By Joe Campbell
March 26th, 2008
Excerpts from my Journals
[The week of January 21st, 2000; shortly before the New Hampshire primaries.]
If neither McCain nor Bradley make it past the primaries, I will be disillusioned. I am confident that if either one makes it to the general election, he will win. I find it hard to see how someone can vote for Gore or Bush unless they have some vested interest in one of their candidacies, or because of single-issue loyalty. The two establishment candidates merely want to win. Bush makes careful statements to secure the loyalty of those hardliners in his party yet avoid arousing the ire of those who disagree with him in the mainstream. There is nothing wrong with that – it merely shows shrewdness, but it seems hard to believe Bush thought of these careful statements himself. He seems a man propped up by aides, a cardboard figure given life by the establishment, a soul whose only joy is victory. Gore comes off as more pathetic – a Pinocchio trying to pretend to be a real politician to voters, a man who lacks charisma trying to charm, someone who hates defeat but does not consider himself worthy of winning.
In the end, I voted for Ralph Nader – because I could not bring myself to vote for either candidate. I can see now how my decision was wrong – and how Mr. Gore, although a poor candidate, would have made a competent president. I also seriously underestimated the radical nature of the Bush presidency. What I believed the country needed in 2000 was a non-establishment president – and so, I set my hopes on John McCain and Bill Bradley.
Unfortunately, we were forced to choose between Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush.