Spain for McCain, en la prensa americana

August 5, 2008 at 7:31 pm 15 comments

The Huffington Post publica hoy un artículo sobre cómo se está siguiendo la campaña americana en España y aparece mencionada nuestra plataforma, así como un enlace a nuestra web y a nuestro perfil en Facebook.

Note from Abroad: Spaniards see a Toss Up

In the wake of the “Obamania” that followed the Illinois senator through the Middle East and Europe, it’s surprising that many here still see the race as very close. Convinced that George W. Bush would fail in his bid for reelection four years ago, residents of Madrid are not counting McCain out.

In fact, the reaction to the Illinois senator’s romp through Europe is strongly reminiscent of the effect he first had on Americans, which is surprising given the long and wearying election year and the course of the Democratic primary. Obama is seen as charismatic. He sweeps people away. The majority of polls, such as those conducted by the Pew Research Center, point to Obama’s overwhelmingly favorable support abroad over McCain, toting numbers such as Germany’s 82 percent confidence in Obama’s role as president over their 33 percent confidence in McCain. Yet people are skeptical in regard to his ability to prevail in November.

Leaders of the Republicans and Democrats abroad organizations here, like GOP Chairman James Levy and Democratic Party President Alana Moceri, for example, believe the outcome of the election still very much hangs in the balance. Right off the bat, both Mr. Levy and Ms. Moceri agree they “need to fight tooth and nail for every last vote.” There are roughly 80,000 to 100,000 Americans either residing in Spain. They tell me it’s difficult to get people living abroad to vote. This year, predictions based on past figures suggest that less than 5 percent of Americans in Spain will complete their absentee ballots.

But this year is different Levy and Morceri say. The internet, for one, has changed the game entirely, facilitating new grassroots initiatives and energy. Spanish citizens, for example, have constructed websites such as spain4mccain and Facebook pages.

Websites favoring McCain have been gaining popularity, popping up specifically to counteract the large amount of exposure Senator Obama is receiving from the national press. “Senator Obama is the focus… [meantime] Senator McCain receives close to no attention,” says Levy, a problem exacerbated during the weeks of the European tour. Although both organizations have enjoyed growth since the 2000 and 2004 elections, and regardless of the surfacing of support groups for McCain, Moceri claims that “‘Democrats abroad’ has been growing by leaps and bounds,” unlike Republicans Abroad, which she describes as “… a very small handful” of voters.

The growth which these organizations exhibit is maintained through online efforts such as the bipartisan website votefromabroad, which provides instructions to all American citizens living abroad who wish to vote. Levy and Moceri agree that, in Spain, the 2008 campaign is being followed with great interest, especially due to the hope of improving diplomatic relations. The prospect of a shift from the blunt, full-contact diplomacy employed by President Bush is one that animates the campaign’s audience abroad just as much as their favorable reception of free trade.

But domestic concerns run through much of the discussion as well. Moceri argues that Spain’s nationalized healthcare system should be used as an example for the United States, citing worry-free efficiencies that make it among the best systems in Europe. A random sampling of Madrid commuters points up the uncertainty that lingers about the election outcome, despite all the press Obama has garnered here. McCain may win, many commuters say, because Americans are seen as racist and bigoted, unable to work around their prejudices to allow a black man to come to power.

Others fear violence, drawing parallels to the assassinated Kennedys. For nearly all the respondents, however, the election is viewed as an opportunity to change what is perceived as a negative Bush impact and to bring about a rapprochement between the United States and its allies.

Entry filed under: Straight Talk. Tags: .

Especial John McCain Important information for US citizens living in Spain

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. CGL  |  August 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Como Spainformccain ha reiterado muchas veces, su objetivo es dar a conocer las politicas de el senador de Arizona. Aqui un buen articulo del NYT. Paul Krugman es uno de los economistas mas respetado en US.
    ——————-

    Know-Nothing Politics
    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    So the G.O.P. has found its issue for the 2008 election. For the next three months the party plans to keep chanting: “Drill here! Drill now! Drill here! Drill now! Four legs good, two legs bad!” O.K., I added that last part.

    And the debate on energy policy has helped me find the words for something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Republicans, once hailed as the “party of ideas,” have become the party of stupid.

    Now, I don’t mean that G.O.P. politicians are, on average, any dumber than their Democratic counterparts. And I certainly don’t mean to question the often frightening smarts of Republican political operatives.

    What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism — the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise — has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: “Real men don’t think things through.”

    In the case of oil, this takes the form of pretending that more drilling would produce fast relief at the gas pump. In fact, earlier this week Republicans in Congress actually claimed credit for the recent fall in oil prices: “The market is responding to the fact that we are here talking,” said Representative John Shadegg.

