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U.S. not ready for female president

June 03, 2007|By JOHNATHAN R. BURRS

After reading Robert Gary's editorial of May 12 ("I like a challenge - and Hillary"), I found it equally as compelling to challenge Gary and anyone who thinks the way he does onthis matter of politics.

I find it somewhat amusing that Gary would somehow consider Barak Obama to be too "green" to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, in spite of the fact that Obama has twice as much political experience in an official capacity as does Hillary Clinton! I also find it laughable for Gary to refer to Obama as a well-spoken kid with a law degree from Harvard, when in fact John F. Kennedy was considerably younger than Obama when he was elected president of the United States!

So I ask, what is so different about Obama where different rules and prerequisites apply to him versus people such as Hillary and JFK?

Now, for the reasons why Hillary as president is a new episode of "Fantasy Island:"

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One flaw in Gary's political analysis regarding Hillary as president is the absence of considering how effective a woman could be in commanding a military she has never been a part of, in addition to a military fighting not one, but two wars! Bill Clinton had little success commanding the respect of military personnel, both officers and enlisted men and women, simply because of his cowardly actions of avoiding military service during the Vietnam War.

And although Bosnia, and for that matter Somalia, may seem like a huge success when compared to Iraq, the fact remains these were not huge successes and further exposed the reality that Bill Clinton's administration was incomplete when considering the duties of commander-in-chief!

A second flaw in Gary's analysis, which in my personal opinion is probably more significant, is the reality of how women are viewed in the Middle East. Middle Eastern culture, to say the least, does not practice the same level of respect for women in positions of authority as in the U.S. Considering the fact that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the most pressing issues of the current day, to elect a female president would be a political disaster from day one.

This is aside from the fact that America is not prepared for a female president, regardless of what those eternal optimists suggest! My prediction is that the U.S. will have its first female vice president before it will have its first female president.

Gary admits Hillary has little official experience in politics, however suggests she knows all the right people in all the right places in order for her to be successful. While Hillary may have some influence and strong support in the U.S., I would ask Gary to explain how this following would help her be successful on a world platform, particularly considering the unpopularity of the U.S. worldwide?

The reality is that the Democrats by and far have mastered the art of criticizing Republicans, but have failed in defining how they as a party are a better alternative. From a principle viewpoint, the Democrats are weak and vulnerable with no one standing out as a viable alternative to Republican leadership. If Hillary Clinton were a strong leader, then she would have never voted to authorize President Bush to use military force in Iraq, regardless of what information (true or false) the Bush administration presented to Congress! If she had courage, then her vote would have been one opposing Iraq, not authorizing it.

Given the fact that she has publicly accepted responsibility for her part in authorizing the war, this, in my opinion, does not release her from the consequences of that decision. After all, her decision has contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths and the destabilization of an entire region. What sense would it make to reward her with the presidency?

The Democrats' only realistic chance of acquiring the presidency is to nominate former Sen. John Edwards and this is contingent on him choosing either Obama or Clinton as a running mate. Any choice outside of these parameters would almost ensure a Guiliani or Romney presidential administration.

Jonathan R. Burrs is a resident of Hagerstown.

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