On Our Endorsement of Geraldine Ferraro for President of the United States

31Dec07

With the official debut of the presidential primaries this week in Iowa, we would like to offer — after careful consideration of each candidate and his or her respective platform — our endorsement of the one we think would best be suited to run the United States beginning in January, 2009.

Those familiar with The Gay Recluse will not be surprised to learn the extent of our disinclination for any of the Republican offerings; the country has now been plagued by Republican presidents for close to forty years running (notwithstanding moderate Republicans Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton), and though we recognize the tedious nature of the cliché, it is in fact “time for a change.” Perhaps most discouraging in this regard is that none of the candidates seems to represent traditional Republican values of small government and fiscal conservatism but have instead embraced a form of religious fundamentalism that caters to a lowest common denominator of societal fears about immigration, gay marriage and terrorism.

Although for these reasons we seriously shudder to think of a Republican victory this fall, the prospect does at least bring into sharp relief (as we turn to the Democratic field) what must be considered a real choice in the 2008 election. More than any election since 1968, the country is at a crossroads, and the next president will have the chance to a) accelerate the downward trajectory of the United States on both domestic and international fronts or b) begin a process of restoration to bring our country into the 21st century and beyond. All of the Democratic candidates have the advantage of playing “the outsider” with respect to the debacle that is our current regime; our job as voters is to decide which is most likely to “mean” it. The last thing we want is another president (and we don’t have to mention names) to blow into Washington with the promise of change and to seep out eight years later with his tail between his legs.

It is for this reason that we cannot completely trust Hillary Clinton, whose record (and not just on the war) has too often shown her — like her husband — to be a great compromiser, unwilling to make a stand and therefore, somehow, soulless and mercenary. Nor can we take John Edwards at face value; though we like his apparent willingness to take on “corporate greed,” we are dismayed by the ostentation that has marked his personal life, and fear that he ultimately has an insufficient backbone to resist the materialistic temptations (both literal and not) of the presidency. Admittedly, Barack Obama has much to recommend; he has proven himself to be a man of exceeding intellect and personal courage, and who could ignore the powerful symbolism of an African-American in the position of leader of the free world? Yet ultimately we cannot endorse him for the job he seeks; although we are willing to forgive his insults to the gay community, we remain concerned that he — like his nemesis Hillary Clinton — is too much of a political animal; his spotty (by which we mean largely absent) voting record and his reckless dealings with real-estate developers in Chicago also make us wonder if he has the integrity to be the sort of president he likes us to envision, or if he would not also be too corrupted by the power of the office.

Thus, of all the Democratic candidates, it seems that there is only one who truly espouses both diversity and change; only one has the necessary depth of experience and “real-world” savvy — both as a business leader and Washington insider — to actually help get introduced and passed a legislative agenda of progressive substance; only one understands the political and cultural dynamic — you might even say the inherent beauty and dissonance — of the urban collective that makes it the most important engine of social evolution and economic growth on which our country depends; finally, only one fills us with a comforting, almost wistful nostalgia that makes us paradoxically — it is against all of our inclinationsproud to be an American.

It is for the above reasons that we endorse Geraldine Ferraro for President of the United States. No other candidate is more qualified or — and this is important — sincere; no other candidate offers us the one attribute — hope — that above any other, we so desperately need.

Geraldine 2008

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