Our elected officials received power when they won their elections. Voters expected them to use it for good and not evil, but we know that’s not always the case. They often act like the ‘cowardly lion’ in the Wizard of Oz; they are afraid to stand up and be courageous. Instead of championing what is right, they stand with their parties, knowing they are wrong about the issues, or merely playing the game that is politics.
Has President Obama been courageous? On a scale of one to ten he would only rate a five. He inherited a nation which was involved in two unwinnable wars, and was close to falling into a depression. He displayed courage as he led us out of financial ruin, but was cowardly when he gave into Republican demands. They were allowed to continue the failed economic policies of Bush and ‘trickle-down economics.’ The working class has yet to recover, and possibly never will. Income inequality is becoming a greater problem with every passing month.
He also displayed courage in his support for immigration reform and protecting the environment, but maybe too late in his presidency.
Mr. Obama did fight for health care for all Americans, not just for the privileged; but he also wants to give more of our jobs away to foreign nations. He has used diplomacy instead of tanks to renew relations with nations opposed to American views, but at the same time he signed a renewal of the Patriot Act which removed the fourth amendment from our Constitution and reduced freedom for all Americans. I could go on and on, but the President will be out of office in less than two years. Let’s talk about those who want to replace him.
Republicans have more presidential hopefuls than they need. Most of them bow to the TEA Party and have no original ideas, or, if they do they are too cowardly to propose them publicly. For instance, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker are triplets. Not one of them stands up for the principles of the GOP, and they have displayed contempt for the working class, supporting TEA Party ideals.
Rick Perry, former Governor of Texas, is an embarrassment. He led his state farther back in time than any true southern state. He is inarticulate and somewhat frightening. He does have the courage of his convictions, but his beliefs do not mimic those of the American people.
Once the religious right is eliminated, Mike Huckabee lacks the support of the majority of Republicans. His only courage lies in his religious beliefs.
Ron Paul is too extreme, even for conservatives.
Three hopefuls stand-alone from the mix. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul.
Jeb Bush was a true conservative as the Governor of Florida. He displayed courage in the manner of the ‘way he got things done.’ He found ways to circumvent obstacles as he improved the state’s economy, and helped repair its education system. But will he have the courage to maintain his position on the issues which extremist members of the GOP constantly condemn?. For now, Bush says he believes in reasonable immigration reform, and common core education. We’ll soon learn where he truly stands. The un-American lobbyist Grover Norquist claims that Bush will sign his ‘no new taxes’ pledge.
Chris Christie has displayed courage, most notably as he worked across party lines to improve the lives of New Jersey’s people. Time will tell if he will remain a separatist from other GOP candidates who refuse to compromise with Democrats on any issue.
Rand Paul’s Libertarian views detach him from all other candidates. However, he has been witnessed both vacillating on his positions, and pandering to his audience. These show a major lack of courage. He has an additional problem as voters believe the extreme views of his father are also those of Rand.
Democrats appear to have a single candidate. Hillary Clinton is a conundrum. Because she is a career politician and a Washington insider, not to mention her connection to Wall Street, voters must ask if she will have the courage to stand in front of the American people and completely support the working class. She will fight for women’s rights, for immigration reform, and for the impoverished. But will she attack the widening gap between the ‘haves and have-nots?’
Elizabeth Warren is the choice of the most progressive members of the Democratic Party. Her courage is without question, but she says she will not be a candidate for her party’s nomination.
Within the next couple of months all potential candidates will announce their intentions. Only then will the American people have a chance to see which candidate supports their views most closely. The time is quickly approaching when a political writer’s dreams come true; there will be gaffs, controversy, and exposed secrets in the lives of men and women who want their next address to be 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Commentary by James Turnage