Avoiding direct interaction and outright exposure to American politics has become something of an obsession with me. I have watched a few people in my life suffer from dementia and while it is heart wrenching, to say the very least, on an individual level seeing the signs in society as a whole takes on a surreal meaning with nightmarish overtones. For that reason I have held my tongue from making direct political observations and only making the briefest comments at other sites.
This has even played into my viewing of the news, gone are the days when I watched the news channels seeking a constant update on events here in America and around the world. American news channels and shows, at best, have a very myopic view of the world seeking to cast all events in the light on how they affect this country. At worst they spend far too much time on the latest celebrity antics ignoring such “trivial” matters like never ending wars, expanding poverty, increasing hunger, and the growing incompetence and corruption of elected officials to name a few.
Heaven forbid that some nationally broadcast evening news not spend a third of its allotted time explaining how some self-destructive former child star painted an obscene phrase on the fingernail of her middle finger as she bemoaned some judge throwing her back into rehab. At least the high paid readers on those shows still mention when American soldiers are killed in Afghanistan even though it’s an overall bummer with some corporate suit probably up in the office wishing like Hell he could cut the segment out. There is simply no need to depress suburbia when the greater good calls for all patriotic Americans to flock back to the malls and spend money they do not have.
Still though some things defy my ability to comprehend forcing me to wax on like some redneck Gibbon living in real-time as the world falls apart.
The first is the refusal of Sarah Palin to go quietly into the night of obscurity. There is in most reason bound groups a careful, polite chuckle whenever someone brings up the idea of Mama Grizzly winning the White House in 2012. If this was the world of 1992, I would most certainly agree, but with reality increasingly distorted like the reflection in some funhouse mirror I don’t think she can so easily be discounted. Frank Rich in his November 20 column said it best:
“…logic doesn’t apply to Palin. What might bring down other politicians only seems to make her stronger: the malapropisms and gaffes, the cut-and-run half-term governorship, family scandals, shameless lying and rapacious self-merchandising. In an angry time when America’s experts and elites all seem to have failed, her amateurism and liabilities are badges of honor. She has turned fallibility into a formula for success.”
Now understand my right-wing readers (if I have any) I do not hate Sarah, I find her an odd curiosity and totally unqualified to serve as county dog catcher but other than that I am indifferent. I do find it interesting how certain elites are doing their best to keep such an incurious person in the national spotlight. The other person that almost assures me that we are living in the end times is the good governor of Texas.
Rick Perry is an imposing man with a quick smile much like the ones revival preachers would display right before they began casting demons of illness out of the bodies of senior citizens. These preachers would dance under tents during humid summer nights proclaiming the Second Coming of Christ in a matter of weeks or months and how all the sinners would in the course of God’s plan end up burning in the lake of fire. This would always bring on a round of joyous dancing and loud praising by the good people sitting in the uncomfortable folding seats.
Now do not misunderstand me, I have always felt such preachers had their place in society. In the old days they were largely harmless and existed on the outer fringes of society providing a kind of comfort for folks for whom the world was a simple place. Plus tent revivals are truly an underrated form of entertainment offering excellent home cooked food and the chance to see unusually grumpy old ladies swoon with passion at the preacher casting out Satan's spawn.
It was only when these preachers started drifting into the mainstream of American life and getting elected to public office did things really begin to meltdown. So much that Perry can scream like the aforementioned revival preacher about “federal overreach and tyranny” but in the same breath openly discuss invading Mexico:
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday he would support sending U.S. troops into Mexico to fight the drug war. The Republican has long urged beefed-up security on the American side of the violence-plagued border, but he said stronger tactics are needed to defeat the drug cartels. "You have a situation on the border where American citizens are being killed, and you didn't see that back when George Bush was the governor," Perry said in an interview with MSNBC. Asked whether the U.S. should consider deploying troops inside Mexico, Perry said the federal government should consider all options "including the military."
Such is one of the inspiring lights of the conservative movement that he wants to us to go into a country with gun blazing that is still pissed with us over “stealing” a third of their country in the Mexican-American War. If there was any one sure fire answer to end the drug war raging in that country it would be the sight of American tanks and armored personnel carriers going across the Rio Grande. Fred Reed has a far better insight on this although he is extremely politically incorrect.
That few in the United States understands we did in fact go to war with Mexico in the 1840’s does nothing to give me any warm fuzzies. And to be honest if Perry can find a “reason” to go into Mexico our Canadian friends have every reason to fear we might one day decided to bring the blessings of democracy to them, after all they have plenty of oil as well.
While I am stressing the low hanging insanity of the right in this ramble, please understand that I am fully aware that the left has its own host of people for whom the laws of nature can be suspended with a wave of the magic wand as rainbows and unicorns sprout from their asses. I will leave reasonable members of the right to address those examples since I have already pissed my own people off. On that last sentence, absence of evidence for their existence is not evidence of absence although I am beginning to have my doubts.
My main point is that clever slogans and smooth talking pundits from both sides of the political spectrum do little to address the real issues this country faces. I am a liberal, damn near a socialist when you compare me to the people I am around, but I refuse to believe any one political movement has all the answers. I wish like hell it did, it would make solutions to our problems far simpler. Quite frankly I see several freight train-sized problems headed straight for us which will require everyone pitching in with their own talents and ideas to avert disaster.
But it always comes back to a population giving a damn about something other what they can buy and what some media type is doing on the most popular reality show of the month. Right now there is no evidence of anything like that and we are still mindlessly standing on the tracks with the trains coming at full speed.
Today's Cartoons - (*click on images to enlarge*) (Matt Davies, Newsday) (Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ) (Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer) (Ed Hall, Ar...
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