Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bullet Points

If the great issue facing America nowadays is the economy, then Romney is the man to elect. He's run businesses, and understands what the economy demands to produce prosperity. It's not theory, with him. If the issue is business as usual, we have to go with Hillary. She talks about her experience. If she means something other than being a wife, then it must be experience at being a senator in Washington -- part of the status quo club. If you liked the '90s, you'll love Hillary. Aside from the fact that there was no recognized enemy, no danger, and no significant challenge in the '90s. Who knows, maybe she can change back the clock -- that's a sort of change -- and we can somehow return to that holiday from history. Somehow we do associate the name clinton with the idea of spring break.

If the great concern facing the land is some matter of religious doctrine, we gotta go with Huckabee. He was a so-so governor, but he really, really does know the Bible. If we want a moderate liberal who is good on national defense, it's McCain all the way. If what America needs is slow, confident, symbolic manliness, we should go with Thompson. If it's pure symbolism alone, nobody could embody that better than Obama, both in his rhetoric and in his very flesh. If we want divisiveness and an oh-so-eloquent expression of Us v. Them, Edwards. What else can he mean, by his "two Americas" idea?

If the election is about crafting an effective government, then Giuliani is the man. He took the most crime-ridden city in America and in two terms made it the safest large city in America. He took an apparently irredeemable fiscal situation, and put it on a fiscally sound basis. He lowered taxes and increased revenues, and punished corruption and incompetence.

If I want symbols, I'll read Virgina Wolfe novels. If I want heroes, I'll visit the VA hospital. If I want someone to agree with me, I'll get a job teaching second grade. If I want morality I'll go to church -- maybe I'll find it. If I want attractive personalities, I'll find someone who's just like me. If I want pleasing lies, I'll hire a prostitute.

What I want is competence. I want somebody who meets the requirements of the job description. Cheerleaders and speech-makers are fine. That's what public holidays are for. But when playtime is over and it's time to get to work, what we need is effective leadership. In terms of real-world results, there are two guys running who can make a good case for themselves. Once we get over the high school popularity aspect of all this campaigning, we'll see that.

I no longer require doctrinal purity. My candidate will be allowed to be flawed. He can be off on some several issues. He's allowed to have "flip-flopped". A lot. I want him to have changed away from his former wrong ideas as much as possible. He can have been immoral. He can have used drugs. He can have made all sorts of big mistakes. As long as he's recognized them, and changed. He doesn't need to have changed in his heart. I do not care about his heart. I care about what he will do, that is beneficial and effective.

Abortion? It's killing babies. But babies will always be killed. It should be a state issue. We can fight those battles, if they're small enough. Illegal immigration? We can bleed. We just need triage. Staunch the gushing. If we have to be unjust, and give the cheaters what they have stolen and do not deserve, well, that's unclean, but living in the real world makes us dirty. Sometime we have to swallow what is poisonous. We'll survive, if we don't have to do it again, yet again. The war? It's largely won. The cowards and traitors and betrayers tried their hardest, but we found the winning formula, it seems, and perhaps they have been chastened. No, they haven't, but I don't need perfect truth. Other major issues? Politics is about compromise. We have to live with that fact.

What I'd like to see is, uh, change. That means someone who understands about leadership, and communication, and competence, and all those pretty buzzwords that the left loves but still offers up the same old ideas, and the right loves but is too in love with itself to achieve. A good place to start, with this change thing, would be to stop thinking that politics is a religion. It's just about potholes and borders, and how they will be paid for. Charity is for churches. Saints belong in the hard cold places of the world. Government workers have one job, which is to open the door and get the hell out of the way.

As for my son, yes, I picked him up this evening. I hardly recognized him, except he called me "pops". He'd shaved the left side of his head and dyed the rest of his hair pink. He'd sharpened his teeth to points, lost 70 points because of a meth addiction, and lost most of his nose to syphilis. Right now he's in the kitchen making the cat hiss. My son, my wonderful son. What the hell did the Army do to him? I'll have to rethink this patriotism thing. America sucks. Go, Edwards!


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