I once worked for a company where the unpublished motto was “let’s just move forward.” In theory, the goal may have seemed admirable, but practically speaking it was a disaster. Moving forward without addressing past issues only leads to the snowball effect. Sooner or later, the problems and failures of yesterday that weren’t fixed will catch up with the present day, looming all the larger for having been ignored or repeated.
While most of America is ready to move forward from the Bush administration, there seems to be a division over what “moving forward” should entail. A substantial number of people would like to see Bush and company held accountable for the sins of their administration. The call for impeachment, even at this late date, is still very much alive, at least on the left. Barring that, and crossing ideological lines, many want this administration held accountable for what they believe were purposeful lies foisted on the American public, abuses of power and privilege, and an unlawful usurping of Congressional authority.
Beyond that, they want the doors flung open to what they believe was Cheney-sanctioned war profiteering by companies like Halliburton, which has yet to account for millions of missing tax dollars, despite the damning evidence discovered during DNC hearings held several years ago.
Yet we also want out of the middle East. We want to distance ourselves from the sanctioned torture of Cheney and Bush, and repair the global rift caused by our seven year lapse into democratic imperialism. We want to make sure that our future leaders cannot perpetrate a run-end around the Geneva Convention or our Constitution again.
We’re desperate to lower the nine-trillion dollar debt that the Bush administration has left us with. We need to stave off the worst of the recession we’re now in — we need to save our jobs, and save our homes from foreclosure. Many of us are lacking health insurance, and support a universal health coverage plan. There are immigration issues that need better solutions. Our infrastructure is in need of repair. Our educational system continues to be toppled by other countries.
America is in a crisis, globally and domestically, and all the issues have become urgent. The question facing us in 2009 will be one of priorities. There’s no doubt that the next administration will be responsible for an almost total rehaul of government. This is not, unfortunately, a time when the main function of a President will be to maintain the status quo or keep us on an even keel — this is a time calling for major repairs, steady rebuilds, complete tear-downs, and making anew.
And if the worst should happen — if America is attacked while in the vulnerable position of new leadership — what then? What issues would we move to the back burner while addressing our defense, and at what price?
The next President is going to face some of the most daunting challenges in the history of government. There is virtually nothing in our present day sphere that does not need to be urgently addressed by Congress and the next administration.
However, can we really move forward without holding the past administration accountable? Even if we could, should we?
I don’t believe that any move towards rebuilding our tattered government will be complete or effective without holding the present administration accountable for the damages they have caused. I believe Congress and the next administration should move swiftly and precisely in launching investigations, and not only hold the appropriate feet to the fire, but create policies to ensure that no future administration can run roughshod over the checks and balances of democracy under the guise of privilege and Presidential authority.
Without addressing the excesses, abuses, and misuses of power of the Bush administration, America places itself in danger of a repeat. Next time, it could cost us more than 4000 lives and nine trillion dollars. That possibility, even if slim, is not acceptable to me, or to the thousands of other Americans who believe that no elected officials should be immune from accountability, including the President.
The next administration has almost too much to do. Whoever our next President is will likely be one of the hardest working Presidents in history, and the pressures they will bear will be weighted not only with the hubris of the past, but with the fervent hopes of a better future.
I support Hillary Rodham Clinton because I believe she has the fortitude, experience and knowledge to not only move this country forward, but to protect it from further assault, both from inside and outside our own borders. I believe that Barack Obama lacks both the national and domestic experience this country needs in a time of crisis, and that John McCain will only prolong the agony of the Bush administration.
I see the three candidates as a choice between substance, mystique, or more of the same. Substance, for me, is the only rational choice. In my opinion, Hillary Rodham Clinton should be the 44th President of the United States.