposure, and were not seen as radicals outside of the
mainstream. Again, with politics aside, most could have succeeded the
presidency without the public being overly concerned. During the Republican
National Convention, one GOP spin doctor compared the choice of Governor Sarah
Palin with Harry Truman, stating, he was an unknown Senator. In truth, Truman
was 60 years old, had served with distinction during WWI as the Commander of Artillery
Battery D, served as a well-respected administrative county judge for ten years
in Missouri,
and was a United States Senator for ten years. He created and led the
critically regarded Truman Committee, a WWII oversight sub-committee, dealing
with waste and corruption. Unfortunately as a matter of expedience, Senator
John McCain, the newly minted GOP standard bearer has selected Governor Palin
of Alaska, whose libertarian and reactionary views are far outside the
mainstream of American thinking, whose experience beyond the small town life
and tundra of Alaska is nil, whose confused set of values smacks of abject
hypocrisy, and whose prejudices reek of religious bigotry, insensitivity, and backwoods
primitivism. She may be lauded by her sycophantic supporters as a gun-toting,
all-American “hockey mom,” but it seems to all that her teenage daughter was
badly compromised by a self-confessed foulmouthed “hockey” lout. The first and
most important choice of any candidate for the presidency is their running
mate. No matter how her blind supporters bleat, it is mighty tough to take this
pick seriously.

 Richard J. Garfunkel

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