    What about the experts at the Department of Energy who say that it would take years before offshore drilling would yield any oil at all, and that even then the effect on prices at the pump would be “insignificant”? Presumably they’re just a bunch of wimps, probably Democrats. And the Democrats, as Representative Michele Bachmann assures us, “want Americans to move to the urban core, live in tenements, take light rail to their government jobs.”

    Is this political pitch too dumb to succeed? Don’t count on it.

    Remember how the Iraq war was sold. The stuff about aluminum tubes and mushroom clouds was just window dressing. The main political argument was, “They attacked us, and we’re going to strike back” — and anyone who tried to point out that Saddam and Osama weren’t the same person was an effete snob who hated America, and probably looked French.

    Let’s also not forget that for years President Bush was the center of a cult of personality that lionized him as a real-world Forrest Gump, a simple man who prevails through his gut instincts and moral superiority. “Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man,” declared Peggy Noonan, writing in The Wall Street Journal in 2004. “He’s not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world.”

    It wasn’t until Hurricane Katrina — when the heckuva job done by the man of whom Ms. Noonan said, “if there’s a fire on the block, he’ll run out and help” revealed the true costs of obliviousness — that the cult began to fade.

    What’s more, the politics of stupidity didn’t just appeal to the poorly informed. Bear in mind that members of the political and media elites were more pro-war than the public at large in the fall of 2002, even though the flimsiness of the case for invading Iraq should have been even more obvious to those paying close attention to the issue than it was to the average voter.

    Why were the elite so hawkish? Well, I heard a number of people express privately the argument that some influential commentators made publicly — that the war was a good idea, not because Iraq posed a real threat, but because beating up someone in the Middle East, never mind who, would show Muslims that we mean business. In other words, even alleged wise men bought into the idea of macho posturing as policy.

    All this is in the past. But the state of the energy debate shows that Republicans, despite Mr. Bush’s plunge into record unpopularity and their defeat in 2006, still think that know-nothing politics works. And they may be right.

    Sad to say, the current drill-and-burn campaign is getting some political traction. According to one recent poll, 69 percent of Americans now favor expanded offshore drilling — and 51 percent of them believe that removing restrictions on drilling would reduce gas prices within a year.

    The headway Republicans are making on this issue won’t prevent Democrats from expanding their majority in Congress, but it might limit their gains — and could conceivably swing the presidential election, where the polls show a much closer race.

    In any case, remember this the next time someone calls for an end to partisanship, for working together to solve the country’s problems. It’s not going to happen — not as long as one of America’s two great parties believes that when it comes to politics, stupidity is the best policy.

    Reply
  • 2. James Levy  |  August 9, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    What is truly stupid is Obama´s assertion that correct tire pressure is better than unlocking America´s vast offshore oil reserves to reduce America´s dependence on foreign oil. Equally stupid is believing the left wing spin in the New York Times, even from Obama¨s fellow ¨elite¨ , such as Paul Krugman.

    CGL, get a life or get better informed. May I suggest The Wall Street Journal to begin your intellection desintoxification?

    Reply
  • 3. CGL  |  August 10, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Dear Mr Levy.
    I really hope that you get edited the same way I was for being rude and disrespectful. (“stupid” and “get a life”?)
    Let’s debate the facts. According to all resources offshore drilling and opening the artic for drilling WILL NOT IMPACT OILS PRICES AT ALL.
    From the U.S. Energy Information Administration (the US government, mind you, not some think tank paid by the oil companies or a candidate like McCain who took millions from oil companies in finance money):
    “The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. ”

    By the way, as far as I know that WSJ is not being very good at balance reporting either. http://mediamatters.org/items/200807180011

    Using your own works the “stupid” here is the one that thinks that to solve the price crisis we can drill our way out of it. The real problem is that Americans like really big, gas eating trucks and that has been a bad choice for them in the last years. Now they face high oil prices and they look around asking what happen? Well, let’s take a look to Spain for example, where people have been paying high oil prices for a long time. That has made our public transportation one of the best ones in the world. While here in Chicago, the trains are pathetic, the subway looks like a third world contraption, our roads a a constant mess of congestion (1 person per car at a time, off coarse).

    As a final note. Why would I pay attention to The Wall Street Journal, that in its name names the very source of the troubles will oil: Wall Street.

