Cultural Revolutions

Come and Gone

Ross Perot had come and gone before a monthly magazine had time to take him seriously-another victory for long deadlines and broad views. Many of our friends and colleagues nearly sprained their ankles hopping onto the Perot bandwagon, but I could never work up any enthusiasm for someone whose stock answer to the big questions was "I don't know; haven't thought about it; have to look into it." Here was the people's candidate running against big government, and when push came to shove, he turned his policy positions over to "experts" (read: lackeys of the regime) and his campaign over to mercenaries who arc not even trusted by their own parties. In the end it was the defection of an overpaid gun-for-hire that sent the billionaire back to the vault to count his money. 

The only interesting question is why so many intelligent and decent Americans spent so much time and energy organizing a grass-roots campaign. There are two answers to this, the one of major and the other of minor importance. The less important answer lies in Perot's character. Despite all the allegations of business chicanery, government contract fraud, and personal arrogance, Perot was obviously a better man, in every sense, than Messrs. Bush and Clinton. To call him a man at all sharply distinguishes him from the two-party candidates. Even if all the dirt thrown against him could be made to stick, it would only prove that he...

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