Thursday, February 28, 2008
Jackie Speier's Hollow Candidacy
I use Gmail, and frequently see ads for Mike Huckabee, Mike Bloomberg, and Jackie Speier. It appears that they are all working to improve their campaigns, but Ms. Speier is not running a national one. She's running for Congress in California.
Her ads have shown up for 3 months now, and still her issues pages state "coming soon." This is her entire issues summed up: She's against the war. The war is destroying the American economy. Something must be done about health-care. Better access to student loans.
That's it. Oh, and she's a Democrat. She's vague. But she's fund-raising nationwide using the internet. Big on hype, little on substance. That reminds me of the technology hype of Silicon Valley, movie and music hype of Hollywood, political hype of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and housing hype where homes cost over $500,000. Greens there endorsed Ralph Nader by large numbers, while the rest of America's Greens prefer Cynthia McKinney. Sounds like California to me.
It's good to be a little different and stand out. But what do you stand for? And how effective will you be if you have all hype but no substance (Speier) - or too much substance but little support (Nader)?
I have e-mailed her campaign several times, and have received no reply. I have called her campaign's phone number ( (650) 347-4370 ) and left voice mails twice. When I receive a reply, I will post it - because my focus was on issues and not "what will Jackie's hair look like at the rally? I prefer curly hair.." or other such drivel.
Ms. Speier's campaign reflects current American politics - little on substance and a lot of hype. When asked the tough questions, they prefer to be on both sides of the issue - assuming they answer the question. At a time when America needs serious leadership, we get power-hungry phantoms who prefer to look at the latest poll in deciding what to support and how. Put your finger in the wind and seek the direction of least resistance.
What true leader will stand up and say that America's heading for bankruptcy? Where will solutions to Peak Oil and Global Warming come from if no leader states bluntly that we should stop using energy excessively - and put teeth in legislation to make it happen. "America is addicted to oil" as Bush stated back in 2005. Yet he does nothing to ameliorate our situation. People eat unhealthy foods and buy bigger digital TVs, then wonder why their health-care expenses are so high. When will a true leader tell America that on President can't change the world - that we must all do our part to make America better. And when will Americans of all political stripes band together to solve the myriad of problems facing humanity?
I am not involved in the Greens just because their values match mine. Their members actually do what they politically believe in. They are a vast combination of: vegetarians, who buy organic, garden, live carfree, subsidize wind energy, recycle, strive to live nonviolently, are community and social activists, and won't keep quiet in the face of injustice.
When I see someone in a car toss their Starbuck's latte cup on the street, I calmly walk over and pick it up and find the nearest trash receptacle. When I walk home from work, I pick up cans and trash with a plastic bag I keep with me. I invest in my son's future education and for my own retirement. I don't expect government to do everything for me - because that is now why it exists. Our government is a reflection of our society, and our society is greatly ill. I pray that we wake up, hope that better future can be realized.
But campaigns like Jackie Speier undermine grassroots democracy, in support of a powerful elite with no intention of real change in America. I hope the Greens run against her in California. Though he is NOT a Green, Ralph Nader could run against someone like her. He would still garner media attention and might even get more votes!