What follows is a brief biography of what many might consider an ideal candidate for the 2008 Democrat Presidential nomination:
Orphaned at 17, lost, alone, he'd been a starving artist, homeless, clad in rags, hawking his artwork in grimy, city streets to scrape out a miserable living.
During those formative years, his lively, inquisitive, restless, creative mind drove him to the public libraries where he poured over political and historical tracts, and wrote poems about his feelings.
When war came, he quickly enlisted as combat infantryman, and consistently volunteered for the most dangerous missions, thus twice winning medals for bravery and suffering severe wounds, from which, some say, he has never fully recovered.
After the war, he wrote what proved to be a popular book about his life and times and his hopes and dreams for his country.
Sales of his book earned him modest wealth, from which, acting as his own architect, he designed and furnished a small, unpretentious estate in the South, where he breeds magnificent dogs in model kennels. He allows some of his pets the run of his home, to the delight of local children, whom he regularly invites to attend the "Fun Fairs" he holds for them.
Having a life-long passion for music, art, architecture, and poetry, he enjoys the society of brilliant, creative people, especially painters, singers, musicians, writers, and actors, all of whom flock to him in droves.
An avid lover of flowers, every morning, he walks his grounds with his gardener, helping to lay out the day's chores. He employs several other persons, all of whom he treats not as servants, but as loyal friends, and, to a person, they regard him as a friend.
He views young people and their idealism as the true key to cultural progress and to overcoming primitive social prejudices. Because they admire him "in almost limitless ecstatic admiration" many youngsters have devoted themselves to practicing and propagating themes he espouses. The young who know him truly love and admire him, seeing him as "the creator of a free country of the young", and "for them he plays not the role of a severe father but of a mother, a source of pleasure and of love".
As a true progressive, he rejects the petty, bourgeois moral impositions that plague sexuality in contemporary American culture. Practicing what he preaches, with his female companion, he openly lives outside wedlock, and he counts homosexuals among his closest friends and collaborators, taking the view that another person's morals are none of his business.
He regards cigarette smoking as a grave danger to public health that should be outlawed. He is a vegetarian, and an advocate of tough gun control laws. He is unswerving environmentalist, who has summed up his environmental philosophy with this fundamental rule: "When people attempt to rebel against the iron logic of nature, they come into conflict with the very same principles to which they owe their existence as human beings. Their actions against nature must lead to their own downfall."
He deplores the selfish "individualism" endemic to America, and he fiercely advocates "an ethic of self-sacrifice", "a people's community", "a communally-minded social consciousness", and "public need before private greed".
He has written: "Under the capitalist system, the only thing that matters is the existence of a few hundred gigantic capitalists who own all the factories and their stock and, through them, control the people. The masses of the people do not interest them in the least." Thus, he views uncontrolled capitalism as "brutal and unjust". One might call him a socialist, but not the sort of Marxist-socialist that failed in the Soviet Union. Rather, he advocates a "center-left", middle-route between socialism and the free market, "taking the best from each", much like the bold, new economic policies the Clintons have proposed, what Hillary has described as, "The Third Way, a unified theory of life which will marry capitalism and statism, and tie together practically everything: the way we are, the way we were, the faults of man and the word of God", and, like Franklin Roosevelt, he proposes that large-scale economic decisions be removed from "the chaos of the free-market" and rather be placed into the hands of orderly, government planning agencies who act not in the interest of the greedy few, but of all the people.
Though not religious, he respects Islam, and many Muslims admire him and his ideas. Among the Christian faiths, he prefers modern, progressive Protestantism, because it rejects the otherworldly focus on personal salvation and instead supports public policies that advance "economic democracy" and "social justice".
Here we have the perfect 21st century Progressive.
What progressive Democrat would not vote for him!?
Oh yes, he has considerable political experience as a chief executive, having served as Chancellor of Germany from 1933 until 1945.
Biography - Bernard Switalski
Graduated high school, 1953. U.S. Army lab technician, Bell Telephone Labs guided missile R&D, White Sands Proving Ground, NM, 1954-1957. Railroad freight conductor, Chicago, 1958-1963. Petroleum products quality/quantity surveyor, mostly in Venezuela, 1964-1965. Blast furnace foreman, Chicago,1966-1968.
After that damn blast furnace put me in the ER, got into the heavy industrial construction industry, 1969. First job, laborer. Last job, general construction superintendent, contracted by a Spanish consortium to oversee the construction of a 4 billion dollar grassroots petroleum refinery in Sumatra.
Somewhere in there, picked up a BA in philosophy. Traveled a lot. As old Cap'n Bill Jensen used to say back there on the Orinoco, "Been round the world two dozen times, first time in a baby buggy, twice in a submarine." Jigged for cod from a dory off Newfoundland; ran like a sissy from an irate cobra in Brunei. Met lots of good people along the way.
Switalski died, April 13, 2009 in Riverdale, Illinois.