argh and a half

It’s difficult for me to avoid watching the RNC. I’ve managed to miss most of the headlining speeches, which means (based on what little I have seen) that I’ve managed to avoid wandering out on the street with a pointy stick and hurting people with it. I do understand that there are people who think W is a better guy, overall, than Kerry. Believe it or not, I can actually very nearly see this point.

Here’s the thing: I don’t love Kerry. I don’t think he’s a great leader. I don’t hate him either – he’s got plenty at his back that I respect and admire. That’s not the point. The point, at least partly, is this: I spent last Sunday afternoon watching the Chicago Air & Water Show with a few good friends and (more pertinently) several neo-conservatives. When asked why they would possibly vote for W., they said, “well, I don’t like Kerry.” But beyond that blanket statement, nobody came up with any kind of solid argument for the Republican ticket. So I had to ask: OK, if we agree that Kerry’s kind of a douchebag, and we deal with W on those terms, where does that leave us? Can we at least agree on the Veeps? Because surely Dick Cheney is a minion of Satan, and surely John Edwards is a human being…” Surprisingly (considering), there was no argument on this. In the battle of the Veeps, Edwards wins.

Nobody disagreed with me, but ultimately my question was answered by a lot of blank and semi-blank looks. Fine, this is not the way we’re accustomed to thinking about the supreme office of our country. How about this: if we all agree that the presidential candidates both suck ( the understanding being that this suck exists to varying degrees, depending on whom you ask), is it not fair to allow people to align themselves with whichever administration, on a slightly broader scale, makes some sort of sense? And bearing that in mind, is it not at least a little alarming that we have, even now, in office, a more warlike president than we’ve had since… oh gracious, since perhaps the Very Beginning? Taxation without representation was the hallmark that made the USA what it is today, for better or worse, but if you go back and read the preamble to the Constitution, it ‘s a call for more action than the average bear is up for, if you see what I mean. And inasmuch as that Constitution was drafted by a bunch of guys who didn’t have to worry about their place in organized society, I’m profoundly concerned by our current (apparent) inability to cope with any belief system outside of our own. I can’t tell you how much I hate it that the World Trade Center isn’t there anymore, and I would be hard-pressed to come up with any justification for any act of terrorism, large or small, but I have my doubts about the viability of America in its current state.

There’s a lot of conflict that the US claims major play in, and a lot that we don’t. World War 2 keeps being dragged out, as does Vietnam, and the conflicts in Eastern Europe in the 90s… Shall we talk about how far things had to get for the US to become involved in the second World War, and how long it took for any responsibility to be taken for Vietnam? And I have yet to hear of any serious effort toward actually rebuilding the eastern European countries where we spent so much time and so many troops. All “imperialist” interests aside, where have we spent the majority of our idealistic time and energy, and who’s around to support those actions?

I don’t pretend to be a political pundit, and to be sure, I’m not sayin’. But I’m not blind, either. Just so we’re clear.

Yeah, I said I wasn’t going to post about politics. I lied.


  1. Sambo

    The neo-conservatives with whom I’ve spoken also tend to say that Bush is a “better leader” than Kerry. The problem I have with this logic is that if a leader is taking his constituents in the wrong direction, then how good is that leader? The king of the lemmings is a fantastic leader, after all. And while I am definitely NOT saying that Bush is remotely like Hitler in terms of ideology, Hitler was also a “good leader.” Again, where did he lead his country, however? Bush, like many politicians, is a tactical rather than a strategic thinker. He does what’s expedient to solve a symptom now rather than a problem for the future. Hence the reason that EPA standards have been ravaged, education is in a shambles, let alone our “war on terror.” I am an independent but it does seem that in the past couple of elections, the politics of the republican party really seems to be one of selfishness and a lack of critical thinking. This is truly the most abysmal candidate choice in an election year in my lifetime, but I think we really do have only one choice — Kerry, not because we’re voting for him, but rather, against bush.

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