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And Then There Were Two


I had hoped to follow my Meat is Murder (on the planet) post with an addendum: that I looked forward to giving my first vote as an American citizen to Dennis Kucinich. The connection? Kucinich is a vegetarian, and I’d love to see someone in the White House who could raise the same kind of issues regarding our excessive meat production/consumption, as did Mark Bittman in the NYTimes last Sunday.

But that’s not to be. Kucinich, always an outsider and in almost every regard the most progressive of Democrat candidates, dropped out of the race last Thursday. Yesterday, so too did John Edwards, who has always come across to me as a good, good man and who I wish had won the Party nomination four years ago instead of John Kerry. I still get to have my first vote next week in the New York Primary as a registered Democrat, but in a forerunner of the Presidential race to come, it’s down to two candidates: Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Such are the vagaries of American politics. The system always looks so great: anyone can run for almost anything, and almost anyone does. But when it comes time to punch the ballot/click the computer screen, most of the country is faced with a relatively stark choice. I can see how the Primary “season” arguably works in our favor a little like a good Marathon: it steadily eliminates the winnows, and it allows the long-distance runners to find their rhythm and pace, clarify their vision, prove their mettle – and in the end, ideally, the best man or woman wins. But still I wish I had more choices for next Tuesday.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. Yesterday, “former New York Mayor” Rudy Giuliani also dropped out of the Presidential race. It’s difficult for me to believe that any Republican candidate will make a good President, so I won’t try and go for a false positive; all I can say is that it’s hard to imagine anyone would have made a worse President. We’re all better off without him.

Neil Young‘s “Looking for a Leader” is proving more and more prescient.

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