Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Soapbox

Say it's So Joe, Say it's So!

by Joe Shehan

Writer W.P. Kinsella wrote a prolific book about baseball called Shoeless Joe Comes to Iowa, but the rest of us know the story as the movie Field of Dreams. In both the book and movie there is a great quote which comes from the main character in describing his home state. It reads as follows:

" I woke up one morning and thought I was dead, but then I realized I was in Iowa"

Watching the Iowa Caucuses one would have to agree with this statement, except they're not in hell or heaven, or even a dream...they are in a real place and they just witnessed the most peculiar event in American politics, and as result America is left scratching their heads. Yes, Mike Huckabee (who was only registering 1% in polls 6 months ago) won the GOP Caucus and Barak Obama won the Democratic nod. Now, what does this mean for Americans and Texans?

Looking at the two choices it appears that the Iowans chose the candidates that at least promised change, but came across as the candidates that could bring this country together while pursuing change. Whether you agree or disagree with their politics, both Senator Obama and Governor Huckabee ran on platforms that were focused on healing this country and bringing us together. Sen. Obama chooses to use his position to expand the role of government in our daily lives, and Governor Huckabee seeks to lessen the role of government and bring people into the promise of the American dream. But again what does this mean for us?

It means dear reader, that those who are in power today need to be concerned with their grasps of their positions. The establishment candidates on both sides lost. Clinton took third and Romney took second. This shows, as what I have seen by talking to friends and family, that Americans are dissatisfied with the current state of government and with those who run it.

Since January of last year I have been warning people to be careful about chosing their candidate based on whether they can beat Sen. Clinton. Today's Iowa Caucus showed that Clinton's hold on the lead is soft at best. A third place finish in Iowa is horrible especially if you were the coronated favorite. The best candidate for the Republicans in 2008 is a candidate that can bring the country together. He may not be the most conservative, but he needs to be able to crossover and heal the wounds of the last eight years. Also - in regards to Huckabee- you gotta love a guy who walks out to give his victory speech to Monty Python's Flying Circus theme song.

One positive that comes from an Obama win in Iowa is that the racial ceiling is slowly being removed from American politics. An African American winning the presidency could do a lot to heal race relations in this country. Granted I am disappointed that it would be a liberal African American, but still I have been saying that this country is ready for a black president and Senator Obama may be the first black president. As much as I hate to say this, realistically speaking, a Obama presidency would not be as bad as a Clinton presidency.

It is getting late on what has been a very exciting evening, and speeches have been given and the rest of America is watching college football or are asleep. We have witness at the micro level what makes this country so great...democracy. Tonight men and women of all races and creeds gathered together in homes, gyms and churches to cast their votes without fear of violent reprisal and without fear of death. We should all remember and be thankful to all those who made tonight possible, and when it becomes our turn, lets be sure to do our part as well.

No comments: