Home > National Politics, United States > A lamentable show

A lamentable show

No, I don’t mean the GOP convention in Tampa. That too, of course: The scripted proceedings, Big Chris addressing beaming delegates in simple words suited to four-year olds, Clint Eastwood rambling incoherently to an empty chair (check out Jon Stewart’s take on that, unadulterated genius!), Ryan taking liberties with facts, “Ken” (as in Barbie’s Ken) Romney never managing to look either comfortable or presidentiable. I’m not sure the Democrats will fare better in Charlotte come September 4, but at least the general IQ level should be higher. (Are Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber to be thanked for turning idiocy into a national and even a patriotic virtue?)

The political game on the whole is the lamentable show I’m thinking about. We may not quite realize it yet but our elections are a sham, our conventions a tired cliché, the unlimited funds spent on presidential campaigns an insult to a world–including the United States–where there is such poverty, the ads are grotesque, the nastiness and the vindictiveness beyond appalling. And we, the people, go about our business, numbed into finding the process normal.

What can I say? I will still vote, out of civic duty, and vote for Obama, out of principle, but my heart isn’t in it. Not that I find him responsible for any of our present woes. He inherited a terrible situation, be it the economic decline or the wars the country was engaged in long before he was elected. Four years ago, he gave us enormous hope. Short on experience, he was nonetheless charismatic and of superior intellect–he was cool personified. On top of which we invested him with qualities that he may have had starting out but was never given a chance to prove: courage, determination, compassion, an understanding of the most pressing problems this country and the world face. What we didn’t realize was that the machine has gotten too big for one man. Any president is surrounded by an array of conflicting interests, advisors defending their turf, focus groups, warring legislators, judiciary in disarray and every official seeking election or reelection keeping his/her eyes on polls and on pretty much nothing else.

Let’s face it: No way will Obama or any replacement, now or later, be allowed to speak a single word unvetted by the already mentioned advisors and focus groups, or make determinations about major domestic and international issues or, in general, fix anything that needs fixing. The days of Reagan or Clinton when the President of the United States was larger than the office are far behind. Obama’s wings have been clipped and his persona scrubbed of emotions and ideas, the very things “Ken” Romney’s handlers are unsuccessfully trying to present him as having. We should start getting used to the idea that we are no longer voting for real people but for products, and defective ones at that. Now, where’s that number for customer service?

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  1. Maryam yekta Steininger
    September 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Neither President Obama or Mr. Romney are capable to deal with America and the entire world because of lack of experience and sophistication. Fighting each other and spending so much money to be elected is very childish and crazy! How can you become president with buying votes!!? The huge question is the Middle East and Iran.

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