    Know let’s debate the facts Mr Levi. And as you can see, I have not brought up Obama here so far, since this is a web site about McCain and Obama has gotten plenty of press. Let’s focus on the issues. Do you think the offshore drilling will solve the oil problems of the US (no effect until 2030)? Or more energy efficiency (e.g.: Priuses get 50mpg vs Ford F150 that get 13mpg)? I’ll wait for your response (Please be respectful, no “stupids” or “get a life”)

    Reply
  • 4. William Vance Masterson  |  August 13, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Dear CGL: Do you propose that the US continue to send 700,000,000 dollars to foreign govts, who are not necessarily our “friends” in concept of payment for oil? Do you consider that from a strategic perspective this is wise? Do you believe that Countries such as Sweden and Norway are contaminating their coasts by drilling? In terms of security, the number one priority of any govt, do you consider it wise to depend upon Chvez of Venezuela, Saudi Arabia etc for the oil that keeps hospitals running, provides a means of transport for goods that are daily necesities, allows freedom of movement etc? Answer these questions, then we can dig deep and determine the correct candidate to vote for in the next election. I might add anouther question of relevance……What kind of Leadership do you look for in a candidate? What does that type of Leadership imply? For example, do you like the style of Rodriquez Zapatero, who is very similar in style to Mr Obama, according to the Directora of International Relations of the Socialist Workers Party of Spain? Leadership is the heart beat behind change, but…..what kind of change are we looking for?
    Is costal drilling change? Is investment in nuclear energy change? I s reducing the cost of importing bio-fuels from Brazil change? Good Lord, its election time!!!!!!! A wise voter will know the answers to all of these questions. Regards, WVM

    Reply
  • 5. CGL  |  August 13, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Dear William,
    You are very right about the $700,000,000 the americans send out in terms of payments for oil. And the problem is not so drill offshore. As I said, it will have NO IMPACT on OIL PRICES at all and will not be ready for pumping until 2030. The real solution is to use less oil. A lot less oil. And that is what bothers me and a lot of people here in the US about McCain, he does not see our need to cut oil spending. US is an oil hungry, inefficient country. The houses here are badly made to be expensive to heat up, cars are not efficient, and public transportation is awful.
    To the question about Sweden and Norway. Well indeed they are containing their cost in drilling. In fact Norway has the most expensive gas in europe! (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080722/bs_afp/norwayoilpricetaxclimate). They own the fewest number of cars in Europe per capita!. Their approach is not to drill more to make gas cheap (a la McCain and GOP), but to make gas expensive and explore more efficient ways of using it.
    The strategic solution William is to build a self sufficient society that consumes less. That is the true solution. Create sustainable ways of living. And that can be done NOW, intermediately, and create good jobs in the way. That will have a true impact in our lives. In that case we would not be pandering to China (our new great friend) and Saudi Arabia (true hot bead of Islamic fundamentalism).
    One last point. You are bothered by the $700 billion the US send out to foreign govts. The reality is that the free market society that the US force into everyone’s throats in the last 30 years is coming back to bite the US back were it hurts most. There is no way to reverse the trend. US is addicted to oil, cheap goods and easy money. Just in payments for the US debt we send $318 billion a year! And that is due to the policies of the republican party: war, oil and consumerism. There goes the GOP idea of small government and responsible living. Explain what kind of leadership we need. Don’t tell me that a boy from the old guard, McCain, who has confessed he is not good with economics, is going to fix this problems.
    The US needs a new leadership that can think out of the box. And that will not be done by McCain.

