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Gorby for president
From the Isthmus archives, June 17, 1988

Credit:David Michael Miller

"With all due respect to George Bush, Michael Dukakis and Eugene McCarthy, I have a different nominee for president of the United States," Bottom Line columnist Sam Day declares. "His name is Mikhail S. Gorbachev. The Soviet premier's ideas for restructuring the bureaucracy of his central government make a lot of sense for our country too. Mammoth, multibillion-dollar agencies like the Pentagon and the Department of Energy, with their allies in the corporate sphere, are a millstone around the neck of the American body politic. And, just like the Soviet Union, we could use a healthy shot of glasnost to open our society to the questioning of assumptions seldom challenged in the mainstream of public thought." Day goes on to tout Gorby's proposals to eliminate nuclear arsenals, ban the testing of nuclear weapons and discontinue development of Star Wars technologies, draw down conventional forces in Europe and ban chemical weapons. "No candidate and no platform committee on this side of the Atlantic can claim a foreign-policy plank that makes as much sense for the United States," concludes Day, whose column fails to sway the U.S. electorate, which votes Bush into office. Gorbachev goes on to win the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, but the dissolution of the Soviet Union sweeps him out of office. He now leads the Union of Social Democrats, a minor political party. Day dies on Jan. 26, 2001.

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