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There’s a new twist in the slugfest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. Faced with stiff competition from the Illinois senator, Mrs. Clinton appears to have borrowed a page from the neoconservatives’ handbook on election strategy. That page has “you must create fear” written all over it. It’s simple really. When you can’t beat your opponent in a straight fight, you must try to convince the voters that, if elected to office, your opponent would spell imminent doom for the country, the world, and of course, think of the children! Mrs. Clinton has attempted to play the experience card, but the results have been less than stellar. Obama just continues to build momentum, winning in state after state, despite his lack of experience that is so often cited by Mrs. Clinton as the number one reason why he should not be President.

But now the Clinton camp has taken the experience card to the doomsday level. In this campaign ad we are presented this hypothetical situation: It’s 3 a.m. Your kids are safely asleep in their beds. But there’s a phone ringing in the White House. Something is “happening” out there in our dangerous world that demands immediate attention from the President of the United States. Do we want the “wet behind the ears” Obama to answer the call and attempt to deal with the problem? Or would we rather have Mrs. “experience is my middle name” Clinton in charge?

Certainly this ad will spark much debate and controversy. And yes, it’s pretty obvious that this is the type of ad your campaign runs when you are desperate. And yes, it is flagrant fearmongering. But I imagine that most of the debate concerning this ad will center on the question of whether Clinton or Obama would be more qualified to handle the doomsday scenario. It’s just assumed that the President of the United States is required to be the world’s savior. It’s part of the job description. But why? Why is the President of the United States expected to be the world’s savior? Why don’t we expect the President of Switzerland to solve all of the world’s problems? Well, I submit once again that our government’s foreign policy is to blame. The United States began it’s foreign policy of expansionism in the late 19th century and continues it apace to this very day. In short, the United States government has bought much of the world over the last hundred years or so. Is it any wonder then, that their problems are our problems? They are all part of the American empire. And until we have a president who will dismantle the empire, the United States will never be safe from the doomsday scenario. Instead of debating who is better qualified to handle “that” call at 3 a.m., perhaps we should be examining the reasons why we are always concerned that the call could be made in the first place. Maybe if our government would stop meddling in so many other countries’ affairs at all hours of the day, we could stop worrying about “that” call at 3 a.m.

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