But it’s even worse than that. I’m starting to worry about the sanity of the candidate himself. John McCain has actually been touting the idea that Sarah Palin has foreign policy experience because Alaska is next to Russia. And Palin, who crammed like a schoolgirl for the now infamous ABC interview with Charlie Gibson, echoed that bizarre absurdity by saying that her foreign policy bonafides include her vision: the fact that she can SEE Russia from Alaska. Between all this, and McCain’s perseveration on “We are all Georgians” rhetoric, on peculiar ideas like “Sarah is my soul mate,” and “She’s the most wonderful Vice Presidential candidate in history;” and his impulsive, cynical, irresponsible, politically-motivated pick of this extremist, unvetted, untested Vice Presidential candidate, I feel as if we’ve all landed in the movie Doctor Strangelove, and we’re stuck in the room with General Jack Ripper ranting and perseverating about those Commie Ruskies and our precious bodily fluids. I keep thinking about what a member of McCain’s own party, Thad Cochran, Republican of Mississippi, said once about Mr. McCain, “The thought of his being President send a cold chill up my spine. He’s erratic, he loses his temper and he worries me.” Me too, Thad. Me too. Has anyone actually considered the longterm personality consequences of five years of torture? Is it possible there’s PTSD here?
But this isn’t Dr. Strangelove, after all, it’s 1984, and the Republicans seem to have so mastered the art of doublespeak that a sizeable number don’t even realize that we’re being had….again. When McCain nominated Sarah Palin, I thought surely women, except the true religious right, weren’t going to buy her just because she was a woman and “one of us?” We did that already with Bush, who was judged by many as “someone you’d like to have a beer with.” Are we about to do that again, and get the same result? I’m sure John McCain is fun and likable in his own way, and Sarah Palin is a lot of fun on a moose-shooting expedition, but why don’t we try something new after eight years, maybe elect someone really smart to the highest office in the land? After eight years of George Bush, underachiever, do we really want to elect someone who graduated near dead last from Annapolis? Isn’t that doing the same thing and expecting a different result? Isn’t that insane?
I keep asking myself what can be responsible for this vulnerability of Americans to Swift-boat tactics instead of logic and common sense? Why are so many unable to look at a problem and figure out the right solution? Or at least a different solution than the one that hasn’t been working? Is it a lack of education or critical thinking skills? Identity politics? Is that people have no memory? Is it that people can’t prioritize what’s important any more? Is it that our consumer culture has made us so used to being bombarded with ads and sales pitches that we’re unable to go beyond sound bites and jingoistic phrases? Is it a media that simply isn’t doing its job? Is it something in the water? Have we gone insane to even think for one moment that we’ll get a different result with McCain and Palin?
They can call Obama an “elitist” and a “pervert” and whatever else their Rovian minions dream up, but the result will be the same. While the world moves forward in science, technology, and medicine, we’ll be banning highly promising lines of medical research like stem cells, teaching Adam and Eve as science to our young people, and arguing over irrelevancies, like gay rights, which should be a given in this country.
While the world burns and terrorists proliferate, to a great degree as a result of OUR policies, we’ll continue with our “tough talk and bad strategy,” to quote Senator Obama.
While the planet sputters and begins to die, we’ll continue to prop up Petro-dictators in the most repressive, pre-modern, anti-woman countries on earth, countries in which the Church IS the state, and further erode our own separation of church and state in the process. In the end, we’ll look more like them than they do like us.
While the rest of the world looks on in horror, we’ll continue down our current path, increasing our deficits, mortgaging our and the world’s future, adding to the world’s overpopulation by pushing abstinence only and restricting access to sex education, birth control and abortion, and doing nothing to stop the world from moving toward nuclear catastrophe.
While the signs of global destruction mount all around us, from melting ice in the Artic to wild weather in the Americas, we’ll just continue along the same path we’ve been going for the last eight years, and expect a different result. And the Republicans will continue to live in their fantasy world, insisting that America is still and always will be the world’s “leader,” and calling anyone who would dare speak truth unpatriotic.
Bush calls us the “angry left,” but I’m not angry. I’m horrified that the country has gone insane. I’m grieving. I grieve because we’ll be electing a war monger who will not only keep us in the unnecessary, disgraceful war we’re already in in Iraq, but is going to get us into another war with his bellicose “We are all Georgians” rhetoric.
I grieve for the demise of this country and this planet. But instead of fighting as we go down, some of us will be chanting insanely “Drill Baby Drill.” Maybe it’s something in our precious bodily fluids. Or maybe its in the oil