Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Of McCain, Libertarians and HAWGS

Last night John McCain appeared on Jay Leno looking tan, rested and comfortable in his own wrinkles. He displayed the proper amount of humor, humility and chutzpah. And he officially announced that once again he is running for the Senate.
Really? For the sake of the country, why don't these old timers make their mission to mentor and support some young politicians? Arizona needs some fresh faces. Not the same tired images of the Wild West Posse or the Old Boys' Network.
Let's train, mentor and encourage young people to run for political office, and throw our support around them rather than discourage them with the status quo. A status quo that is held firmly in place by big bucks and little creativity.
Seriously, John, this would be a great time to take someone under your wing and move on. Give some youngsters a chance at serving their country. Find a worthy young veteran and show that man or woman the way.
Now on to the topic of Libertarians. I've known many of them during my years as a reporter. The Independence Institute is very big in Denver. Former Congressman Tom Tancredo ran the Independence Institute for many years, pushing his agenda to slam the doors shut on illegal immigration. I remember back in the early 1990s when he invited me to an Independence Institute breakfast. It was packed with people listening to the many evils of illegal immigration.
Looking around at the early morning crowd, it was clear that I was in the minority, surrounded by a phalanx of middle-aged white guys in the requisite suits and ties.
They seemed to ooze with a certain self-assurance. Then I it came to me.
"I shall call these smug dudes 'The HAWGS.'" The heartless, affluent white guys.
Seriously, how many poor people, women or minorities do you know who call themselves Libertarians?
Hey, I welcome the debate, but I do not need a HAWG to save me from myself.
Not that I'm bitter, though. I've enjoyed some spirited discussions with Libertarians over the years, and their arguments against things like public transportation and universal health care sound very rational. But also lack empathy and compassion.
There is, however, one area where I kind of agree with them. They're usually ardent supporters of term limits. If eight years is enough for the President of the United States then that's probably enough for members of Congress.
In case you're wondering, McCain has been in the House and the Senate for 27 years. Time's up.

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