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Idealists with no pragmatic instincts cannot build consensus, and are prone to despotism.

Who has Ralph been able to convince of his programs? Politics is about give and take, and representing a multitude of constituencies, not just a vision that has not been tempered outside the confines of theory.

Ralph is a good gadfly, but he's one voice among many competing voices, though he may have a more democratic-little-'d' vision for the future of the country.

Politics is a skill, and *must* accompany and complement ideology, not compete with it. That's why I thought Perot would have been a bad president as well. A business is not a country. Ultimately, Perot is able to say "my way or the highway" in his business, but that doesn't work in government. Perot never convinced me that he could face a competing and valid interest, and have the skills to negotiate around the two. All I saw was the homespun homily-laden "common sense" as his main appeal, and funny enough, that's what I think dubya sees as his strength. Common sense may work as a grounding, but not in using political skill to accomplish those "common sense" goals (without lying, of course).

If Kerry could reach consensus with McCain over Vietnam, that's probably one of the most emotionally-charged tests of ability I can imagine, knowing their different experiences.

I believe Kerry can do the same for our country.
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