My grandmother taught me not to hate and this has always served me well. Even my grandmother, however, shares my extreme distaste for politics. And God help me, but I do loathe politics and the politicians who perpetuate it. I hate it because it provides the lowest common denominator in a society both overwhelmed and satisfied with mediocrity the opportunity to judge people. I also hate it because it takes advantage of my cynicism and drives me to despair. Finally, I hate politics because it’s reduced me to a state of blogging about my hatred of it in order to relieve the accumulation of bile.
I am not an advocate of either party; I think equally ill of them both. All of them, actually. Even those whack-ass libertarians. I manage to remain somewhat separated from the piles of horseshit spewed by the various networks and their poorly-veiled bias and stand aside as the shucking and jiving of the campaign circus passes. I have zero desire to join in any debate. What I can’t abide, however, is the hypocrisy on the part of our society, at large. The blatant, infuriating, ass-rapingly unsubtle hypocrisy of ‘patriotic’, God-fearing’, ‘forward-thinking’ people. Nothing shines a beacon on this flavor of vice like the opportunity to judge others and there is no better forum for this than the political realm. So, allow me to pose some rhetorical questions to my supposedly puritanical, flag-waving, lapel-pin sporting country-men and –women.
Hello, America. Answer me this: In judging people for public office, why is it you hold them to higher standards than you collectively hold yourself? Not just higher standards, either. Absurdly unattainable standards, based on a carbon-based template crawling with the scourge of human nature. McCain’s too old, you say. Judging from the trends of standardized test scores over the last couple decades, your education system isn’t exactly setting us up for a future filled with unicorns and rainbows, so maybe requesting the governance of folks one or two generations older isn’t as outrageous as it’s being made to seem. And about those standardized tests: Great idea.
Palin’s unfit to govern because her 17-year old daughter had a baby out of wedlock, you say. Oh, fuck you. First of all, I’ll bet you probably think this wouldn’t have been as big a deal if she’d been 18. Really? Is that because something profound happens during that one-year transition from innocent little flower to responsible adult? You know what 18 is? It’s a number. Period. It’s arbitrary. An 18-year old is a 17-year old you can legally slap a uniform on and send somewhere to dodge bullets (alcohol-free, of course). Second, are you implying that the two people involved in the baby making didn’t realize the consequences of their actions because their parents didn’t make it clear enough? Nice assumption. Do we need to have a talk about brain chemistry and teenagers and how sometimes young people do things contrary to their parents instructions? *GASP* If you want to hate Sarah Palin, hate her because she’s an idiot who even to this day advocates abstinence-only education as a birth control technique along with a militantly pro-life agenda without consideration of individual circumstances, but don’t hate her because her 17-year old daughter and her equally hormonally-wracked boyfriend succumbed to an urge that people twice their age have a hard time controlling. And unfit to govern whom? YOU?!?!? When was the last time you looked at your demographics?!? A mother of someone involved in an unplanned pregnancy would be EXACTLY who’s qualified to govern a country full of single parents, unwanted children, skyrocketing divorce yates, and a child welfare system clogged with custody battles and allegations of abuse.
Keeping with the theme of Palin-related schadenfreude, you brought up the fact that she was caught fishing without a license and that her husband was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. News Flash: You can’t swing a dead cat in Alaska without hitting someone mildly interested in seceding from the union. I lived there for four years. I proverbially swung that dead cat and even thought to myself at times, ‘Huh, y’know……’, because after you’ve lived in a place like Alaska long enough, you begin to question the point of ever returning to the lower 48, much less paying them taxes. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t her husband’s right to assemble with whoever the hell he wants protected by that strange little document that seems to get pulled out only when it’s convenient? And, sure, let’s talk about what you seem to perceive as an overt act of disregard for the law. As for the law itself, how’s your criminal justice system looking? Focused on rehabilitation, right? Fair and unbiased? According to the line-up of hour-long voyeurism served up nightly and weekends by MSNBC, your society views other people’s incarceration as entertainment, evidently secure in the notion that it could never happen to them, despite increasing evidence to the contrary. Convicts have long been told that they need to pay a debt to society; I’d argue that such an activity requires a society worthy of being paid such a debt. Maybe you should look into that instead of one woman’s transgression involving a salmon.
Finally, let’s discuss the importance of experience. Palin has none. Obama has little. Biden and McCain have more. There are, however, two well-known politicians that dwarf them all in the realm of foreign and domestic policy, racking up ~80 years of experience between them. Dick Cheney’s and Donald Rumsfeld’s vast experience didn’t save them from giving in to hubris via the corrupting influence of power. There’s more to foreign and domestic diplomacy than experience. So, how about we drop the ‘experience’ bullshit?
You have no moral high ground on which to stand. I realize other countries are saying this based on Iraq, but I’m saying this based on things happening here. Your society implying that this or that individual is unsuited to lead them is absolutely ridiculous. Your electorate demands leaders who have been thoroughly unsoiled by the country in which they’ve lived, then they act appalled when even the slightest indiscretion arises. Grab a mirror and take a very hard look, America, and understand how absurd it is to demand that these people be better than what you see.
Sir @ September 4, 2008