Friday, October 03, 2008

Juvenilia II

I wrote this when McCain first chose Palin. Might as well post it now, since she's in the public eye at the moment. I write about politics sometimes, but almost never post what I write: I don't like the tone I slip into. It's easy, all too easy, to write out of contempt, but not much worth reading usually comes of it.


I'm trying not to take it as a studied insult, McCain's selection of Palin, but that's what it feels like. It's the nightmare of the last eight years replayed at high speed, and thrown in my face. Americans, it says, are vapid and ignorant. All they want is pretty faces and pretty words. They don't give a damn really about knowledge and hard work and experience and human decency. They're incapable of distinguishing packaging from content.

That's what it says to me. And it only hurts, of course, because I'm afraid that it's true. Perhaps it is, and democracy for America was always a stupid idea. Maybe the mob really is incapable of governing itself.

I felt more than a twinge of this when Obama won his first caucuses. He's won my grudging approval since, by running the smartest, best-organized, best-disciplined presidential campaign that has ever been run by anyone. And of course by having policies that I approve of, or at least don't loathe, and by seeming to be an intelligent and decent man. And above all by his motto for hiring: "no drama queens," he's supposed to have said. I approve down to the bottom of my boots.

But at first it felt much like this: I was just exasperated. This is serious, folks. This is the presidency of the biggest, baddest rogue state of them all that we're talking about, a superpower bristling with nukes, and with an enormous army posted all over the world. This is the economy that's taking down the stability of the global climate. This is not a job for a freshman senator from Illinois. It's not a job for a neophyte governor of Alaska, either.

You want change? Fine. Elect a congress that will enact change. That's where change is supposed to happen. There's only one way a president of the United States will make fundamental changes -- by overthrowing the constitution. Is that what you want? Think, for God's sake, think for a change.

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