    Reply
  • 6. William Vance Masterson  |  August 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Dear GCL; Since I do not know your full name, I shall refer to you from this moment on as “Mr G”. That simplifies things and, at the same time, converts our correspondance into a pleasurable experience. My intention is to treat your very honorable reply point by point, but not necessarily in the same order that you have followed. Otherwords, lets go by priorities and start off with the concept of economics and the direct relationship of said to the free market society.
    I find it to be quite amazing that you really believe and profess that the USA “forced” the free market society “into everyone´s throats”(please pardon the correction, but” into” is not correct linguistically/semantically speaking. It should be “down”) . Good Lord man, do you really think that the rest of the world is so stupid as to be manipulated in such a preposterous way? Have you not heard of Adenouer, the great German Chancellor and Father of the “free” european market? Are you not aware that both european socialists and non socialists supported the essence of economic and intellectual liberty that would be and is the result of such an endevour? This my dear Mr G is only one of the examples of free market experience which little by little have blended together into a situation that reduces the barriers of all types created through stagnant nationalism. Its a natural law of mankind to break through the barriers that restrict all types of inter-change and look for freedom; economic or otherwise. I may remind you that the “old guard” politicians in the USA do not want a free market between the Southern and Northern Hemespheres of America.Why do they go against the law of nature that is nothing less than the “law of supply and demand?
    Now certainly one has to remember the days when this did not exist and the laws of nature we´re totally restricted. For example, under Franco in Spain, there was protection of the textile industry in Cataluña and all spaniards paid excessive prices for all textile products. No longer the case. In fact, the textile industry in Cataluña, today, has little reason to exist. The old Soviet Union or the Eastern Block are anouther example of zero efficiency. Everytime I went to the Soviet Union, I knew that caviar would be my main diet and I hated the stuff. There was little of nothing and on a given day lots of one thing. The planned, so-called protected economy just does not work. I could give you a non-ending list of examples.
    We at this time should refer back to what is called in the USA, Economics 101. You say that the 700 billion dollars spent by the USA for oil is the result of the free market which has come “back to bite the USA where it most hurts.” How preposterous Mr G! Politicians in the USA have created this situation by not allowing the free market to function. They restricted freedom to drill and in many cases develope alternative energy, which led to our dependence on imports. The free market economy, the liberty to buy or not to buy is the essence of this entire question. The free market implies that you produce that which you can best produce and purchase elsewhere that which you cannot;once again, I remind you of the “law of supply and demand”. The US can vastly improve it´s situation vis a vis energy by creating instead of importing…..drilling for petroleum and natural gas, exploiting the wind and tides, expanding nuclear production, reducing the cost of Brazilian alternatives, continuing with the production of fuel effecient and battery driven vehicles etc. The idea of 2030 is false. Free market ingenuity and, as you say,” breaking out of the box” can be looked at from many perspectives and, without a doubt contribute a great deal towards a sufficient degree of “self sufficiency” from the perspective of energy. iF ANYONE HAS TO “GET OUT OF THE BOX” it is Senator Nancy Pelusi and a few others from the “old guard”,who have contributed through false notions of ecology, protection of special interest groups, “pork barrel” politics etc towards the creation of the current situation. Don´t forget Mr G that “old” has nothing to do with the mind and a great deal to do with mentality. ” Old Guard” has a lot to do with those who profess ecology, YET consume more energy in their own homes than 200 average families or exploit mines that are anything but ecological.
    Let me give you anouther example of how the free market forces function,and which can help get you “out of the box” from an intellectual perspective. The Murcia Region of Spain is a major lemon producer. Most of the production was traditional and not very cost effective. Well, the free market made them pull their thumbs out their asses and think. Why? Several years ago, Argentina began to export lemons to Spain below the cost of Murcian lemons. The sale of local production declined, but this year the worm has turned due to market conditions and the improvements in Murcian agriculture. Lemons from Murcia are, once again, in demand. This same analogy can be employed as to energy in the USA. The brain power, the tecnology, the resources, entrepenurial minds that accept risk and will make, as Ayn Rand wrote, “Atlas Shrug” etc will open a free energy market in the USA in spite of the “old guard”, who prefer to let others produce for us in spite of the dangers, the cost and the security risks involved. Example, European dependence……there are exeptions as you know…..on oil flowing through Georgia. Will Europe be able to think and act from this point on, independently of the Russians and their history (not just since 1917) of dictatorships and imperialism? I might add, that national security is not really something that those of the lefty trend really understand(no reference to you Mr G) . As a friend of mine once said, “they shouldn´t even be allowed to have pets.” Its a question of economics and energy my dear Mr G. Europe will soon have to face the painting on the wall and, regretfully, my dear Spain will suffer the most. The next President of the USA CANNOT BE “OLD GUARD” IN MENTALITY and, I repeat this has nothing to do with age.
    There is no doubt about it that the USA and the West in general need to tighten up their act and be more responsible in many ares, but the market will take care of that part of the question. We need true education that reminds us that we are not the only ones who have lived and died on this planet earth. Certainly the idea of sustainability through challenge is beginning to set in, but this certainly cannot take our vision away from a world view and inspire a return to isolationist “fortress America” that will lead to our own destruction. The USA is THE leader of the Free World and I certainly do not like the alternatives. You are correct, we should not “pander”, as you say, to China, Saudi Arabia, Iran,Venezuela etc.You say, “there is no way to reverse the trend.” What little faith you have in people, who have the freedom to think and act. We have handled bigger challenges than the actual and, surprisingly, defied defeat.
    Drilling alone will not be sufficient as you say, but 45 Nuclear Plants, alternative fuels, wind, tides, batteries are all in the mind of John McCain and his advisers. He is one of the few politicians in Government today with an independent mind. He refuses to go along with “pork barrel” deals that promote inefficiency of any type needless oil spending, automobiles (his proposal to intensify investigation and development of a practical battery driven car is on the record) etc. As to Public Transport, I agree, in some areas of the States it is worse than awful, but McCain is not responsible for the descisions of Eisenhower and his Cabinet.
    I get the impression my dear Mr G that you are residing in the USA or have done so in the past. I only remind you that nothing is perfect and that includes Democracy, but the USA is a country of pragmatic and practical people, who know how to change that which needs to be changed. As the philosopher Edmund Burke wrote several centuries ago, “the greatness of a People resides in their ability to maintain that which is just and necessary and change that which must be changed.”
    There is no doubt that this requires Leadership and a “new leadership that can think out of the box”. John McCain has not held a position in any Republican or Democrat Administration, but he has “crossed the aisles many times.” He has always been “out of the box”.
    In order to give you my thoughts on Leadership, I really do not know where to start. Otherwards I really do not know what you mean by “new”. Please tell me more and don´t forget that Hitler was voted into power as “new” leadership. idem Mussolini and other notorious products of History. As you know, both we´re bred and raised politically in the respective Socialist Parties of their Countries. As you can see, the term “new” says very little and as to the concepts of “change”, “buenismo” etc, I feel truly uncomfortable due to their ambiguity. Where is the beef Mr G?
    Thank you my dear friend and have a good day…….wherever you are!!!!!!!
    Most Respectfully,
    William Vance Masterson Jr
    P.D. You are correct about the price of gas in Sweden and Norway, but that has nothing to do with the effect of drilling on price paid at the pump. The citizens of both Countries pay very high prices due to taxation. Norway is so small in population that its all within the family so comparing them with other nations is like comparing apples and oranges. Sweden is anouther matter but with an economy based upon products of excellence, but more desired than needed. Their social costs are historic and must be paid for so, as in most european countries, high taxes at the “pump”. Once again, the vast territory of the USA and the logistics required make it very difficult , if not, impossible to make comparatives of any value.

