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Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., ( a television company which executive produces programs and consults with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc. is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.

November 2, 2006

Tombers Ruminates As Elections Loom

It has been a marvelous fall week; the leaves are golden and falling gently across the landscape. The east coast, once it had finished with its fury of weekend storms, settled in to a perfect autumnal week, the air cool but still layered with warm, pale blue cloudless skies, hauntingly beautiful and a bit melancholy in that they reminded us of warmth past and cold to come – and all the things we’d said we’d do during the summer and didn’t do and now it is too late…

Halloween came and went, complete with achingly beautiful toddlers innocently trick or treating in costumes of a far more elaborate nature than I recall from my childhood. The evening finished with a long adult dress up party at my favorite bistro, the Red Dot. I came as what I was, a tired commuter.

Against this backdrop, the world is moving on its course, with actions, events and currents that belie the physical joys of the time and seeming innocence of All Hallow’s Eve.

October has been the bloodiest month in a long time in Iraq and if you saw in this week’s NY Times, our government’s color coded meter for political stability is slipping ever further toward the side that says: chaos.

As I reveled in my morning hot shower one day this past week, I was intellectually assaulted by a report out of Britain, delivered by the P.M. that global warming is not some distant threat but that it looms over us today, a threat so profound that it caused me to pause as the water poured over me. If Tony Blair is correct, in our lifetimes we will face physical and economic devastation due to global warming that will be greater than the effects of both World Wars and the Great Depression combined.

If true, catastrophe is barreling down upon us. Listening to this dire news, I wished that Tony Blair had not squandered his believability upon our adventure in Iraq. For a time, I trusted him more than any other leader – as did the Brits. Friends of mine in London are so angry with him that apoplectic is a mild adjective.

Yet as we trundle toward our elections, there is scarcely any talk on environmental issues in the political conversations occurring. We are focused on the war – the troubling, macabre mess in Iraq we have created. We are seeking in our hearts some resolution with this disaster; both those who approved and those who opposed are now pretty much equally seeking an end game that will minimize the mistakes we’ve made.

As I ride the rails today past both the exquisite beauty that is the United States as well as witnessing from my speeding window its rusting infrastructure and its pockets of poverty, I realize that I now know what it is that I have sensed missing this election season – someone from anywhere that has a vision for what this country and this world should be. No politician of which I am aware has spoken of much beyond the immediate and no one on the horizon from either side of the political spectrum that might lead the country in 2008 has envisioned and articulated a future path for America and the world that addresses the fundamental issues facing us – including global warming, clash of faiths and the dissonance between what governments are doing and what their people need.

Instead we have had some of the worst vitriol of any campaign in my lifetime from candidates and pundits alike. While he has apologized, Rush Limbaugh’s take on Michael J. Fox was shameful. John Kerry was verbally clumsy and ham handed in handling his gaff. Local campaigns seem universally vicious as reported in the press and on the blogosphere.

While it would be simpler to wallow in the languor of the season’s beauty and to focus on the sweetness of the children in their costumes, the reality is that we must think seriously and vote diligently if we want those sweet children to have a future equal to their present.