Cronkite complains in his best-selling book that not one of the many people who were saying that he should run for President ever asked him what his views are on the issues. I wonder what he would have said had he been asked, that might have made any difference at all. Does Cronkite think that the views he holds would have caused these people to oppose his Presidency, his candidacy, if only they had known. Does Cronkite feel that his views disqualify him from occupying that high office? So, what are your views, Mr. Cronkite?

Although I don't think that I was actually asking him to run, (at least not after I read why he thinks a journalist should not run for President), he may include me among those who he thinks ought to have asked him where he stands--and I would have to plead guilty. But a word in my own defense: surely Mr. Cronkite would acknowledge that it is axiomatic in the idea of trust that, to the extent that we trust a person, we will be less interested in, less concerned about the details regarding their execution of their responsibility. I never asked Cronkite what his views were in part because I trust him to do the right thing. And, as he has said himself, he does not hide his views. I already know where he stands on a number of issues. To the extent that I know where he stands, I agree with him, or I can tolerate the differences, (all the while hoping and believing that he is a responsible and responsive person who will listen to and consider the views of those who disagree with him). If I were to ask him what his views were on some particular issue, it would be out of a simple curiosity, and not out of some litmus test that I wanted to perform. As I did not want to give any suggestion of a litmus test, I chose to tell him where I stand, what my views are on some important issues, rather than ask him his.

But let's acknowledge Cronkite's point: Those professionals, the 'representatives of powerful political organizations' probably ought to have asked him where he stands on the issues. Well, let's indulge our curiosity--it might be an interesting exercise. Mr. Cronkite, where do you stand on pollution? Do you feel that the efficiency and fairness of a fee on pollution and on the taking of natural resources make it the policy of choice as a method of control, or would you promote some other method of control, and if so, which? Would you support distribution of the fee proceeds to all people equally, as owners of the air and water and natural resources?

Where do you stand on the enslavement of animals? Do you see any connection between our ability and willingness to keep members of other species in concentration camp condidions and our ability and willingness to sometimes do the same with memebers of our own species? Is this an issue of public concern? How would you address it? Where do you stand on the use of force by government? In what instance, if any, is it permissible for government to initiate the use of force against its citizens? (I see outdoor lighting as a forced diminution of the visibility of stars in the night sky. I am a Libertarian who does not see the principle of 'no first use of force' as a barrier to our thoughtful sculpting of our public spaces and careful, community-based management of natural resources.)

If I learn that Cronkite holds views that cause me to oppose him as President, he will be the first to know. I wonder what it is that he believes, what program he would propose, that he feels would have any bearing on these people whom he seems to think are remiss for not inquiring about his views. What is it that he thinks might have changed their minds?

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Walter Cronkite for President!
Franklin Thomas for President!
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