    Reply
  • 7. CGL  |  August 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Nice reply William,
    I really appreciate the debate, that everyone else is trying to shy away from, in the media and in both main US parties.
    For the record, I live in the US , though I am from Spain.
    I will challenge your idea of free market withing the US. We do not have free market. Milton Friedman was wrong. Ayn Rand was also wrong. The mater of fact is the the economy is not free and not effective. And in no way it could be. The US government actively run a program of corporate welfare that funnels millions of dollars from the pockets of tax payers to the pocket of corporate america. That is very un-miltonian and very un-rand. As for the ingenuity and the market efficiency….well that ingenuity has serve us well, but money talks and money wants to keep exploiting the oil. So sorry Mr William, the lack of ingenuity has been keeping us driving cars that in essence use the same 50 year old technology with minimal changes. I work in the “ideas” market place and let me tell you, if it is design to kill an establish market player,… well it is not going to be developed.
    The ingenuity that Wall Street likes, is the one that brought us the current credit crisis (CDOs, CMO, reverse mortgages, creative lending, etc) It is the same ingenuity that brought us the dot.com bubble. It is the ingenuity designed to line up the pockets of wall street.
    I’m sure we fundamentally disagree in the current workings of the economy. That is why you support McCain ( I assume) and I do not. But the facts are clear, the free market ingenuity of Milton and Ayn Rand have done little to improve the living of the great majority of Americans and of the great majority of the world. The gap is getting bigger and bigger. The rich are richer and the poor are poorer.
    A guy that said: “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” (MCCain) or “The issue
    of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should” is not the guy we need in the white house. Period. We need someone with clear ideas about how to help people live a better life. But off course, you will probably disagree with the last statement.

    P.D>
    I agree, Norway is a small country, that is why I think big countries fail their citizens and collapse. (Note for the US)

