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DEMOCRACY: Government & Politics | September 17, 2003


An E-Mail Delivered to an Influential Democratic Newsgroup

Here is a great site for getting a quick but thorough rundown of the background and positions of General Wesley Clark [who just announced his decision to run for the Democratic nomination for President]...


Although his opponents (from either party) try to paint him as someone with no experience in political affairs or positions on domestic issues, it quickly becomes clear that is not the case: Administrating huge and complex military organizations meant dealing with Executive and Legislative branch politics on a daily basis, as well as with international organizations; and being responsible for the welfare of countless military families, both home and abroad, as well as being both a student and professor of economics, he has a very firm grasp on the needs of citizens and the means to deliver them.

What impresses me most is how he can state WITH AUTHORITY not only military opinions but also domestic positions that are right in line with the most current notions as well as the best traditions of the Democratic Party (international cooperation, progressive taxation, equal opportunity for the sexes and races, preserving our environmental and constitutional heritages, etc.): The General is not a milquetoast apologist; he is a level-headed, "speaks his mind" kind of guy, who should attract respect, not contempt, from a great many voters, including liberal, moderate, and even conservative Democrats as well as a great number of Independents and even some moderate Republicans -- precisely the common-sense coalition needed to beat Bush next year.

With all due respect to the other, formidable candidates of our party, I am very impressed with General Wesley Clark. I look forward to all of our Presidential candidates engaged in substantial debates.

There were many responses to my e-mail; and then there were  responses to the responses; and so forth.

The issues fell into three general categories:  Is it too late for General Clark to enter the race?  If we support him, are we settling for someone who seems very electable at the expense of our principles?  And in particular, how can our party, which has worked so hard for peace, support a candidate who has made a career of war?

Here are my responses, most of which were published in the newsgroup...

The Electability of General Clark as a Late Entry into the Presidential Race An E-Mail to an Influential California Democrat (9/18/03)

General Clark:  Principles & Electability An E-Mail to an Influential Democratic Newsgroup (9/21/03)

General Clark as a Draw to Long-Lost Democrats An E-Mail to a Democratic Activist (9/21/03)

In Defense of Operation Allied Force, in Kosovo, Under General Wesley Clark An E-Mail to a Democratic Peace Activist (9/18/03)

A General as Our Nominee? War is Sometimes a Necessary Evil. An E-Mail to an Influential Democratic Newsgroup (9/21/03)

Forging a Consensus on the Changing Presidential Race An E-Mail to an Influential Democratic Newsgroup (9/21/03)

Please also see my earlier essay about the possibility of General Clark as a Democratic presidential candidate.

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