Thursday, September 22, 2005

Wesley Clark's "Virtual March on Washington"

Clark has strong support in some corners of the left, looking to him as a viable Presidential choice for the transition out of Iraq (the assumption being that Bush will not pull troops out during his term). There's something to be said for the assertion, given his foreign policy credentials. Liberals like him because he supports choice, heath care reform, labor and the environment.

That said, I hear folks across the political spectrum criticizing his apparent lack of clarity on positions. In his defense, supporters point out that his late entrance to the campaign racket left him unprepared for dealing with the MSM media format. His military career includes some controversy, but I'll leave it at that. This entry isn't an evaluation of Clark, so I invite you to follow up as you're inclined.

My point here, is to point out Clark's Maybe this is one of those "Gawd, you hadn't HEARD about this yet?", but if so, yeah, I missed the memo.

At first, it seemed a little odd to me, but then again, I've never been a role-playing gamer, so the whole concept of "virtual" represents alien territory. After looking a while, though, it looks like a great tool for building awareness and keeping people in touch with environmental issues.

While we rage and argue about local vs. federal disaster response, while we get into knock-down drag-out fights about how to pay for rebuilding, while the talking heads and spin machines really grasp to get their claws into us, we need to pull back and nurture the 30,000-foot view.

This hurricane season is Mother Nature walking up and thwapping us on the back of the head: "Hey! Are you listening to me?!?" Even Bush (!) now admits that human activity has contributed to global warming (Gee, thanks. Nice to have ya onboard, there, Sparky). Global warming heats water and melts ice. See? It's like 8th grade science class all over again!

If the Greenland icecaps disappear, we can expect ocean levels to rise 7-10 feet. And hey! Guess what! Some climatologists are warning that those very same icecaps are likely to melt in the summer seasons in roughly 65-70 years, if we're lucky - sooner if we're not.

So follow along now... Listen up, coastal kids. Yeah, you, Santa Monica. And you, Bangladesh. Your grandkids? Let's just say they'll need gills to stay here. Sorry. Tokyo? Manhattan? Put on your water wings, honey.

All hysterics aside, what we have to remember, and what we've been shown with Katrina, possibly Rita, is that global warming will not be "cured" with policy. Healing begins at the cellular level, and societies are no different. Policy is a response to citizens (well, usually), and the most effective medicine you have is YOU. There is no shining cavalry of governmental response that will stride in and with feathered quill, decree "The Earth Shall Warm No More!" If we get our act together, some President or another will come along and sign a bill to that effect long after we've cleaned up our mess, simply taking credit for our hard work. You know, kinda like what happens at the office.

So, whether it's Clark's site or any other, take the opportunities presented by "the internets" and get up to speed. Learn what you can do at a local, state and national level. Learn what buttons to push, what letters to write, which people to talk to.

To borrow some brilliant words: "We don't want the environmental warning to come in the form of Cat-5 hurricanes devastating our coastlines."

While this point may be just past us now, it's never too late to respond. Environmentalism has too long been dismissed out of hand as a "kooky obsession for those commie hippies", and it's high time (no pun intended) that we pull our heads from our asses and deal with the granddaddy of all "issues".

Jeeezus. Rita "Ow-Make-It-Stop" Crosby just finished interviewing a guy that swears up & down that the lab housing dangerous viruses "was designed to withstand a Cat 5 storm".

Let's hope he's right. If he isn't, whether or not you recycle may become an entirely moot point.


Lily said...

I think Wes Clark had a chance to differentiate himself and he rolled over like the others. SOME liberals may like him, but SOME liberals would like Elmo for president. (if nothing else, he would restore better pronunciation and articulation skills to the oval office)
:::Sigh:::: Yawn. What's for dinner?

catherineD said...

I remember seeing a chart on Clark which compared him on the issues to the other candidates. Think he was to the left of both Kerry and Dean. (I believe he had the first two years of college education funded by the government, for instance.) He's incredibly well-respected in Europe, where he's been given knighthoods, etc. -- more honors than anyone since Eisenhower. Giving him the credibility to put together the kind of diplomatic solution he wants in Iraq and in the Middle East in general. Think he still has position papers up at There's lots to admire.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Thanks for the link, Catherine. I'm rather late to the party on Clark, and have missed most of the debating about him.

His work with the Out of Iraq Caucus makes me wonder if he's hoping to secure a cabinet position as contingent to a presidential run in '08 (if he's not the nominee but a Dem is). Not to suggest that this is his primary motive for involvement, of course.

As usual, my sadness that the Dems seem so lost about "framing" and "getting the message across" rears its head again while reading about their vigorous appetite for his ideas. Again, I don't say this to disparage Clark in any way --
I'm just tired of watching the news and constantly hollering back "See! Yet another basic marketing failure." I swear, it's as if the GOP and Hollywood (on a good day) have sucked up all the good PR/Marketing/Strategy talent in the country and the DNC's collective resume is really lacking in those skill sets.

I have to guard against wishing for some kind of Captain Visionary (tights and cape optional) that will swoop down on the party and cure it of it's ills. Once my cartoon brain is off, however, the only one that looks a little shiny through the haze is Obama, and conventional wisdom says he wouldn't be likely to run until 2012 or later.

Hey... 2012. Isn't that the Super Duper Mystical year in some circles? Something about the Mayan calendar and some kind of transcendental global rebirth?

What color cape do you think Obama has?