    Reply
  • 8. William Vance Masterson  |  August 15, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Dear Mr G: Thank you very much for your comments on my reply and congratulations for your excellent English.
    You are absolutely right. Many people are avoiding debate. You might ask Mr Axelrod, the very special Campaign Manager and “handler” of Mr Obama , just why that is the case? You are a bright guy and you can see who is debating and who is not. You may notice that John McCain does not and has not avoided debates and evidence of that is his constant appearance in Town Hall meetings where he cannot avoid giving direct answers to unprompted questions. As of date, Mr Obama follows a teleprompter and does it very well, but glorious oratory is at by no means the same level of exigence as that demanded in the environment of a Town Hall meeting. You are certainly aware that due to the lack of knowledge by the voting public, THE CASE AGAINST OBAMA by David Freddoso is the number 1 seller on the NEW YORK TIMES book list. This makes one think doesn´t it? Ahhhhhh Mr G, do we really need a Rock Star in the White House?
    It may surprise you, but I agree with a great deal of what you say in your last communication, but in relation to the Western World in general . Precisely for that very reason, I like to draw a line between FREE ENTERPRISE and a free market and CAPITALISM. They are by no means the same and “special interest” groups are always dangerous. Without a doubt there are “groups” of this type that really do not, in all situations, look for the common good. For example, there are elements on Wall Street,Labour Unions, Lobbyists of all types and brands, Hollywood and the Film Industry, Lawyers who cheat (and not only on their wives), Corporate Leaders(The US Govt has put a few of these in jail), Banking etc that “put the lock” on evolution, which at the same time prevent an improvement in the living conditions of many. You just might find a bit of amusement in looking over the backers and Fat Cats of Axelrod-Obama Inc.
    Mr G, it may surprise you to know that I belong to no political party and never will. In fact, during my lifetime, I have voted several times for the Democratic Ticket. The last time I did so was the first campaign of William Jefferson Clinton, who, by the way, as am I , is very proud of his middle name. As you surely know, not all politicians are! Who am I talking about, my dear Mr G? Well anyway, his second term was anouther matter. I also confess that for a time, I had an inkling to vote for John Kerry, until I happened to discover that he did not seem to have all of his neurons at the level required and that, to say the least, he was just a trifle phoney. Ok, enough of this banter and onto the real question at hand. WHY OH WHY DO I WANT A JOHN McCAIN VICTORY IN NOVEMBER? Following are my reasons:
    1. John McCain and Ayn Rand. Both are lovers of FREEDOM and despise “special interest” groups. To be blunt, both can be cetegorized as MAVERICKS. They are free thinkers, who can cross any forbidden boundry. They are not “in the box.”
    2. John McCain lived in a real box for 5 years while a prisoner of war. He knows what suffering is all about and would have never survived if it had not been for his tremendous inner strength……whatever it may be? He was also loyal to his fellow prisoners and could have been exchanged, but said “NO, NOT WITHOUT THE REST.” The future promises difficult times and only a man with this sort of inner strength will have a chance of getting the job done. I might add that his “WE ARE ALL GEORGIANS” quote is simbolic of the fortitud, loyalty and inner strength I refer to.
    3. Charles De Gaulle, who I had the opportunity to meet as a youth (1968 to be exact) said that Richard Nixon was the only US President who really understood foreign policy and that there was no equal. De Gaulle lamented the way in which Nixon squandered his vast knowledge and ability. I firmly believe that John McCain on foreign policy is above Richard Nixon and any US President that I have seen in my lifetime. This guy is the MAN for very tough challenges.
    4. He will do what is correct and could give a damned about getting re-elected. For evident reasons he does not have to catter to anyone or any group or any challenge etc. He is also the only candidate, who do to his age and experience qualifies to negotiate and treat the Chinease.
    5. For all of the reasons you have put forth in your response to me. You, my dear Mr G, might consider the opportunity to meditate….think….analyse….ponder etc your ideas related to Mr Obama and Mr Axelrod and “special interest groups” and Mrs/Senator Pelosi ad nauseum.
    I could and will give other reasons for backing John McCain. Do you have any idea what these may be? Please answer my doubts referring to “new” kind of leadership. You lost me on that one my dear Mr G. By the way, in which city do you reside? Keep thinking and keep writing. I have a feeling that John McCain would enjoy your company, your curiosity and your audacity. Stay out of the “box”. Now lets go on to the concept of Leadership, my dear Mr G. Please do not avoid the tough part of our little exchange.
    Regards and please have a great day wherever you may be, Most Respectfully, William Vance Masterson

    Reply
  • 9. CGL  |  August 15, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Nice exchange so far.
    Let’s clear a couple points for your conveyance. I do not support Obama or McCain. I see my participation in the american electoral process a commentator, an observer, with a clear vision. The reality is that I find Obama to have a lot less flaws than McCain.
    So here are my ideas abaut your points:
    1) McCain is been categorized as a maverick. But the reality is that he is not. He is very much withing the frame of the GOP and every month he gets a little closer to capture more republican votes (abortion, immigration, global warming,….)
    2) If he was “in the box for 5 years” how come he is not a maverick with respect to torture by US. As The Boston Globe said: “JOHN MCCAIN this week had a choice between his principles and propping up a failed president. He chose the latter. […] McCain said that while he remains opposed to waterboarding, “We always supported allowing the CIA to use extra measures.”” This is really tells me what kind of person is McCain. We should not be torturing, it never worked and never will. It is heinous. Period.
    In terms of the Georgia Crisis, boy is McCain loving it. Back to the cold war mentality that he is so in the box with. But how can he support Georgia against the Russian invader, but support US in the same role in Iraq. Russia is using the same argument that the Us is using in Iraq. They are both violating the UN charter by invading a country y clear violation of international law. McCain does not seam to see this parallel.
    3) I would be very glad to know what kind of tough challenges he has faced in the senate McCain. And I’m not sure I would respect the opinion of De Gaulle about Nixon. Nixon sided with the wost people in the world at the time, like Suharto and Pinochet. I don’t want that kind of leadership on the White House.
    4) He should actually give a damn about getting re-elect. That is one of the worst arguments you can make in a democracy. He does not care than about the opinion of the people after he gets elected? What kind of democracy is this one.
    As for China, age is not a qualification. McCain is stuck in the cold war, Vietnam era, understandably. But we cannot trust a guy who said: “I hated the go*ks. I will hate them as long as I live” and “bomb, bomb Iran” running any negotiation. (This also answers the leadership question)
    5) As for my ideas, I have said that I do not support any candidate. Like I told a Democrat friend, I rather have Obama than McCain because one is closer to me in ideas, even though they are both miles away from me.

