John Adams, our first vice president, complained that there wasn't a more worthless job. Of course, George Washington was president. Harry Truman did not know the atomic bomb existed until FDR was dead. Dan Quayle did not know how to spell potato.
The Constitution requires the vice president to stay alive, in case of succession, and to break tie votes in the Senate.
It seems, though, that President Clinton gave Al Gore more responsibility, as is befitting in an Information Age. We certainly were aware of who Mr. Gore was when he ran for president.
And President Bush II has given "acting presidential" authority to Mr. Cheney.
My point is this: I understand that we vote for the top of the ticket to be our next president. But the vice president's role is changing before our very eyes, probably because of the times we are living in. Consequently, the choice of a running mate means more now than it did even 15 years ago.
I think, this year, we are really voting for a ticket - a combination of two. I do not think the VP candidate is just a vote-getter anymore.
Of course, if Sen. John Kerry is elected, the precise role Sen. John Edwards would play remains to be determined.
We definitely would not be electing a duo-presidency, as it has seemed, at times, under Bush II. But, I think, we have grown accustomed to a much greater role for the vice presidency that has yet to be defined. And that makes this year's election even more important.
This 1960s folk artist ahead of his time
In 1965 folk artist Barry McGuire released a scathing protest song regarding the hate, segregation, and institutionalized loss of freedom present in America called "Eve of Destruction." Even among those who agreed with McGuire's position, the song lyrics were considered overly harsh and pessimistic. It was McGuire's last significant recording.
In 2004 a legally licensed bar owner in the City of Toledo, in his own privately owned establishment, was arrested and cited for having ashtrays on a table.
" and you tell me, over and over and over again, my friend, that you don't believe, we're on the eve of destruction!"
- B. McGuire
Given the situation of personal freedom in the City of Toledo, McGuire wasn't pessimistic, he was simply ahead of his time!
John E. Kepler
How can we let Bush go on this way?
While we all recognize that war is hell, this World War II veteran believes that President Bush has turned it into a political chess game with the devil from hell.
Today we have brave young, healthy sons and daughters being placed in harm's way all over this world trying to stay alive, while our brave President slips millions of dollars into his many pockets, and at the same time places our country head over heels in debt.
How far has our country's mentality slipped that we let things like this happen?
CHARLES R. GINSBURG
South Detroit Avenue
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