Barney's Rubble

Bill for President

Is it time for Gates in 2008?

Every four years pundits, radio talk show hosts and U.S. citizens beg for a presidential candidate who’s not a career politician.

And every four years the two major parties nominate -- you guessed it -- career politicians!

No true, non-political alternatives have the party backing, or, it seems, the ability to connect and gain our trust. I guess voters don’t mind career politicians after all.

Donald Trump is too full of himself (but Letterman would have great material), Ross Perot was too preachy and weird, and Arnold is too foreign (meaning he legally can’t run; not that I’m against Austrians).

DougCampaigningHere’s a name that could overcome all these obstacles: Bill Gates. Not the old Bill Gates spouting technology, wearing ill-fitting clothes and crushing competitors for sport (though his company is doing this with relish and third parties are paying the price). No. I’m talking about the new Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

As far as I can tell, Gates has not pledged allegiance to either party (probably the only thing he and I have in common). In 2004 Gates gave only $22,500 to candidates with a slight edge to Democrats. For someone with Gates’ pockets, this is as close to giving nothing as you can get!

I mentioned this idea to my mother and her eyes opened wide (the way they did every time my high school assistant principal called) and she exclaimed "Wow!" After a few seconds of thought she said "Wow" again.

Bill has no major skeletons (I’m guessing) and has taken non-political, purely rational stances on today’s major issues.

Who would you trust to develop a policy on global warming?

Who is today’s best ambassador to the third world, to India, to China?

But Bill has no experience in foreign policy! True, but neither did the governor of Georgia, California, Arkansas or Texas.

Imagine if our fundamental approach to the world was based on logical approaches to curing disease, spreading opportunity, saving the environment and teaching children.

A foreign policy flowing from this river would be rich indeed.

Imagine offering our enemies all of these benefits.

Would Iran rather have nukes or freedom from disease? Maybe they’ll go for the A-bombs, but will all regimes react the same? I doubt it.

And remember, Bill promised to retire in two years, just in time for his new job in 2008.

We’ll just have to live with a total gutting of U.S. anti-trust laws!

Who are you going to vote for? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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