    PD: Thanks for you comments on my english. But I have been speaking it since I’m 4, it is almost my second mother language.

    Reply
  • 10. William Vance Masterson  |  August 15, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Dear Mr G: Ihave five minutes and a family waiting to go see my Mother-in-Law, so this is just to let you know that I´ll answer on Monday. Chicago is a great place and Mr Obama and the old/young Daily Political Machine have been and is prepared to help him. Please tell me more about Leadership. On other points, I´m not so sure that you have interpreted me correctly, but we´ll give it a review.
    Just for kicks you might look at the method used by Hitler to explain his invasion of Czechoslovakia and the spot-on simiarities with Georgia.
    I know you don´t vote, but this is Spain my dear friend so lets just go forth. Have a good weekend in Chicago.
    Respectfully, William Vance Masterson

    Reply
  • 11. CGL  |  August 15, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Absolutely agree with the Hitler comparison. Another closer one is the Russian one on also Czechoslovakia (By the way, McCain does not seam to know yet that Czechoslovakia is been divided into two countries yet).
    The Daily Political Machine is still running and very corrupt! But it seams to be the nature of Chicago politics, in both sides (e.g. George Ryan). I have the feeling that this city runs like Mavella, but with small scrutiny!
    As for leadership, you really hit on an awesome topic. Very complex for the average voter. Do we want a patrician leader, with big ties in Washington a la McCain and Kerry. Or an inspirational one a la Obama or Kennedy. Not sure jet.
    Obama has shown a very good capability to run a tight ship in the campaign so far, winning over the all powerful Clinton machine. In the case of McCain, I’m not sure I now of good examples of leadership coming from him. And he has been on power for most of his life. Above all, we must not confuse leadership with experience, and vice versa. McCain has a lot of experience, but clearly lacks leadership in my opinion.
    And at the center of the leadership issue, we have the nature of the presidency of the US. I am a fervent believer of the parliamentary system as oppose to the presidential system. Therefore, in my view of government, leadership is a share power, in constant check. Unfortunately the US democratic experiment has stagnated and the president is shielded from almost anything (questions, scrutiny, press, and above all the people, etc). A leader is someone that can handle uncertainty, complex thinking, gray areas, and can connect with people, to allow a process of dialog.
    As for Obama there are clear examples of these points. He is an accomplish writer, that has had to deal with the complex nature of multiracial identity in the US (not a simple one). He has not shied away from complex thinking; like in his speak on Jeremiah Write. He has brought to the voting booth the largest amount of voters in the history of the US primaries, and raised the largest amount of money from small donors. An all this from the position of a black man, in a still very racially sore country like the US, who was virtually unknown to most americans.
    In the case of McCain, there are clear personality issues that make him unfit for leadership. He almost graduated the last one in the Naval Academy, and was not failed, may be, because he was the son and grandson of Navy four-star admirals. He demonstrated bad judgment in the USS Forester incident. He has been in the military or government all his life, with no real people experience. He has short temper, has made blatantly wrong comments in public, as he has several times admitted.
    I need to stop here.
    Respectfully, CGL

