Just who is this guy who dares to test the political waters as a virtual unknown running for America’s highest political office? Meet Dr. Mark Klein, a physician and psycho-therapist, a father of 4 and a grandfather; who at age 65 has decided to become a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. He’s not a Joe Lieberman, or a John Edwards. And he’s certainly not a Barack Obama. He’s everyman’s candidate, even though he’s never run for political office.
Why? Because Mark represents that large group of Americans born between 1941 and 1960 – in other words, he’s a baby boomer. He represents a large group of Americans who grew up in a different, more innocent America than that which young Americans are growing up in now. The America of Mark’s youth was one filled with hope and promises. It was a period in which guys working for companies like Ford, General Motors, U.S. Home, etc., could live a decent middle class life and afford to put their children through college. It was a period in which people fell in love, got married, and
stayed together to see their offspring graduate high school, go to college, and then begin their own lives.
Mark Klein also represents what is meant by the American Dream. A second generation American whose grandparents immigrated from Eastern Europe, Marks’ father was a butcher in New York and his mother a housewife. Mark was able to attend college due to receiving a scholarship, and this led to being admitted into medical school. In addition to his professional career, Mark was also successful in the stock market; another benefit of living in a free and democratic society where success in only limited by one’s own ability.
Mark may not be strong in foreign policy issues, but he is aware of what is needed locally on the Home Front. And those needs include returning to former values and ideals that have since been lost by too much greed and desire for immediate gratification (No. 1 comes first syndrome).
Mark’s chances of winning the office he wants to run for are perhaps a bit of a long shot. Yet he knows that if guys like him don’t come forward and stand up for what they believe is needed in America, then most likely those issues will not be dealt with, and institutions like marriage, family, and especially America’s middle class will be replaced with those of either the ‘get rich quick’ group or at the other end of the scale, the “Wall Mart generation”.
Americans who created Mark’s generation are either old or gone now, but we all need to think back and reflect on those who lived during a period of one of America’s greatest challenges, i.e., World War II; when tyranny threatened to destroy everything that democracy and human freedom represented. The dangers facing America and the free World today are no less and perhaps even more challenging than those people faced in WWII. People need to come together to meet these challenges, and this can best be accomplished by a return to values represented by people like Mark Klein.
The 2008 Presidential elections are still a long way off, but it’s not too early (or late) to think about what really needs to be changed in America. And for all you baby boomers out there, it’s time to stand up with Mark and be counted!
The writer is an author, free lance journalist and fellow baby boomer, just like Mark.