Here’s my handy-dandy, all-purpose endorsement of EVERYbody (almost)

Since Sunday I’ve received a good bit of feedback along these lines:

Dear Mr. Warthen
    I think your article is right on target and has a very good insight of the realities of the inefficient American health system.
    However, it is my feeling that by mentioning that Kucinich is the only one talking about single payer, and in the same line that he is not viable and has seen a UFO you are delegitimazing him.
So he is not "viable" according to whom? You? The mainstream media? The Democrats?
    If we really want to start a debate about the issues that are important, I think is time to stop supporting candidates in terms of electability, but in terms of what they stand for. Why not vote for our values?
    If you think that this country needs a health care reform, why not throw your support to Kucinich, instead of observing how timid the other candidates are? After all he is the only one walking the talk.
    It’s sad to see the state of democracy in this country.

Kethrin Johnson

You’ll note some puzzlement about how candidates get to be "viable," similar to that which I addressed to the Ron Paul folks back in this column.

Then, our regular Doug wrote this in the very first comment on my Sunday column:

Again, I’ll ask you to put your proverbial money where your mouth is.
If you think this is an important issue, don’t endorse candidates who
don’t support single payer.
Your man McCain doesn’t even come close to your thoughts on this issue
– and if I read you column correctly, it is because you think he’s
afraid to address it.

Well, Doug, you just said it — I think this is "an important issue." It’s not THE important issue. If there were anything that I would designate as THE important issue in a presidential race, it wouldn’t be a domestic one. And I’d rather not judge on the basis of any single issue in foreign affairs, if I can avoid it. (We found ourselves unable to avoid it in 2004, which means we made probably the most distasteful endorsement I can recall having made in a presidential race.)

Yes, health care is important. So are other things. If I were to vote on one issue only, I would have many different endorsements. Just off the top of my head, it would probably go like this. If the issue is:

Anyway, I think you get the idea. You may notice that I didn’t have any scenarios in which I endorsed John Edwards or Fred Thompson. I’m sure if I spent an hour or so perusing all their positions I’d find some reason to endorse each of them. I just did the things that came to mind first.

6 thoughts on “Here’s my handy-dandy, all-purpose endorsement of EVERYbody (almost)

  1. slugger

    I think that you have come up with something. How about if we postpone the election and give each candidate of both parties a chance to sit in the oval office for one month. See if the chair fits their behinds. See if they can talk on the phone with a female under the desk and still run business as usual. Make sure they know what to do with a cigar. Be sure they have capable people in the travel office. Make sure that know where all important documents can be located. Be sure that the wife can “Stand By Her Man”. Be sure that they know who can spend the night in which room at the White House and where to deposit the money. They would need to know where the aspirin factories are located in case we needed to bomb them. I could think of a lot more but will stop before I really get started.
    I think the candidates should try out for the team before we sign them up.

  2. Doug Ross

    Here’s my prioritized list:
    Overhauling government : Paul. There is nobody else who will make a difference.
    John Derbyshire on National Review has a perfect quote on the state of the country and the reason he backs Paul:
    “I have concluded that we need systemic change, not just another, er, tax collector for the welfare state (which now seems to want to extend its loving embrace to all the people of the world). Only one candidate offers systemic change. The rest will be better or worse tax collectors.”
    Taxes: Paul or Huckabee. Fairtax is the way to go. There would be an economic boom that would be unleashed by a flat tax.
    Economies grow by becoming more efficient. Imagine all those CPA’s working on how to make businesses more efficient instead of how to minimize tax payments to the government. What would all those lobbyists do if they couldn’t tweak the tax code in their favor?
    Iraq: Paul. No more nation building. A national DEFENSE, not OFFENSE. Stop killing innocent people.
    Abortion: Don’t care. Abortions will happen no matter who is President. Abortion is a far less troubling issue than unwed births — which no candidate will dare touch. Statistics just released show that 70% of African American babies born in 2006 were out of wedlock. 49% of Hispanic babies were born out of wedlock. That trend will impact all aspects of society and government. And not in a good way…
    It all goes back to Derbyshire’s desire for systemic change. It’ll probably take another Depression or REAL war before that happens. Or we could start voting for ethical representatives… The former seems more likely.

  3. Doug Ross

    More from Derbyshire:
    ” As for the notion, which I admit I settled on in my July piece, that there is no way Paul could win: Well, possibly so, but Paul is good enough, and his ideas are good enough — and close enough to Buckley-Goldwater conservatism—that those of us who cleave to that conservatism ought to take the wonderful opportunity offered by a presidential campaign to help promote them to the electorate.
    If you think that our efforts against jihadist terrorism constitute World War Four (I don’t), you will not want Ron Paul for president… If you think there would be a whole world of difference between what Hillary Clinton would accomplish in the Rome-of-the-Borgias down there on the Potomac, by comparison with what Rudy, or Fred, or Mitt would accomplish, you won’t be supporting Paul.
    If, however, you think that much of the underbrush that has grown up around our national institutions this past 40 years needs to by pulled up by the roots and burned, before it chokes the life out of our Republic, then Paul’s your man.”

  4. Steve G.

    Wow! You’re a political mess. You don’t seem to have a very deep understanding of any of these candidates issues. That’s probably why you can support Hillary in one breath and McCain in another.
    If I were trying to peice together an ideology based on the views you outlaid, you seem to be some sort of a socially conservative socialist… Which on the face sounds like an oxymoron.
    The Oxymoron Party. There you go.

  5. The 7-10: Anthony Palmer

    Hi Brad.
    That’s a pretty good list, but I thought I’d add one correction. You said that Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney were the only two governors in the race. What about Bill Richardson? He’s the only candidate who currently serves as a state’s chief executive.
    Interestingly, I notice you didn’t mention Rudy Giuliani anywhere in your list. Or Chris Dodd. The Giuliani omission is surprising, given his national stature.

  6. Brad Warthen

    Oops. Sorry. And I’ve actually met Bill Richardson, and mentioned him in the lead of a column. My bad. How soon we forget.

    But how come nobody else caught that — I’m ashamed of y’all.

    Anyway, there’s no Rudy because — well, I don’t think he brings anything to the race that someone else doesn’t bring better. I’m not all that down on the guy, but he doesn’t top any of my charts, either. I guess that’s unusual, since so many seem either to love him or hate him.

    Dodd brings nothing that someone else — say, Biden — doesn’t do better. And I have no interest in a “friend” who deserted Joe Lieberman in his time of need last year.

    Of course, the ultimate “redundant” candidate is Fred Thompson, who, as I wrote in a column, has yet to explain what he brought to the mix that was missing, other than height.

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