Friday, September 08, 2006

Lookin' for a leader

This past week the Clinton administration has been outraged with the surfacing of a new mini-series on ABC about the events that lead up to 9/11. The reemergence of the Clinton administration in world events was surprising to me, which led me to try and follow these events. In an interview on KCRW this morning a reporter on the subject was asked why this mini-series has sparked the amount of controversy that it has, especially if the mini-series is based on the intelligence files released by our own government. The reporter, who had just watched an edited version of the mini-series, claimed that there were aspects of the 1993 attempt on the trade center that were presented in detail that were only briefly described in the report. The reporter concluded that much of the dialogue used in the film was from a source different from the government report, a source which he declined to reveal. Concluded from his interview, the main issue that the administration seemed to have with the mini-series was the democratic party's negligent response to a problem that was obviously there beforehand. He claimed that the Bin Ladin problem, though there if they had looked clearly enough, was ignored as portrayed in the movie.
In a country in which I find myself in one of the biggest global struggles for control in the past millennium, I find myself in a predicament. I am faced with a stark contrast between two administrations that represent ideally two positions that I disagree with. The first is the existent Bush administration. I am faced with a government power and party that has taken unethical and unjust roles in world affairs and has used the hurts of this nation to impose hurt on the poverty of others. The Bush administration has made dominant oppressing decisions. The second I am faced with is the Clinton administration and their negligence and passivity towards the issues that brewed. Had some of the issues with the middle east been dealt with, we may not have seen ourselves in this struggle in the first place. We as Americans find ourselves between two negative powers. The first is a Democratic party that can do nothing but criticize actions taken by the Republican party without coming up with solutions for problems on their own. The second is a Republican party that continues to take action and make decisions which do not align with the mission and goals of our country. Though obviously I am oversimplifying a very complex issue, I think I voice the frustrations of many of us that stand in the middle of this heated debate.
I often wonder if I, as an American, will ever have a leader whose decisions I am proud of. In China my students would often ask me what I thought of Bush. I found myself tightening up and becoming uncomfortable with that question. How could I defend the leadership of an administration whose decisions I find myself very opposed too? In one unique conversation, however, they asked me, "What do you think of the founding fathers of your country?" In China if you asked this question of someone who was not half-way indoctrinated by the communist party, they would find this issue difficult because of many of the questionable actions taken by Mao during the cultural revolution. In this specific conversation, I, for the first time, almost found myself in tears describing the integrity and character of George Washington. I'm not the most patriotic person in this world, but there is something beautiful to me about the ideals upon which our country was founded by those who sought good(not the killers of Indians, not the slave traders, but those that fought oppression and held to the rights of man).
I look at the party system which has really become a monarchy structure in which money and a family name are the biggest rights of passage to presidency. Something has to change. I know that I am not the only one that hopes that in this next election we might see a movement in which the silent majority, the true voice of the people, is spoken through the values of a new form of leadership or party.
Though many of Neil Young's opinions on what's best for our country are too extreme for my tastes, I lthink the lines of "I'm looking for a leader" on "Living with War" capture the political emotion that I find myself entrenched in at this period in time:

Lookin' for a Leader
To bring our country home
Re-unite the red white and blue
Before it turns to stone

Lookin' for somebody
Young enough to take it on
Clean up the corruption
And make the country strong

Walkin' among our people
There's someone who's straight and strong
To lead us from desolation
And a broken world gone wrong

Someone walks among us
And I hope he hears the call
And maybe it's a woman
Or a black man after all

Yeah maybe it's Obama
But he thinks that he's too young
Maybe it's Colin Powell
To right what he's done wrong

America has a leader
But he's not in the house
He's waling here among us
And we've got to seek him out

Yeah we've got our election
But corruption has a chance
We got to have a clean win
To regain confidence

America is beautiful
But she has an ugly side
We're lookin' for a leader
In this country far and wide

We're lookin' for a leader
With the great spirit on his side

Someone walks among us
And I hope he hears the call
And maybe it's a woman
Or a black man after all

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