Friday, February 06, 2004
Over 290 Million ServedA commenter on this-here blog said the following: "By saying you won't vote for Bush, please tell me that you are not a proponent of what seems to be the new default philosophy for a good lot of non-Republicans: "We're going to vote for the guy who can beat Bush." That tells me that most non-Republicans don't give two shits about their candidate's character or beliefs. Watch, as the U.S. swirls down the toilet." - Dread Dread, my old friend, your point is as right as the angles on my tofu. It recalls a point made on a Saturday Night Live skit several years ago. The actor said something like "I remember the good ol' days when we voted for the man we liked the most. Then we started voting against the man we didn't like. Then we started voting for the man we disliked the least. Now we vote against the man who won't be able to beat the man we dislike the most." I think I'm butchering the quote, as is my style. But the point is hopefully made. The fact is that the two political machines in this country, the DNC and the RNC, have been expertly tuned over the years to produce success on a McDonald's-sized scale. These machines produce candidates that are apprehensible, digestible, and agreeable to everyone from New York City to Pocatello, Idaho. The quality of this product is about equal to that of a Big Mac: predictable, malleable, and you can choose to eat it here or to go. The second fact is that, like McDonalds, these machines wouldn’t have seen such success if it weren’t for the fact that so many people buy Big Macs. We drooling Americans actually go to the voting booth and make decisions that reward the behaviors of these giant masters of spin. The DNC and RNC no longer care about providing us with an actual good candidate. They only care about which template of which man will fit well into their spin machine, so that he can be transformed into something “presidential”. Presidential. Where the fuck did this word come from? What the fuck does it mean? Pardon my French but, this word pisses me off. By today’s standards, Abraham Lincoln would be so far from “Presidential” that he wouldn’t even be considered “City Councilmanial”. Furthermore, if Abraham Lincoln actually made it to office, Americans wouldn’t be able to listen to a wise word he said because they wouldn’t be able to get past the enormity of his ears. There isn’t a word in the English language for how sad this makes me. It was for this reason that I became disenchanted with the DNC and RNC. I believe we need a leader from outside of the machine in order to get anything worthwhile done in this country. Some people might assume that since I so vehemently dislike Bush that I’m a staunch Democrat. Not so. In fact for 12 years I was a Libertarian. I even went to a Libertarian meeting where I shook hands with and spoke to the 2000 Libertarian candidate for President, Harry Brown. I must say it was a weird moment. The meeting was sparsely attended, and mostly by odd-balls at that. I grabbed a glass of sparkling cider and turned to see Harry Brown standing perfectly alone. I thought “shit, why isn’t anybody talking to this guy?” I walked up, smiled, and shook his hand. As we began making smalltalk, my hopes went flaccid like a macho barfly who just found out that his one-night-stand is actually a man. As much as I stood behind their ideals (and I still stand behind many of them) the Libertarians were incredibly unimpressive to me. In fact, they seemed downright kooky. Harry Brown wasn't exactly presidential, and I knew at that moment that there was no way the American populace would elect him—or anyone the Libertarian party might produce. It was just so saddening. So now I find myself in the political DMZ where I think most people imagine themselves. I don’t like the stereotypical Republicans because they are too intrusive into our private liberties. I don’t like the Democrats because they allocate too many powers to the federal government. I don’t like the values Americans apply to elected officials because it prevents us from electing the very type of man or woman this country needs. However, the optimist in me hopes that what we’re going through now is the adolescence of the Television Age. After all, few Americans who voted for Abraham Lincoln ever actually saw him. They judged him by the content of his character not the … size of his ears. Howard Dean was able to garner a large amount of support for himself based on his words published on various pages of the internet. Once the qualifications of is “presidential-ness” became weighed on television close-ups and radio re-runs of his over-the-top high-pitched speech in Iowa, the voters balked. But the fact that his campaign did gain some momentum based on mere words, ideas, and abstractions, is a glimmer of hope that I will carry with me for awhile. Maybe the content of a candidate’s character still means something, and maybe … just maybe … we will one day grow more mature and elect men and women into leadership who actually belong there. In the meantime, Dread, yes, I am going to vote against the man that I dislike the most. I hate to say it, but it’s true. And no, I don’t want fries with that.