Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Worst Part Of This Year's Election

I'm hoping that Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the genius minds behind South Park, come up with another brilliant way in which to characterize this election when South Park returns in the fall. They are after all, the ones who reminded us in 2004 that whatever the issues of the day might be, we're still given the choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

This year, our choices aren't douche and turd- in a way, our choices are worse. You could say our choice this year is between snake 1 and snake 2, but that's not nearly clever enough (which is why I'll wait for Matt and Trey). This year, on one side we're presented with the candidate who represents change, the first black president, and the man who's going to revolutionize politics as we know it. On the other side we're given the war veteran, the man who believes in service to his country above all else, and the man deeply opposed to the corruption that has characterized government in recent years. In short, the narrative we've been fed is that both of these guys are different, that both of these guys are not typical politicians.

And it's a nice story except for the fact that both of these guys are typical politicians. Unless your Harry fucking Truman, men (and women) who aren't typical politicians don't wind up running for the White House. Certainly, only tried and true politicians wind up in the White House. This isn't to say that Obama and McCain don't care about the country. On the whole, their policies reflect what they think is best for the nation. But what I am saying is that being a real politician literally does mean selling part of your soul. The truth is that the majority of politicians are not corrupt, but they are incredably ego driven and neither McCain or Obama is any different. Notions of change and notions of putting nation before self are not why either of these men are running. Like everyone else in politics, it's about power and prestige.

Truthfully, I think McCain and Obama both have the potential to be better in the presidency than George Bush and certainly better than Al Gore or John Kerry could have been. McCain is committed to stamping out corruption and eliminating waste in government and given everything I've read about Obama the law professor, I believe he has the ability to be the kind of president that really does transcend partisan politics. What I resent is the narrative that either of these guys is something special. They're still professional politicians and we shouldn't forget just what that means.


Anonymous rose said...

I promise this is my last post defending McCain because I assume it's getting annoying by now and I'm not trying to be Tucker Bounds anyway.

Look, the guy has done stuff you don't agree with philosophically. And I won't argue that McCain certainly has a large ego, which in my opinion isn't a bad thing. But I really resent the notion that McCain is running simply for his own ego. "...notions of putting nation before self are not why either of these men are running." That is an unbelievable cynical view to have of a guy who spent 5.5 years in a POW camp enduring torture, many of those years voluntarily because he refused release.

Aside from that McCain hadn't won the Republican nomination until now because he didn't bend any of his core beliefs, wrong or right. He has relented this year in what is his final shot at it.

I resent you making this man equivalent to Barack Obama and your certainty when you state how selfish McCain must be simply because he is a politician. Hate his policies, but get real.

And that is my last McCain defense, but I know it's getting annoying.

BTW, I knew you'd come back with the idea that serving in the military was somehow in your own self-interest. You sound like such an academic sometimes, no offense.

9:35 AM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

I get a kick out of being called academic and intellectual, so no offense taken.

And God, keep up the McCain defenses, this is why I write the blog.

Here's the thing about McCain- for whatever reason, I don't trust the guy. I'm sure some people will call me crazy for this, but I don't trust McCain the same way I trusted George W. Bush. I've got plenty of problems with Bush's policies, but what I always appreciated about Bush was that what you saw was what you got and I just don't get the same vibe from McCain.

And I just don't believe that in this day and age anyone can get anywhere close to the presidency without a damn big ego. There are no more George Washington's in politics, period.

There are thousands of POW's, millions of veterans, literally millions of American heroes who've served their country, the vast majority of whom never went into politics. McCain made a choice, unlike most other war heroes, to go into politics. It doesn't negate what he did, but it does say something about the man that's entirely separate from his military service.

That's all I'm saying. It doesn't make him a bad guy and it doesn't make him John Kerry. But I'm not sure he's a GW (in a good way) either.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous rose said...

Obviously thousands, even hundreds of thousands of American war heros remain completely anonynmous.

That said, I think you can become de-sensitized to what it is McCain actually did. It's not some Hollywood story, it's real. And I feel like it is easy to forget that.

You hear it again and again and it's like ok cmon, I've heard it, I get it and it becomes almost fictional. But it's real. The man after being in Hanoi for over a year, turned down the offer for release and spent four years being tortured for it. Four years. Think about that. That's our entire time in college and he did that voluntarily.

It's easy to forget that that is reality and not some over dramatized story.

It doesn't mean he is fit to be president. It does mean he shouldn't be exempt from the following, "...notions of putting nation before self are not why either of these men are running."

At least don't compare the mans honor to Barack Obama's. At least acknowledge that if there were a politician who broke the mold, this is that one.

And then go back to ripping his policies. That's fine by me.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous rose said...


It does mean he SHOULD be exempt from the following, "...notions of putting nation before self are not why either of these men are running."

12:25 PM  

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