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Is It Audacious To Hope The Candidates Will Stop Attacking Each Other?

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With Hillary Clinton’s victories Tuesday it is impossible to predict whether she or Barack Obama will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. It will be a tragedy for our nation if their slowly escalating attacks on each other continue. It will be no less of a tragedy if John McCain is included in the mudslinging.

None of the three remaining candidates are angels. There are skeletons in all of their closets. They are, after all, politicians operating in a corrupt system where money has far more influence than it should.

On the other hand, regardless of what Ann Coulter may say, none of the three remaining candidates are the Devil incarnate. They are all intelligent. They are all capable of leading our nation.

The best case scenario for John McCain is simple — Obama and Clinton go on doing a Karl Rove number on each other. That will give him the opportunity to keep his hands clean and usurp Obama’s once-cherished role as the candidate who is above going negative.

The best case scenario for the Democrats is for Clinton and Obama to agree that they will stop any and all attacks on each other immediately. If they want to give their party the best chance of winning in November, Obama and Clinton should agree right now that whoever loses the Democratic nomination will join the ticket as the vice-presidential nominee.

Let the super-delegates and the voters in the states that have yet to hold their primaries and caucuses decide who should head the ticket based on personality, charisma, audacity, experience, race, gender, voting records, or even the relatively minor differences between them on the issues. Ideally, Clinton and Obama should spend the next two or three months demonstrating their ability to head the ticket, and more importantly, to lead the nation, by taking a positive tone as they highlight the differences between their shared positions and those of McCain.

Voters are going to be offered a clear choice in November. While both parties may have been co-opted to some extent by corporate influences, anyone who claims there are no major differences between the Democrats and the Republicans is not paying attention. If McCain wins, we will not see any major reform of our health insurance system. If the Democrats win the White House and retain control of Congress, we will. If McCain wins, our troops will stay in Iraq. If either Clinton or Obama wins, most of our troops, but not all of them, will come home. If McCain wins and the Republicans manage to regain control of Congress, the Bush tax cuts will remain in place. If Clinton or Obama win, they will be allowed to expire.

What our country desperately needs right now is an election process focused on a civil and informative debate about the legitimate differences between the two major parties regarding how we should address the issues and problems facing our nation. If McCain, Obama, and Clinton are serious about changing the poisonous political climate this is the time to prove it.

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About Winston Apple

Winston Apple is the author of "Edutopia: A Manifesto for the Reform of Public Education." He is a former teacher. He has a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri at Kansas City (1990). He is also a singer-songwriter and recording artist.
  • Jonathan Scanlan

    Reading posts like these make me glad that the leaders down here are chosen by the party room, and not the public.

  • Propagandist

    It might not be audacious to hope so but where’s the fun in that? These are politicians at the end of the day and they will live up to expectations.
    Let the mudslinging begin – like I said in my other post..
    I cant wait for the Democrats to waste millions of dollars on who is will cover whom in the imaginary universal healthcare system, or who will answer phones or who will (not) end Nafta..

    Populism seems to have disappeared – it’s probably very inconvenient to explain why they are spening millions on tv ads to a PA homeowner who just lost his home.
    Here’s an idea – the $80+ millions they raised last month could’ve helped save a lot of homes from foreclosure..
    Dem are the biggest hypocrites.
    But hey I’m having fun :)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Populism seems to have disappeared – it’s probably very inconvenient to explain why they are spening millions on tv ads to a PA homeowner who just lost his home.
    Here’s an idea – the $80+ millions they raised last month could’ve helped save a lot of homes from foreclosure..
    Dem are the biggest hypocrites.

    Yeah, right… because Republican candidates funnel all of their fundraising back into the community, and don’t spend a cent of it on campaigning.

    [/sarcasm]

  • Propagandist

    No but the Republicans don’t have a bullshit populist message either.
    They never say Healthcare for everyone, home foreclosure freeze for everyone, drug benefits for everyone,.. basically everything for everyone..
    Republicans are pretty upfront about their free market principles and don’t usually raise false hopes. They don’t pretend to share people’s pain while living in their million dollar mansions (think Edwards and Obama).
    So yeah Republicans are much better in that respect.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Call it bullshit if you like, but that’s what the Democrats stand for, Propa.

    You can hardly expect them not to invest in getting their message across.

  • Propagandist

    If you say so. I call it hypocricy and raising false hopes. They tell people what they want to hear.
    They have been babbling about universal health care for 50 years, we know where they stand on nafta (against it before they were for it),
    no one with common sense thinks the troops will be out for at least a few more years,..
    I could go on..
    So if I was a voter in PA or anywhere else I’d take whatever the Democrats say with a huge grain of salt..make that a huge bag.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’d take whatever the Democrats say with a huge grain of salt..make that a huge bag.

    True of most any politician.

    Back to the thrust of the article, aside from the prospect of Clinton and Obama spending the next few months whacking each other ever harder with loaded handbags, John McCain has his own little predicament.

    Having secured the Republican nomination, it’s Game Over on that side of the aisle. All the focus is going to be on the Democratic race now. If he’s not careful, Mac is going to be the little guy on the sidelines going, “Er – excuse me – may I say something?” and getting drowned out in the clamor.

    He has a chance to rest up a bit and start planning his strategy for November, but he has dilemmas. First of all, he doesn’t know who he’ll be up against and secondly, he has to somehow stay visible. Otherwise, come August it’ll be, “John who?”

  • http://cqpinion.blogspot.com Krutic A

    This is a great opportunity for McCain. He can relax, plan his strategy, get organized in swing states, raise funds (while the democrats are blowing millions on each other), make amends with the conservatives and take his time picking a VP.

    Its great news for Republicans and McCain. People are going to be so tired and annoyed of Obama and Hillary in a couple months that McCain will be the fresh new face!
    (I plan to do an article on this soon)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    If McCain wins and the Republicans manage to regain control of Congress, the Bush tax cuts will remain in place. If Clinton or Obama win, they will be allowed to expire.

    That last sentence is, in a nutshell, the real tragedy we’re threatened by. That’s why I hope that Clinton and Obama tear each other to shreds so that they have nothing left when they have to face McCain in November.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    That last sentence is, in a nutshell, the real tragedy we’re threatened by.

    Yeah, I’m already pulling out my beard and rending my garments.

  • Bennett

    “the real tragedy we’re threatened by.”

    Uh Dave, it would be a bit more honest (an unexpected thrill for the rest of us) if you changed the “we’re” in that sentence to “I’m”.

  • Arch Conservative

    Hmmm…..

    Is it audacious to hope that the next time some fucking jackass uses some paraphrased version of Obama’s book title as the title for a weblog post that that jackass will soon, against his/her will, be sodomized with a copy of the “The Audacity of Hope?”