Almost forgot about this little blurb I started on my way to New York last weekend…
10/16/2003 (AA SFO->JFK)
The New Yorker magazine often has a column called Profiles. It has been one of my favorites. It never fails to serve up high quality mini-biography of interesting people, mostly in the political circle, e.g. Collin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and the Saudi Arabia¡¯s ambassador to the United States. The writing is always good, and the stories covered large and small details of their lives, things that would never make into news headlines.
Today I finished reading ¡°The Student ¨C How Hillary Clinton set out to master the Senate.¡± I¡¯ve always liked her and never understood why people had so much against her when she was the First Lady. This little article renewed my respect for her and my hope of US having a female President someday. It also reinforced my belief that politic is one of the most worthy, if not the most worthy, occupation for an able mind that is inspired to make a difference in this world. Yes, if I could start my life all over again, and if I could have been a different person, I would go to Law school instead of engineering school.
I loved reading the parts where she learned how Senators work, how legislatures are passed, how not to lose sight of what she really wants and not hesitant to pull back her suggestions an alternative presents itself even though it isn¡¯t working the way she wanted. Bill Clinton is right. In response to a question about what his wife brought to the Senate, he offered the following list:
1. She likes people and cares about their problems;
2. She knows how to make good policy;
3. She¡¯s brilliant and works very hard;
4. She fights for what she believes in and doesn¡¯t give up;
5. She¡¯s always reaching out for new allies, including Republicans;
6. She loves her country and her state;
7. She¡¯s always thinking about what life will be like for our children and their children.
The article quoted a speech Senator Clinton gave at Roosevelt Hospital, in Manhattan. ¡°You know, some of us need more help and guidance and support than others,¡± Clinton told them. ¡°Some of us are born healthy and others are not. Some of us have traumatic, terrible accidents or events or diseases that affect us. None of us know what will happen to any of us tomorrow, and therefore I think we are all bound together in a web of relationships where we do ¨C not only for religious reasons or moral reasons but practical reasons ¨C have an obligation and opportunity to support one another.¡±
Clinton went on to say that she was worried that nation¡¯s priorities were getting misplaced.¡± She emphasized the importance of sacrifice¡ª¡°I think that¡¯s what makes a stronger country¡±¡ªand introduced the concept of ¡°future preference,¡± under which tomorrow takes precedence over today. By the end of her speech, she was calling into question that most basic of American values ¨C self-reliance. ¡°I hope we don¡¯t forget that the idea of the rugged individual is a great idea for films, for books, but there are very few people who go through life without needing anyone, without having to make any sacrifice for anyone else,¡± she said. ¡°In fact, it¡¯s kind of an impoverished life, if that¡¯s the attitude.¡±
That summons up the belief that recently took shape in my own mind. Out of obvious selfish reasons, I used to believe more tax is a bad thing. But recently I started to believe that if there is anyway to reach long lasting peace in this world, then socialist-democracy is the best way I could see. Socialist/communists weren¡¯t wrong about the future of human kind; they simply got the timing wrong. What Republican strives for is a world that is more and more polarized into the filthy rich and dirt poor. A polarized world means an unstable world. There was a Chinese slang: The barefooted won¡¯t be the first to back down when fighting the ones wearing shoes. When people had nothing to lose, they would be more willingly to go to war, because turning the world into chaos will provide new opportunities to rewrite the social order. When everyone was given a little bit of possession, then the fundamentalists would have a very hard time to convince these newly minted ¡°middle-class¡± to risk everything they just gained.
That¡¯s all from arm-chair politicians. Go Hillary! 2008?! 🙂