As many of you know, I make very few posts about politics simply because I believe I know very little about the subject. Every four years though, I make two or three posts about the US Presidential election. Beyond the good TV it brings, the election of a new US leader has global significance. If you doubt that, just examine the actions of the last eight years of the current occupant of the White House.
So election day for Americans is now about one month off. According to the latest polls, Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, holds a small lead over the Republican representative, John McCain. None of the polls show Obama with a double-digit lead. I find this to be truly stunning. After eight years of having a Republican in the White House, it’s mind-boggling that that many Americans still believe it is in their best interests to vote a man in who would continue the policies of Dubya. In eight years, can Americans honestly say they are better off now than they were in 2000? Dubya led them into two different wars that none of which have been concluded successfully. In Afghanistan, the US never invested in enough resources to finish the job, which included finding Osama bin Laden (who to this day most likely lives freely). In Iraq, Dubya invaded based on false pretenses, burdening a generation of young men and women to deal with their battlefield experiences. On the economic front, millions of Americans are struggling with the sagging economy, trying to pay their mortgages and in many cases just trying to pay for gas. So I ask Americans again, how are they better now than they were the day a Republican moved into the White House?
I just don’t understand the logic behind voting for a Republican again. What could McCain offer that would be so radically different than what Bush has done? Even mice in experiments know not to repeat mistakes if they know it leads to harm. I just don’t get it.
Last but certainly not least, I must comment on a disturbing but continuing campaign trend. I find it sad that the Republican VP nominee, Sarah Palin, is trying to use the whole “I’m folksy” and “Joe Six-pack” and “Main Street, not Wall Street” schtick. In the last eight years, the attack on intellectualism in the US is frightening. That being informed, intelligent, and educated would be negative aspects to a candidate, is something that I would have never imagined. It really took off when Dubya was campaigning and he sought to be seen as a “regular guy”. The morons out there, of course, ate it all up. Bush literally must have received millions of votes because people wanted someone in the White House who was “just like them”. There’s no question those people were idiots and they proved what happened when you put an idiot in charge.
I will never understand why people would want a common or folksy person to lead a nation, any nation. I do understand, however, that successfully leading a country requires intelligence and education, among many other things. The point being that a leader should be an exceptional individual, possessing abilities greater than the average person would have. It would be those abilities that we would put our faith in, knowing that we could not do the things he or she could.
I think the point that most of the idiotic Republicans miss is that you don’t need a common person in the White House just so that they can feel comfortable about having a “Joe Six-pack” there. As long as a leader has the ability to related to the common people then you’re ok. I don’t care if my leader has three PhDs, a Nobel Prize, and eats only beluga caviar. If he or she truly understands what the issues facing a single parent making only $30 000 / yr. are, then that’s good enough.
So these are my thoughts heading into November. My true hopes are for a Democratic win because that’s what the US really needs right now. My optimism is slight though, for in 2004, I thought Americans weren’t truly that dumb but you know what, some of them really were.
I’ll probably make another post before election day in November and then one more after the President-elect is decalred.