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      DONATE OR SUBSCRIBE We’ve raised $5,820. I am grateful to everyone who has given. The fundraiser is, however, going the slowest of any I’ve ever done, which I expect is because of Covid. We’ve reached the first tier: A longer article on the collapse of the USSR, putting everything I’m aware of together. In particular I want to discuss the steps Gorbachev too […]
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Adam Schiff, Potential American Hero

He would be my choice to be President, though I know it will never happen. He largely fits my perhaps idealized version of what an American President should be. He is not dynamic in the way that John F. Kennedy or Bill Clinton or Franklin D. Roosevelt were. But he is highly intelligent, apparently extremely honest, and very articulate.

I have often felt that we Americans, at least on the liberal side, tend to be most drawn to someone who seems as if he is a movie star, with looks, eloquence and charm. Not that Schiff doesn’t have some of that, but he is essentially a very sober, meticulous and forthright political person. Every time I see him on television, I am impressed.

Except for Bill and Hillary Clinton, I don’t know of anyone in the political realm who is so articulate and intellectual. His speeches and statements as Chairman of the House Committee which prosecuted the impeachment and conviction of Trump, were remarkable. His final speech to the Senate, when he knew that there was no way that the Senate would convict, but he wanted to leave them and the country with long-ranging words of wisdom, should be printed in a book of great speeches.

Schiff is 61, he and I share the same birthday! He is never mentioned for any higher political office. He might like to be Senator, but our Governor Gavin Newsom appears to want to make ethnic minority choices ; he appointed Alex Padilla to fill Kamala Harris’ seat, and has talked about wanting to choose a Black woman to replace Dianne Feinstein, who is unlikely to seek re-election. That is his right, but Schiff deserves the Senate seat. There is no path for him to rise politically; and even if he wanted to run for President, our next nominee will almost certainly be Biden or Harris.

If the Republicans take over the House in 2022, Schiff will once again be relegated to Ranking Member of the Intelligence Committee with no real power; a Committee which would be run by a dreadful Republican, whoever it would be, who would spend his or her time investigating Biden, Harris, and Hillary, maybe even Schiff. The goals of Republicans in Congress are purely radical and political.

Adam Schiff has just published a book, “Midnight: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy, and Still Could.” I will buy it, though I virtually never buy such books, because they are depressing and worrisome to have to sit down and read through. But he is so articulate that it would be worth it to read his undoubtedly perceptive insights.

On October 16, he will be at Los Angeles’ last great bookstore, Vroman’s, in Pasadena, with Jason Alexander, discussing his book. Schiff has also tried his hand at screenwriting, with a post-Holocaust story, a murder mystery, and a spy drama story. He has not sold any of them, but I would imagine that they are intelligently written. He is also a marathoner and triathlete, and apparently a very devoted family man.

I think that what we really need as leader of this country, is someone of the highest intelligence and analytic ability, not a natural politician. I used to remark with friends that we would never elect a pudgy man with glasses as President. (That is not a description of me, just an archtype!).

Actually, I guess that Al Franken comes close to that image, and if Republicans had not destroyed his Senate career by paying and encouraging very questionable women (read Jane Mayer’s after-the-fact article about how they were lying) to accuse him of whatever, he might have been a potential candidate in 2020, though I doubt that he would have been nominated. The point was that we so often choose based on looks or style. There is some study about how the taller of the two presidential candidates is almost always the one we elect, whatever that may tell us.

Electing a President is not giving out an Academy Award. Nor is it, as my brother would comment, like looking for a “genial host,” as on the late night talk shows. The template is flawed. This country is suspicious of intellectuals, they prefer “bluff, plain-speaking people,” like Reagan and the Bushes and even Trump, with his phony red cap, portrayed themselves to be.

Or on our side, we are looking for a combination of JFK and RFK and MLK, and many thought that Obama was that, so preferred him to Hillary, who always said that she was not comfortable on the political stage, but who has great gifts of intelligence and the ability to work with people to create important policies. Her husband said in his speech at the 2016 convention, that she was the greatest change-agent that he had ever seen.

That is what we need, much more than someone who can give eloquent speeches and talk in platitudes. Not that a speech cannot be helpful or memorable at times, but someone like Obama, whose entire career seem to encompass giving speeches, was never preferable to the intellectual and actually liberal Hillary. But we so often get fooled, and likely will again in the future.

I would feel very comfortable and optimistic with Schiff as President, because he is uncommonly bright, intellectual, knowledgeable, thorough, articulate; and from everything I have seen or read, scrupulously honest. Of course he is not a “minority” person, with the current cachet which this brings. He is Jewish, which is a minority, but a very small one, and would not gain him any substantial amount of votes by itself.

In short, he is not the kind of candidate we elect as President. Which is something to consider, since last time, we looked at the twenty or so candidates who were running in the Democratic primaries. and most of us had a hard time finding any of them who was both what we really wanted, and who could also win a national election. We need to have a better evaluation of what we want in a President, as we face a particularly dangerous era, not only in terms of issues to deal with, but a Republican Party which has no soul, no interest in fixing anything; only in power and wealth and tyranny. We need someone who will perceive this, speak about it, and can deal with the immense threat they pose to our civilization.