Election Odyssey: 2008

October 25, 2008 at 11:49 pm (Politics) (, , )

I can’t believe I’ve been obsessing about the US presidential election for over a year – and it still isn’t over! If I compare to what has changed in my own life in this span of time, the stasis of US politics is even more dumbfounding.
Nevertheless, here we are. 10 days to go, and, as Puccini’s Calaf sang desperately, “alba vieni, quest’ incubo dissolvi!”Or will the nightmare go on? That is my fear, and no Cosmix will assuage my anxiety until the 5th. Remember, remember the 5th of November!
If the hype is to be believed, this election is as important as the one of 1972. Perhaps even more so, considering in November 1972 we only suspected the forces of darkness drooling close by.  (I use “we” in a very loose sense; I include my unborn self and those who did not give the culture wars their proper due.)
Let me begin by saying how amazed and confounded I am that there are still people who call themselves undecided. ?#$%^@#&*(*&^!%$!!!!
If you’re not in a coma, people, then I really don’t know what else you want. What more do you need? Do the candidates have come over and carve your jack o’ lantern for you? Do your kids’ homework for you? Go trick-or-treating and, apropos, talk credit crunch and national security? Please.
Yet even more worrying is the matter of those who have eyes, but refuse to see. My dear daddy has been nearing apoplexy every few nights or so, when he chats to one of his oldest friends on Skype, and who, although not a raving religious jingoist, plans to vote for McCain.
He says Obama scares him.
You scare me, dammit, when all you can bleat is socialism and taxes. Can’t you see what is going on? Can you really not care?

Hearing my libertarian daddy (or, obamacon/ obamican to be hip) one night sputtering “but! white trash! from wasilla!” (Incidentally, wasalla in arabic means washerwoman… ok, I found it amusing…) I took it upon myself to pen him a little note for his friend, who had picked up on the McCain camp’s latest rhetoric, and was protesting, “But he’s a socialist!”

He liked it, and decided to send it to all his friends.

Unfortunately, those who choose to be blind will not be swayed; but, just in case, here it is, for your forwarding pleasure.

p.s. Lucky for us Biden is no Eagleton, so we can get some sleep….And I’m lucky enough to live in Greece, where the political situation has become so amusing, that I check out New Democracy’s land buying/selling travails for comic relief. It really works, too… (The only boy who could ever reach me/ was the son of the postman, and so on…)

If you have a friend who likes McCain, you may wish to send him the note below.
Dear Friend,

  • “Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society.” (wikipedia)

This is a general definition of socialism. As with all theories, it is very nice and utopian. Unfortuantely, the human race is such – as all countries show – that, whether a communist government is in charge or a capitalist one, the end result is the same. Those in power protect themselves and their friends always – populace be damned. And they always try to cover their asses when something goes wrong.

Therefore, the more power a government concentrates, the more change and/or damage it can bring about. So, the logical thing for a person – who is lucky enough to be able to choose who to vote for – is to think, who can be trusted with this power that I will give them? No politician is pure, so how do I choose? How do I see through the campaign bullshit? What am I looking for?

I think the main thing to look for in the leader of any country is someone with integrity, intelligence, empathy, humility, ability to see many sides of a matter, ability to choose a good team, to be able to listen, to inspire, to be calm and far-seeing. The best thing you can say about a president is to say, “He was good for the country – as a whole.”

Not one of these characteristics can be matched to McCain’s don’t-question-me-I’m-a-war-hero personality. And they called Romney a flip-flopper? Truly, his choosing an agent of uneducated intolerance (if you remember, those were his words in 2000 regarding Falwell et al) with the ugliest, trashiest, most divisive political rhetoric I have heard in years, makes me sick.

It also proves that McCain is a man with no integrity – he just wants to win the prize of President (since he was too incompetent to make admiral) no matter what. That, to me, is extremely scary.

As to McCain’s last ditch effort – I am sorry that you do not see through their crying socialist wolf.

The amazing thing about the new GOP is that they fit in with this definition of socialism exactly – apart from its actual aim. An egalitarian society is really none of their concern.

They advocate state ownership and administration to further their own gains and oedipal interests – to boldly go where no Bush has gone before. And just like China, North Korea, the Soviet Union, and Joe McCarthy – if you dare criticize us, you are not a patriot. You are anti-country.

Actually, the antics of this party are more anti-American than Sarah Palin (who thinks that she has power over the Senate) can imagine in her wildest dreams. Where is the patriotism in suspending habeas corpus? Copying your hard drive if you bring your laptop to the airport? Allowing government to listen in on private phone conversations or read private email messages without court orders? Lying to the people in order to go off to to play 1-billion-$-a-day hide-and-seek in Iraq?

But that is not the fault of the Bush Administration – that is the people’s fault for believing that all this is done in the name of national security and safety, therefore no one opens their mouth to say “Hey, we are wandering over to the totalitarian side of the fence, y’all … We are turning into what we are ‘protecting’ ourselves from”. As to finance, then no honest capitalist government would not have lifted a finger to save any corporation – it would have just shrugged its shoulders and let heads roll.

To not excercise your right to vote – that is one thing. But to vote for John McCain? No, I cannot understand that.


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