Wednesday, July 07, 2004

So much is happening, and so little of it of any interest. Okay, I'm being overly un-impressed by the week's big news. I'm actually pleased with John Kerry's choice of John Edwards as his running mate, but it's neither the big surprise or earth-shaking announcement that it has been made out to be.

The biggest surprise is that it actually was [somewhat of] a surprise. I think that's the actual news story here. Hundreds of people (at least) had to be in on the planning of the announcement, from making the proper travel arrangements to printing up Kerry-Edwards posters, etc., and the non-disclosure agreements kept them all in check until only about 90 minutes before the official announcement.

I think we're supposed to see that as an example of Kerry's superb leadership ability. Of course, if we're using being able to keep a secret as our criteria for choosing whom to vote for in November, then Bush will be re-elected in a landslide. Think of the secrets he's kept for the last four years: the location of the WMDs, the link between Osama and Saddam, the authors of his energy policy, and the name of the doctor who replaced Dick Cheney with a cyborg following his fatal heart attack.

But back to Edwards... I for one appreciate his "two Americas" theme from his campaign, and am pleased that it will carry over into the Kerry campaign. The Republicans, of course, are saying that this is class warfare and that the Democrats are all pessimistic while they are optimistic.

Pessimistic or optimistic, it's all just a different way of looking at the same situation: The Republicans see the nation as half employed, while the Democrats see the nation as half un-employed. They're both right; it's just semantics and a little thing called "honesty."

Personally, I've been without regular, full-time employment for 17 months (in two periods, first for eight months, and currently for nine more) since Bush took office. That's about 40% of his term. If that makes me more susceptible to believing the candidate who takes the pessimistic point-of-view, so be it.

I should add here: I'm doing alright. I've got a few clients and am doing some consulting and grant writing work on my own, but it's not the same as regular, full-time employment, and the decision to go into business for myself was not done on my choice of timing. I'm able to do this and survive because I'm a 43 white male with a Master's degree and about 15+ years in the same industry.

I recognize that I'm coming from a position of privilege and experience to begin with. So, if I'm having trouble keeping a steady job in this economy (and both lost jobs were economic cuts, not personal firings), what chance does somebody who's not as lucky as I am have?

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