Saturday, October 18

"What if?"

While little more than 1 in 5 Vice Presidents ever “acted as President” during their term, it would seem that today’s terror climate compels us to do the unbearable…

We must explore a couple of “what if” questions.

A deep intellectual process or a statistical, scientific method is rarely necessary; I’m typically able to zero in on a contender for President with relative ease. My Presidential candidate, in most elections, is the candidate I view as the least likely to affect me, in a negative, personal, familial manner. Massive media coverage on several candidates provides me the information I need to make a selection; though coverage of less familiar candidates with less money but great ideas really must start getting more media time. It sounds selfish; but resounding through my ears is a man’s voice (my father), “You better vote, it’s your right!” Forget the fact that because it’s my right, “you better vote” is an instruction that lacks any forethought or common sense. Voting for a candidate that you honestly do not want as your President is wrong.

The first “what if”
Will you be able to live with yourself the day a tragedy strikes, possibly caused by a President that you cast a vote for, against your own, rightful wishes? What if it were spun in your head in such a way that you ultimately blamed yourself; because you cast your ballot? If we need to add the “none of the above” option to the ballot to counter the “you must participate to make a difference” argument, then let us make it so. People that insist you are of lesser character for not voting, are people who simply want you to share their vision of America, without fully and fairly considering yours. I’m not suggesting we stop voting, only that we stop voting for candidates we don’t agree with. Can it really be, that for the most part, the entire country is expected to consist of only two visions of what this country is to become? Is it reasonable to expect everyone to betray many of their own beliefs and opinions, because they contradict the two available political choices? I just can’t believe America should consist solely of a right and a left. Your vote must be earned. Honestly and deservingly by a candidate, who we must remember, is never harmed by your vote; though with it, can certainly bring you harm.

The first “what if?” was necessary because I didn’t want to incite the masses to rise up and begin voting in numbers like we’ve never witnessed; until I at least made a small attempt to heighten the sense of responsibility and pure ownership these masses have of their vote.

The second “what if”

What if the homeland just isn’t secure enough and terrorists are able to force us into a circumstance that requires the Vice President to be the “acting President of the United States”? Would the planes still have managed to penetrate the towers of New York City on September 11th if George W. Bush had been inside one of them delivering a speech that day? While many may disagree with me, something tells me it was very possible. Maybe not today, but on September 11th, 2001, America possessed a sort of naiveté that left everyone vulnerable. Isn’t the very existence of the color coded threat level system evidence enough to know that stating, “Only 9 of the first 46 Vice Presidents ever had to act as President”, is to pretend that we don’t face far greater dangers than that of our forefathers. Terrorists, as well as other threats to our security and freedom, have become variables that force us to consider possibilities that historical data can’t always provide.

With these possibilities in mind, consider what you know about Vice Presidential candidates for the 2004 election. The closest thing to fact that I can offer is that if George remains in office, we probably keep Dick. Beyond Dick, I can only offer speculation. The CNN’s and MSNBC’s will occasionally ask those Presidential candidates who are dropping out of the race or have extremely low poll numbers, “Would you accept an offer to be the running-mate of another candidate?”. From this occasional query we’ve been able to establish just one thing as a certainty, that everyone is non-committal. Even as a pre-candidate, General Wesley Clark would only insist that his focus for now was solely on his decision to run for President. He never insisted he would not consider a running-mate offer in the event he didn’t survive a Presidential race.

We have absolutely no information regarding any Vice Presidential candidate we will potentially put in the alternate seat of our government. We are faced with the increased potential of our Vice President becoming our President prematurely, yet the question is never asked; “Mr. Candidate, with whom will you be entrusting the security and future of America, in the event some unthinkable circumstance renders you unable to perform your duties?” I appeal to the media to simply pose the question and attempt to cover another element of the Presidential election. I am not attempting to imply that this is a topic of greater importance; only that it is of importance. I would find it very troubling if we were to find ourselves guilty of some tragic error in judgment that was the result of an insufficient amount of information. Should this be possible in the “information age”?

My intention is not to criticize anyone or anything; this is just a simple request for more information. This is a request for important information that we as a people require to make safe and informed decisions; important information that we deserve, enabling us to participate in the process in good conscience. While my request is directed to the media for this additional information we need, the onus is really on us, the citizens of America, to force a needed change in what’s being served up daily on the cables and satellite dishes, internet connections and radio antennas all across the country. This onus is what compelled me to write this article. We apparently need to alert the media to some of the other topics that are important and necessary. The topic of potential 2004 Vice Presidential candidates is just one of many unasked questions and unexplored topics of great importance.

I am now “participating in the process” by writing this article and future articles. I urge others to jump in and let their opinions and views be known. Let us change the media’s idea of what it is we want, to what we really do want. Start using your email clients and telephones today and urge the media to cover all of the topics that are important. We need to arm ourselves with information and start using our vote to make a difference.

Kurtis D. Reiner
Absolutely No Political Party Affiliation


  1. Now that the 2008 Presidential election is in sight I would like to hear your thoughts on Hillary Clinton running for President of the United States. Are you for or against a woman running for president and do you think that she can a good job of running this country? Do you think that she will be able to come behind our current president and clean up his political & financial mess? What are your thoughts on the war in Iraq? Should we stay or should our troops come home?

  2. I hope that you are successful in finding your birth parents. I can’t imagine the way you feel. I know that their must be a something missing in your heart that you just won’t be able to fill until you find out the answers you need. I have a similar feeling in my heart that a part of it is missing due to someone I lost years ago and hope one day to be reunited with in some way. Anyway, I worked in the court system for a short while and I wonder if you could petition the court for the adoption records to be unsealed if they still exist. Do you know if there are any records available at the courthouse in Saginaw, MI? Is there anyway to find out from the hospital what babies were born on that day and to whom? Good luck in your search. I feel that it must have been a really hard thing for your birth parents to give you up, but they must have felt like it was the best thing for you. That is extraordinary love. Feel good to know that they loved you that much! Take Care….