Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rant: The winner of the March 4 Democratic primaries.

The winner was the politics of fear, character assassination, ill-will and greed.

If Hillary's tenure as First Lady for the Governor of Arkansas and then the President of the United States qualifies her as a Presidential nominee then Laura Bush should be a strong contender for McCain's running mate.

If "experience" was such a strong quality for leadership in the executive branch then why were Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney such abject failures?

No, what we have here is a campaign in desperation turning to the tactics of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove (strategies which Atwater disavowed on his death bed). This kind of stuff does get votes from the Walmart-shopping, CNN-watching, American Idol-watching, McDonald's-eating idiotocracy in this country. You may call this "winning" but what these people have gotten this country is a sub-prime mortgage meltdown, $104/barrel oil, the scorn of the rest of the planet, an increasingly crappy health-care system that is only good at making money from people's suffering, and an economy that relies on poisoning the planet in order to function.

But, you're so smart because you "win."

So, Hillary is perfectly willing to use these tactics because winning is clearly more important to her than public service. I'm afraid Obama has been so bitten by his greed that he's starting to turn this way as well. He has not yet turned the corner, but he's looking down that side-street. McCain is looking good by comparison. If Hillary ends up with the nomination because of her continued reliance on the politics of personal assassination and pandering to the idiotocracy, my choice will be between McCain and not voting.

Yes, I'd rather lose than win by tearing people down. But it breaks my heart, it breaks my heart that a campaign based on hope can be so easily torpedoed by fear and ill-will. It breaks my heart that people buy a slogan like "experience" without taking the briefest look at what that really means. Being First Lady is not experience in government. Besides, it's not experience we need, it's judgment, and Hillary has just revealed where her values lie. The voters of Ohio and Texas have revealed that there aren't enough people in this country who can see beyond the blinders of their own shallow preferences and aversions. There are more people willing to concur with ill-will and shallow pandering than those willing to risk being hopeful.

So, I'm back where I was before Obama"s campaign emerged. Democracy cannot succeed as a system of government unless the governed care about government. There's no way to force people to care about government until they lose it. Humanity seems singularly unable to work out this problem. There's just not enough people in this country who get it. That makes me sad.

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