Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tim Russert

By Walter Haan,

Just saw another television tribute to Tim Russert at 11:25 this morning. It was the usual about how wonderful he was in his preparation and asking the big questions on Meet the Press. I watch several Sunday morning news, talking heads shows every week and I'm struck by several things.

First I want to emphasize that Russert's death at 58 of a heart attack is a massive loss, not for the nation, but for thinking Americans and of course for his family. As those who have been reading me know, my wife Wanda died at 59 from an unexpected heart attack on January 30, 2003. I know what that loss feels like. I remember waking up about two weeks after she died and thinking to myself that I felt good. Then I looked over at the other side of the bed and experienced real, physical pain as that empty side of the bed reminded me of my loss. I imagine that Tim's wife must be experiencing unexpected physical pain like that too. It's horrible.

Second, in general, the Sunday talking head shows ignore all presidential candidates except for the Republican and Democratic Party candidates. Tim Russert was an exception to that, at least once in 2004 and in 2008 when he had Ralph Nader as a guest on Meet the Press to announce his candidacy for president as an independent. As a supporter of third party and independent presidential candidates, I thank Tim for that.

Third, other than those two notable exceptions, the talking heads ignore Ralph Nader, Bob Barr and other independent candidates. On one of the shows this morning they showed the results of a poll that had Barack Obama defeating John McCain. Together they had 87% of the votes in that poll. That means there were 13% who supported other candidates or were undecided. No details were provided for that 13% as usual.

I have voted for independent candidates for president since 1992 when I voted for Ross Perot.
In 1996 I voted again for Perot and I voted in 2000 and 2004 for Nader. I will vote for Nader in 2008 because he wants to end the war in Iraq, now. Why you might ask, particularly since I publish war books and a continuation of war would be good for business.

I have read hundreds, if not thousands, of war memoirs by former soldiers who fought during World War II, and the wars in Korea and Vietnam. And that is why I'm voting for Nader. We had no choice but to battle to save the free world during World War II. In Vietnam we learned that we should not have fought that war because it really was a war of our choosing. The war and occupation of Iraq is the same. Our men and women soldiers are dying and being wounded for an unnecessary war of choice! We didn't need to do that. Bin Laden and Al Quaida and weapons of mass destruction were not in Iraq in 2002. But thanks to us, Al Quaida is in Iraq now.

One of my sons-in-laws says I shouldn't be saying things like this because it will turn potential customers away from buying Southfarm Press military books. That may be true. But I have a five month old grandson now and I'm thinking of him and his future when I support Ralph Nader and his anti-corporate, anti-war platforms. Because it's only the future we can shape now and I don't want my grandson to be cannon fodder for someone like George Bush who dishonestly rushes to war.--Copyright 2008 by Walter Haan,


Anonymous Brian Moore said...

Mr. Haan: While I appreciate your kind comments about Mr. Russert, especially in light of interviewing Ralph Nader in 2004 and 2008, Russert was also guilty of throwing softballs and having the establishment on for 51 weeks a year.

I, too, am a presidential candidate, for an alternative party, Socialist Party USA, and like you, voted for 3rd party candidates the like of Barry Commoner, John Anderson, Ross Perot and Ralph Nader. I, too, was in the Peace Corps, like you.

In light of the coming collapse of the economy, our ecological system and our society, one would think that the establishment might be open to exploring alternative economic systems as a radical solution to a pending collapse.

However, even with a catstrophe lurking in the background, p[eople like Russert and the status quo press and media will continue to turn a blind eye to socialists, and others, out of fear and lack of courage.

Brian Moore for President
Socialist Party USA
Spring Hill, Florida 34606
Tel: 352-686-9936

10:43 PM  

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