Home Americanism A Chronicle of Politics Foretold

A Chronicle of Politics Foretold

 The results of the November 8 elections are in and they ain’t nothing.  Too cynical?  Let’s see: what would you prefer?  Would you prefer someone who won’t make love to you because of your hair color or someone who ignores you because of your odor?  Send me a note.  I’ll read it.

 CNN summarized the results, and its spin is that next year Obama will be reelected.  CNN’s basis?  Voters behavior.  The voters seem intent on having just a little bit of something.  For instance, in Ohio, many voters opposed overturning anti-collective bargaining laws, but they also opposed compulsory health care provisions.  They favor a little bit of power over their lives: in the workplace and in health care access.  Obama stands for the exercise of the littlest bit of power.

 On the other hand, Bill Clinton, the antithesis of Obama, stands for a lot of power.  In the 1990s, President Bill exercised it over welfare, crushing it.  Now, former President Bill writes a book for big bucks.  If the readers propel it to the best seller lists, he may entertain the illusion that he can somehow resurrect what he carelessly destroyed two decades ago.  Interestingly, former Murdoch paper, The Wall Street Journal, called his bluff (Stephen Moore’s Like the ‘90s Never Happened).

 This popular taste for a little bit is not limited to the North Americas.  Its slogan seems to be “Opportunists of the world unite!”  Once a prominent thinker, now just an attention grabber, Mario Vargas Llosa recently had a piece on intemperate inconsistence published (Literature and the Search for Liberty).  He used to stand for collectivist well-being. Now, he dismisses it as Marxist foolishness.  These days, he says he stands for individual freedom.  I take it he also means the freedom to be homeless, hungry and sick.  The Wall Street Journal liked his homily.

 Choosier, The New York Times stayed away from controversy.  The only power seekers it covered where from the entertainment business.  They were the late Michael Jackson and his incompetent private physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.  This sad but minor criminal case occupied the front page of the Tuesday, November 8, election issue.

My morning chat with the expert barista, at my local Bluebird coffee shop confirmed that my chosen title and the tenor of this article were appropriate.  To her question as to how my morning was going, I replied that I was writing my weekly piece in my head. Thinking to anticipate what I assumed would be her next question, I asked whether she had voted the day before.  In all innocence, she replied, “Why?  What was yesterday?”


Photo by Nina Berman


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