It would be nice to have a moratorium on discussing the American election, at least until something happens that is worth discussing. Just about everyone, except the candidates, understands that Vietnam - ugly scar on America's conscience that it is - should not be the central subject of the current campaign. Actually, the twisted, degrading treatment Vietnam is receiving should not be the central subject of any discussion taking place outside the walls of a psychiatric hospital.
A moratorium, however, is not the proposal of my title, but it's a reasonable starting point. America appears firmly committed to reelecting President Crackhead, so I don't see a lot of point in flogging a dead horse like Kerry. He does strikingly resemble a dead horse, or at least a near-dead one, an old dobbin with no sparkle left in his eye, no prance in his step, and no swish in his tail.
It is beyond rational explanation why the Democrats have wasted tens of millions running dobbin against an opponent whose sole merit was his determination to finish a story about goats after planes struck the World Trade Center. Except for that single shining moment of holding a steady course, Bush is an opponent who possesses every shortcoming and vulnerability it is possible to imagine - an inarticulate dope who has spent four years running the United States into the ground and reviving anti-Americanism throughout the world. Can anyone now have the slightest doubt about the overwhelming prevalence of insanity in the country?
There is really only one way I can see of injecting some excitement and interest, not to mention purpose, into the election, short of Bush's miraculously, peacefully passing to his reward, succumbing finally to the cumulative effects of all those years abusing drugs and every human being who crossed his path with less family money than he had. My proposal is for Kerry to step down as the Democrats' candidate. Here is a chance for Kerry to display some genuine heroism.
It would be a desperate step, but considering the fact that Kerry has no chance of being elected, it would at least provide a statement of principle, something Kerry, to date, has not managed to utter. The Democrats would be left in the lurch, but maybe, just maybe, they could quickly name someone with some purpose and principles to carry on, although it is easy to forget there seem to be remarkably few of those left in America. The worst that could happen is what is now virtually set to happen, Bush, the boy psychopath who relished watching frogs being ripped apart, being returned to office for four more years of watching people being ripped apart.
John Chuckman lives in Canada and is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company.
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