Ross Perot the famous Texas oilman ran one of the most successful campaigns as a third party candidate in US history. Many think he could have snared even more votes if not for the performance of his choice as running mate. James Stockdale was a retired Vice Admiral and Vietnam war hero but virtually unknown to the American public. To counter this fact the lover of philosophy opened the Vice President debate with "who am I? Where am I here?"
It's clear he over-thought the situation and maybe could argue the general public wasn't smart enough to get the joke but in the end he came across as a punch drunk prized fighter who all of a sudden heard a bell and wondered where the hell he was...and who the hell he was.
It would seem his question was also an extension of Rene Descartes cogito ergo sum or I think therefore I am.
These days it not so simply anymore. One could question many aspects of our lives and wonder what's the real deal...simply thinking isn't enough to be relevant or even alive. This week one has to wonder if the stock market rally is alive or not and if traders are over thinking and overreacting to news not yet delivered.
The European bailout has been in the news for more than a year and yet one has to wonder if it truly exist and does it really matter. After the closing bell Spain was downgraded by S&P and slapped with a negative outlook. Who or what is Europe and where is it today. These nations bogged down with the legacy of putting their economies in park, creating giant welfare platforms to mine past success without planting seeds for future success.
The world once served as the playground, gold mine, concubine and offspring of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy and France. Now the rest of the world will have to shore up global economic growth as the bailout charade drags on and on. They think and therefore exists but they are thinking about grasping for straws, a far cry from reaching for greatness and world domination. Of course it's just not the economic course taken by these nations but the non-spiritual path that seems a blend of atheism and paganism.
Who is America and Where is America
It's no coincidence that as more people stop believing in capitalism in America they also stop believing in God, too (or is it the other way around?). Rene Descartes was prominent in the promotion of rationalism or "politics of reason." Where rational decisions should govern and not emotional choices that may be illogical. Of course some would say t was irrational for a kid named Barack Hussein Obama to think he could be President of the United States.
People were treated like drones or worker ants for centuries until capitalism unlocked their inner desires, and the ability to go for it. America perfected this idea and while there have been occasional problems the overarching success is unquestionable. But, maybe the same nation that fought for the freedom to pursue happiness is ready to give that right away to the state in return for a sense of false comfort.
Tonight's VP debate promises to be a donnybrook where at some point success will come under attack as a malicious thing that leaves a trail of broken bodies in its path. Sure, even Joe Biden wouldn't be clumsy enough to phrase it in such terms but make no mistake this is the theme of the campaign- of the would-be enlightenment movement of America. In less than 30-day we will find out who America is and what America wants to be.
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
We can divvy up the spoils and wreck the machine that made it possible that we could become the greatness nation ever.
We could regroup and tough it out by embracing our roots of rugged individualism that made the whole great because the parts were great. We help our neighbor not by tearing down our own castles but teaching and inspiring them to build their own. We have to put more faith into limitless possibilities or what we call impossible dreams and reject boundaries created from limited expectations and limited opportunities.