Democrats don’t smell blood the way Republicans do. They don’t keep their eyes on the prize and concentrate on wrestling the White House away from an opposition that thumbs its nose at their beliefs.

Republicans-- by their own admission—have a motley crew running for president, none of whom feels just right. Recently, arch-conservative Mike Huckabee has surfaced as the standard bearer. Romney may spend more and Giuliani may preach more than the former Arkansas governor/evangelist, but Huckabee keeps gaining.

Democrats, meanwhile, spend more time attacking each other than challenging their political foes.

Most voters are sick of the current regime. It would follow, therefore, that this race is the Democrats to lose, and lose it they may as they did four years ago. Are they learning-disabled?

Democrats Clinton and Obama bring a historic opportunity to the nation. The question is whether or not the party of the left-- which pretends to stand for tolerance and equal opportunity-- can get behind one of two qualified people who could become the first female or the first black president.

So why is “electability” getting more play than it deserves? How “electable” any presidential nominee may be is subject to as many variables as there are voters. Perhaps “electability” is code for whether an N-word or an insert-favorite-derogatory-term-for-woman is a greater risk?

Democrats seem too willing to encourage skepticism about whether the country is ready for a woman or a black president. What does “ready” mean, exactly?

It means getting beyond the bigotry Democrats should have abandoned in the 60’s civil rights movement but which, apparently, lurks just below their skin.

“Ready” means that the traditional white, male Democratic power base must finally put its money where its mouth has been for decades because a white woman and a black man have risen to the top of the heap and deserve their party’s support. “Ready” means embracing unity in the same way that Republicans—especially at the extreme edges of that party—understand the need for that term. They stand behind their nominee—sometimes gritting their teeth-- because the other party’s platform is just too unacceptable.

Whether the Republicans choose Huckabee, Romney or Giuliani- the likely contenders to top that party’s ticket—their candidate will not embrace the values, beliefs, and constitutional interpretations basic to the true Democratic tradition. In that sense, they should all be outside the realm of consideration for GOP opponents.

Those who say they stand for “inclusion” have an easy choice in 2008--“inclusion” on one side and “exclusion” on the other. While skin color and gender ought to be only footnotes in this presidential election, with Obama or Clinton likely to top the Democratic ticket, one of two representatives of America’s most victimized classes will test Democrats’ true commitment to equal opportunity.

The choice facing voters next November may bring out the best in America, or it may expose the worst of our fears, ignorance and secret hatreds. The real question should be whether or not the country is “ready” for such a tragic exposé?

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Mary Ann Sorrentino

Mary Ann Sorrentino
Italy Series of articles runs Aug./Sept/Oct 2015

Hope for the Future: Uruguay 2007

Hope for the Future: Uruguay 2007
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"JOACHIM" - Oct. '92-March '08

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