Monday, January 7, 2008

No Tears

[First, for those who are following the soap opera, I have Chapter 3 posted. Almost all of the formatting, including endnote citations and notations (of which there are about 1500), and it seems all but one of the charts/ tables/ graphs, have been lost. Ah well. It's either up as these bare bones, or not at all. This chapter is of narrow application, but for anyone who has an interest in ethnology and national origins, it should be fascinating. To everyone else it should be almost incomprehensible. You have been warned.]


Hillary cried last night. Why aren't we moved? Because we think it was a tactic. It seems like a manipulation. Psst, Senator -- you're down in the polls. The idiots think you're too hard. Fem it up -- say, maybe, we'll plant a question that you can cry about. Cuz, in all the speeches she made on the stump and in the Senate, about children and Iraq and lost puppies and whatever, she never did cry. Then she gets this softball question about how she feels about her defeat, and she weepily answers another question, about her passion for children and the country and how important "it" is. Sorry, butch -- too little too late, this Tammy Wynette thing. With a 33% trustworthiness rating from her own voting pool, she needs to be consistent. It was an obvious and clumsy move. Some boneheads are suggesting she'll drop out of the race if she loses two in a row. Good lord. This is her life's ambition. Of course she's weepy. But there's no way that these two first but minor primaries mean anything at all, compared to her ambition and machine.

As for her tears, if they were genuine, it was poor judgment. What is it, after all, that seems to be her strong point? If anything, it has to be her perceived toughness. And there she goes, turning on the waterworks, a few days after she loses in the first primary, and a couple of days before she's going to lose in the second. Good lord. Who is running her campaign, the Stooges? Honey, play to your strengths. You'll never be President Mommy. At least pretend to be somebody, instead of just anybody. It's called acting -- sort of like your marriage. And of course there's the warning of Muskie -- who derailed his '72 bid for the presidency, in New Hampshire of all places, by publicly crying ... or was it merely seeming to cry? No matter. It's not allowed. Don't these fools know that? I was barely in puberty at the time, and I remember it. Crying? I have nothing against it. I'm the guy who can't have a serious conversation without tearing up. But I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. What's their excuse?

And then there's Obama. I was wrong before when I said he couldn't be president. It could happen. But it would be so much more of the same. He's talking about giving people, "farmers and scientists," a chance. Hmm. Now how is he going to do that? By being a liberal politician? What "chances" does the government "give"? What law -- which by nature limits options -- is going to enhance freedom? It's meaningless. He talks about health care. Huh. How is he going to get that to happen? He's way way to the left -- how will he bridge the distance to come to some compromise with the right, to get universal health care? It's meaningless. We are not electing a dictator. Don't they understand this?

No, they don't. Neither do we. Every four years we hop on the merry-go-round, and we're surprised when it takes us nowhere. Reagan really was different, because things did change a little bit. The rest of them? You have eyes. That's why I'm moving more and more away from ideologies, toward pragmatics. I have clear goals, well defined positions. But I understand that it's not about talking pretty talk, it's about getting results. We're not electing Jesus. These are politicians, almost all of whom have egos larger than I pretend to have -- even larger than I really do have. They are flawed. I'm fine with that. Romney is another clinton -- slick. I don't care, if he can get results. Giuliani may be an adulterer, too -- you remember, like clinton. That really stinks. But he cleaned up the most crime-ridden place in the USA, and made it the safest large city. If I want a preacher, I'll go to church. I want the potholes filled and the borders secure. It would be nice if we could have both. Maybe next time.

For me there's one major issue. Borders. Here's why. A politician who gets it about the borders, gets it about Iraq. I mean mainstream pols, not isolationists. It should be painfully obvious that pols can get it about Iraq, and miss it entirely about borders. It's a security thing. Why are we busy saving foreigners, when we aren't bothering to save ourselves? The first time, they came here legally, the islamoterrorists. The next time it will be illegally. You can figure it out for yourself. A nation is defined by its borders, the way your home is defined by its walls. And a government exists, by our way of thinking, for the specific purpose of increasing the safety and potential for prosperity of its citizens. The government is hired by us to do a job, the way we would hire an accountant or a security guard. There's nothing magical or inspiring in this fact. The beauty of our system is that they work for us. If they don't, the beauty becomes ugliness. You know, like most of the rest of the world.

We are a family. We are a private club. We are a corporation. We are a gang. We are whatever analogy you care to use, that defines a group of people who come together to look out for each other, first. If you don't recognize it, it's called a nation. After we take care of our own needs, we look to the rest of the world. As a group, we take care of job one, then we take care of all the other jobs. As individuals we have the right to sacrifice ourselves. We can give away all our possessions and live among the lepers that we might bring them comfort. This is a noble and fine thing -- of an individual. But as, say, parents, we don't have the right to sacrifice ourselves for strangers. We sacrifice ourselves for our children. And as citizens, we must be devoted to that comity that has blessed us with the security and prosperity that have allowed us to nurture a loving and self-sacrificing character.

That's what I'd like to see, in a candidate. Selfishness. Not the personal kind -- the national kind. Nationalism. Us first. Pols are elected to look out for our interests. Their job is not to be elected and stay in office. Their job is to serve. It's not about emotion. It's not about compassion. It's about competence and clarity of vision. What happens to vision, when a pol starts crying? Gets sorta blurry, eh? What should happen is that our vision becomes clearer. I hope it's still that way.


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