Germany is in a slump, everybody says. The economy is growing…but very slowly. Still, the place looks prosperous.
Outside the Petersberg Hotel, a large, luxurious automobile pulled up.
“What is that?” asked a friend.
The car was substantial. It had smooth lines, like a Rolls Royce, but with a modern, sculptured look. On the hood and the trunk were logos that we had never seen before.
“That’s a Maybach…it’s the new top-of-the-line model from Mercedes. It’s a great car, but it’s not cheap. This one is about $500,000.”
“Right now, Bush has got a comfortable lead,” said Chris Ruddy, proprietor of NewsMax.com, over dinner on Saturday. “But the race will probably tighten as it gets closer to the election.”
We wondered why the race might tighten; it seemed more likely to us that it might fall apart. The more people get to know the candidates, the more they might turn away in disgust.
The only open question is which one is more reprehensible.
George W. Bush, it is alleged, dodged the draft during the Vietnam War and then failed to fulfill his obligations to the National Guard. That is mostly to his credit. The Vietnam War was a stupid disaster; anyone who was able to get through it with neither blood on his hands — nor on his shroud — was ahead of the game.
But 40 years later, when a new generation of young men’s lives are at stake, Bush volunteered the whole nation to undertake a mission as expensive, as foolhardy and maybe more dangerous than Vietnam. Liberals cannot vote for him, because he talks like a “conservative” warmonger. Real conservatives cannot vote for him, because he has taken up the most activist expansion of government since Roosevelt.
But who can they vote for?
John Kerry, on the other hand, reported for duty 40 years ago and tells us so every chance he gets. But as evidence of his wartime service comes to light, it appears his reason for going to war was more political than strategic, more practicable than honorable, more idiotic than patriotic. In other words, it looks as though the man had elections in mind, rather than military service.
Aiming for the White House, the young Kerry apparently hit a Vietnamese teenager in the back. What kind of man would do such a thing? We don’t know. But we have a naïve and trusting faith. We believe people get what is coming to them. It is not for us to decide, of course. But though Kerry may or may not spend four years in the Oval Office, an eternity in hell seems more appropriate.
When the votes are tallied in November, one of those not counted will be ours.
We have no dog in this fight. Other Americans are likely to come to the same conclusion.
Bill Bonner [send him mail] is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st Century.