American Culture

From hog slop to White House?

Despite one presidential candidate’s proclamation that hope is nigh, little appears visible.

Pennsylvania votes Wednesday in what reasonable people might wish is effectively the last of a primary season in which presidential aspirants have effectively revealed their character by tearing down each other to become the last man or woman standing. That intent is much of the content of their words, ads and deeds.

Why should voters value destructive behavior? Why should voters value stridency? Why should voters value the invective that candidates (and their side men and women) throw at each other with such little concern for accuracy?

Why should voters value the plausible deniability presidential candidates erect in their campaigns when their acolytes cast aspersions on opponents, then fall blithely on their partisan swords (soon to be rewarded, if their swain wins, with an ambassadorship or a political post)?

It’s oddly amusing that the electorate seems to think that these message-testing, position-shifting aspirants for the nation’s highest elected office will be able to quickly doff the stench of their multi-month slog through self-generated, finestkind mud and just as quickly don the aura of “presidential” behavior.

Bah. Are these behaviors displayed by the survivors of the primary season those the voters wish and need to see in the White House come next January? Voters have seen in the present occupant that election-season behavior does not translate immediately or effectively into “presidential” behavior.

Present behaviors indicate future performance. If these candidates smell this badly under primary pressure, how rank will their odor be under the pressure of war versus peace?

6 replies »

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  2. I share your disgust, Doc, but the American voter gets exactly what s/he deserves.

    We are a nation absolutely in love with ignorance. We think it’s a virtue. We just love being herded like cattle with the prod being naked fear of … what? The stronger the nation gets, the richer, the more influential, the fraidier we Americans get.

  3. A while back I suggested to some of the Scrogues that we write up the speech that we wanted a politician (or politicians) of our choice to give, but that he/she/they never would. I’m thinking I should try to resurrect that….

    Back in 2000, McCain got kudos for his “straight talk express”. We need a politician who’s not afraid to tell it like it is, even if that means he or she couldn’t get elected. Just having someone around, and lasting through the primary to the general election and the debates would force real issues to the forefront of the country’s mind. Of course, only the independently wealthy could ever pull that off, and what’s the chance that someone would put up all that money with the full knowledge that he or she would lose badly?

    Scary thing is, I’d consider it if I had the money. I’d keep on blogging, I wouldn’t take a word I’ve written down, and yes, I’d face difficult questions about my criticism of evangelical Christianity, and yes, I’d have to admit that I’m not Christian, and yes, all my other skeletons would come out into the public sphere to be ridiculed, but by the gods, I’d tell people what the needed to hear.

    There’s a difference between being tactful and lying. Our politicians seem to have forgotten that difference.

    But no donors would ever donate to my campaign. No party would ever support me. And unless I win the PowerBall, I’ll never be wealthy enough to fund my own campaign.

  4. 1: Even IF you won the PowerBall you couldn’t afford a viable campaign.

    2: The Straight Talk Express is a good idea, but it only works if you, unlike McCain, talk straight.

  5. Oh, the bitterness of you liberal elitists. Find some fried dough and watch a little internet porn…maybe take a spin on your riding mower and you’ll feel better. /snark

    We’ve become amazingly like the cattle populating our feed lots, but take heart: the powers that be have spent a lot of time redesigning the chutes so that we’ll be calm as we’re led to the slaughter.