I shouldn’t be alarmed this far away from the 2008 elections, but I am. In the forest of presidential candidates, both Republican and Democrat, I see no presidential timber. Mostly what I see are posers, actors and panderers in both camps, and one truly scary neo-fascist named Rudy who believes he need merely sprinkle himself with 9/11 pixie dust at every opportunity in order to secure his party’s nomination. In short, no one with a truly compelling vision and the leadership skills to deliver us from the seemingly endless nightmare of the Bush administration. Most surprising of all to me – a lifelong secular progressive – is that I really don’t care if the next president is a Republican or a Democrat; I only care that he -or she – is intellectually curious, respectful of dissenting views, unburdened by the tyranny of faith-based manipulators, and above all, in touch with reality. Perhaps more than ever in our nation’s history, we need a president with true grit and gravitas;someone from the major leagues, not the bush league. I’m still waiting for this candidate to emerge.