    Reply
  • 12. William Vance Masterson  |  August 17, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Dear Mr G; I enjoyed your description of yourself as “a comentator with a clear vision.” With all my respects, you certainly put yourself into the identical “elitist” position as the ONE, also known as Mr Barrack H. Obama. You also use many very current and common phrases which are quite typical of the so-called liberal element; such as “money talks”, “Money wants to keep exploiting the oil”, “free market has done little to improve the living of the great majority of Americans and the great majority of the world” (Wow, talk about a pompous statement.Wh at a marvelous suposition!), “rich are rich and poor are poor” (no kidding?), “Corporations” this and that etc etc. As a friend of mine says, “Liberals never argue with one anouther over substance; their only dispute is how to prevent the public from figuring out what they really believe”. Many people have asked me the following question. How do you talk with so-called liberals and others who use the terminology “change” and “new”. Well I enjoy practising with people like Mr G and my five year old neighbors. Please don´t take me too seriously Mr G, BUT YOU REALLY HAVE elevated yourself to the highest of alters. Please come down here with us wee mortals, before it is too too late.
    Now just a few points related to mutual understanding:
    1. I certainly accept the Geneve Agreement and the part related to treatment of prisoners etc, but I´m not stupid as to “extra measures” that might produce knowledge that could save millions of lives. I f for one moment I suspected that a guy knew about the use of a dirty bomb etc etc, I´d use something “extra” to improve communications and that “extra” does not always have to be violent, but it can be persuasive. Otherwords, I would do my best to keep dear, old George Clooney and other liberals safe.
    2. The thing about Georgia and ” John McCain lovin it” is a typical example of liberal debate. As my friend says, “The moment you concede some small point to liberals, they go to work building an enormous elaborate edifice on top of the first lie.” Do you plan to carry on your argument stating that McCain not only loves it, but gets errotic pleasure from the essence of war and suffering?
    3. De Gaulle is not one of my favorite characters, but the guy knew how to defend La France and knew how to judge people. His Memoires are quite relevant and Nixon, was a man highly respected by the Gran Charles. The General could never understand how RN committed the senseless errors that he did.
    McCaine is in no way like RN, BUT HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD SCENE and those who act within it,is enormous. There are few world leaders with his depth on foreign affairs and the Dems are the first to recognize said fact (starting with Hillary).
    4. On John McCaines re-election, I enjoyed your comments. ….”He doesn´t care about the opinion of people” or “What kind of a Democracy is this one”. I must also refer to your verbalizing on “gooks”, “bomb Iran” , China and negotiating etc(as to this last little gem, I might remind you of the Chinease concept of “veneration”. If you want a strong example of this, I´m prepared to give it. Now, did you ever hear of a great Dem. President called Harry Truman? He had a sign on his desk which stated, “The buck stops here.” My dear Mr G, soon we´ll talk about Leadership, but just remember that not all problems or challenges are resolved by consensus, discussion, negotiation, “buenismo” etc.
    5. Are you kidding when you say that the causes of Iraq and Georgia are the “same”. (Russia is using the same arguments as the US in Iraq) I really won´t loose breath on this one. I´ll just state the following: Sadam Husein (please, this is no slight on Mr Obama; nor do I wish to confuse the issue but….) was very stupid. He used weapons of mass destruction on the Kurds and others and said that he had them to use during his “Mother of all Wars”. We took him on his word. Personally, my feeling is that your not a patriot on this war until a liberal , as my friend says, compares you to a Taliban. As the late Richy Vallens sang,” Rage on, rage on”, Mr G.
    Now, so as not to confuse the issue, I´ll leave other points of discussion to our next session on Leadership 101, but before I go off the air and turn back to my family, I must ask you a question. Are you really so innocent as to believe that Mr Obama is “an accomplished ” author? Do you really believe that he wrote those books? Never forget that he has a man behind the scenes, Mr Axelrod(not to mention Mr George Soros). As to those books, I´m sure they would, at this time, like to make some of those pages vanish in thin air.
    As an ending. WHERE IN THE HELL DID YOU FIND THE TERMS “patrician” and “inspirational” Leadership?
    By the way Mr G, I firmy believe that John McCain will win in November and that this is driving the worlds liberals toward insanity. Am I contributing to this situation? I hope so.
    Respectfully, William Vance Masterson
    6.

    Reply
  • 13. cgl  |  August 17, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Unfurtunately we keep going in circles around each other. Each one taking on their on tangents. So let us define each other and focus a little. In my case, I’m a leftist. And I do think many people put me in the elitist realm. I would like to know about you a little.
    As for McCain. How in the worldh you respect a man how has kill others for no reason and in cold blood (Vietnam ). Someone who supports war and and turture. Who supports corporate welfare. How is he going to make the world Better place For all.
    This time we short. So please keep it sort and to the point and specific.

    Reply
  • 14. Troy  |  September 11, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Interesting debate gentlemen, but as you both spar around certain key isues, I have one question to ask of you and the rest.

    Does it really matter who is at the helm of the American government?

    Bush has become the face of evil for many and therefore this has obviously tainted McCain, or McBush as some call him, but would Obama’s being elected really mean much to the world beyond America’s borders?

    Simply because he has a nicer smile, do you think that the Iraqi population will suddenly say to themselves, “hey this occupation is O.K with me.” Will the people in Azerbaijan say, “Now someone’s not going to just worry about the oil flowing out of the Caspian and help us when the current dictatorship smacks down pro-democracy movements.” Suddenly the smiling people of Laos will say, “This guy’s going to finally admit to the war on our country and make a real effort to clean up all the cluster bombs they dropped.” Egyptians will now think that their 25+ year old state of emergency will come to an end because Obama will stop supporting the regime? Bolivians and Venezualans will start parties in the streets because Obama will stop all the CIA’s counter measures against their elected governments?

    Unfortunately the American government has a very steady track record in their foreign policy no matte who is in charge. We can back one candidate or the other, but in the end, for those of us who live outside the U.S under its shadow, very little will change.

    Reply
  • 15. AXJ  |  October 10, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Have you spoken with the President of AXJ yet? http://www.accionporlajusticia.com

    Reply

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