I can't help myself. Like the toddler curious about the wall socket, I'll trundle out to the polls and again vote for the lesser of two evils. Is this what it's come to in America? A choice between a guy who was in Vietnam for four months, and may or may not have fibbed a little to get out early, and a guy who pretty much was on the lam back home for his "tour" of duty? A choice between a guy who prides himself on being stubborn and one who, according to his opponent, is anything but? A choice between a Lincoln-Douglass-class orator and a bulldog debater?
This is what it comes down to? There are millions of people in America eligible to run for the presidency of the United States, and this is the very best the Republican and Democratic parties can offer up at the top of the ticket? These are the inheritors of the legacy of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt?
This is how our system has evolved? To a point at which alternative candidates are shunned by the media and no one, unless you're a Republican or a Democrat, has a voice? We're trying to spread democracy around the world and this is our example?
The only solace I find is in the local races, where things matter in a whole different way, and in business, which is its own change agent. Business tends to find its own way regardless of the president (curious that we really haven't had a single president in more than 50 years who was a successful businessman; think about that).
How am I going to vote? I'm not sure. But I know I've stuck my finger in that wall socket before and I'm sure to do it again.
James Moore died earlier this month. He was one of two IBM workers who sued the electronics giant claiming their cancers were caused by chemicals in a San Jose disk-drive factory. Mike Santarini and Rick Merritt exhaustively covered that trial, which ended in defeat for Moore and fellow plaintiff Alida Hernandez. The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition honored the two this month with the 2004 Helen Clark Award for "standing up for themselves and others who have suffered work-related illnesses." Moore, who worked at the IBM plant for 27 years, died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 63. The Semiconductor Industry Association continues to look into whether there's a connection between chemicals in fabs and worker illnesses.