Armen Chakmakjian

Posts Tagged ‘Election 2008’

Truly Historic Times…

In politics on November 5, 2008 at 5:58 am

8 days before I turned 5 years old, Neil Armstrong Landed on the moon.  I remember watching it on a black and white Zenith TV.

I saw Nixon resign on a color Magnavox TV.

I saw a Polish Pope get selected saying Be Not Afraid.

I remember John Paul II appearing in Shea Stadium on a rainy day and watched it clear as he drove into the stadium.

I saw the Hostages get freed when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated after 444 days.

I remember the site of an Electrician in a Polish shipyard start a movement against tryanny

I remember both Reagan and the Pope getting shot and recovering.

I watched the Berlin Wall Fall and the Soviet Union Collapse.

I remember listening to the mother of all briefings by Norman Schwartzkopf

I saw the first internet boom and then the bust.

I cried when I saw the WTC come down on 9/11

I watched the United States get itself tied up trying to react appropriately to being hated.

I just watched the most amazing thing of all.  I saw our nation heal its historic open wound.  I saw a man of color elected to the Presidency of the United States.  I voted for him after voting Republican for President for the last 5 elections.   I knew that this was the most important thing we could do for the country.  Congratulations to our country, the United States of America.

A turn of a word…

In Literature, politics on October 3, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Sometimes Peggy Noonan can draw a picture that is so pillowy and soft about the Reagan years I feel like I’m moving lightly amongst the clouds when I am reading it.  I don’t remember the time with those same ethereal feelings, but somehow her words float by like billowing cumulus clouds with wispy cirrus tails…

On the other hand, she can be brutal with that same skill.  I really enjoy writing that has irony and a wry descriptions of things.  A good simile or metaphor just captures the essence of the problem being studied.  Here’s an example of that in a recent editorial she wrote about the VP debate:

We saw this week, too, a turn in the McCain campaign’s response to criticisms of Mrs. Palin. I find obnoxious the political game in which if you expressed doubts about the vice presidential nominee, or criticized her, you were treated as if you were knocking the real America—small towns, sound values. “It’s time that normal Joe Six-Pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency,” Mrs. Palin told talk-show host Hugh Hewitt. This left me trying to imagine Abe Lincoln saying he represents “backwoods types,” or FDR announcing that the fading New York aristocracy deserves another moment in the sun.

Forget which side you are on.  It’s the writing and placement of the words and ideas.  I’ve been laughing for 10 minutes now.  I wish I could write like this.  Placing “Six-Pack”, “Backwoods types” and “Fading Aristocracy” in one distilled concept…beautiful…


In politics on April 25, 2008 at 2:40 am

I tend to take a philosophical view of a Presidential election. I try to go through history and see if there’s a pattern emerging.  Well this year there are a few interesting things going on:

  • All three major remaining candidates are Senators, and have no executive experience (although Sen. Clinton gets the sniff vote)
  • 2 of the candidates are what I term as Vietnam era youth.  (aka they were in battle or college during the Vietnam War).
  • The last couple of Presidents were avoiders of tough service during the Vietnam era.  (WJC,GWB)
  • The 6 of the 7 presidents prior to that were youth during WWII, the exception was Carter, who was stationed on a nuclear sub during the 50’s.  (inventory, JFK, LBH, RMN, GRF, RR, GHWB)
  • The 3 president’s before that came into adulthood during WWI (FDR, HST, DDE)
  • This is the first election since 1952 where an incumbent President or VP is not running.
  • One candidate is the first candidate to reach this far who was not a Vietnam era candidate.  
  • The last side by side generational election was Dukakis (Korea) and Bush41 (WWII).  (Dole and Clinton were separated by Korea, Bush41 and Clinton were separated by Korea, Kerry/Gore and Bush reach adult age during the Viet Nam era)
  • I supported Carter in 80 (I was 16 and couldn’t vote), I voted for Walter Mondale in 1984 and Republican for president since.

So I can’t tell you how I’m going to vote.  It’s going to come down to the events of the next 6 months.  If I’m scared internationally, I’ll lean right.  If things are calm, I’m more inclined to lean left if the candidate is from my generation and not the one that was in college when I was 5 years old.  I do have a problem with the find-a-thing-to-hug-activist vs chicken-hawk elections we have had for the last 3 elections.  They all drank too much or didn’t inhale, they are all TOOO sanctimonious about their side and they don’t inspire me at all.

So that’s where it comes down.  If I’m nervous I’m going to lean right.  If I’m calm and inspired and see my generation have an opportunity to run things, I’ll lean left in the booth.   The music of the 60s resonates with me artistically, it doesn’t inspire me to vote.   The next 6 months are going to be interesting.