Okay, one more political post for the night, and then I have to do things like eat and, uh… write, that’s it. Anyway, I’ve been reading some conservative Canadian and British blogs and columnists on the election, and they all seem to share one attitude in common — shock at the way the American voting public seemed to turn 180 degrees to the left. But I’m here to tell everyone now that the problem isn’t some sort of sudden brainwashing syndrome. The fact is that the problem with my country isn’t that it’s suddenly fallen to some sort of delusion, it’s that for at least the past twenty-five years if not longer, around half of the population has been delusional to a greater or lesser degree. Yes, some elections had a bigger majority than others on one side or the other, but in this one at least the division was almost even between the two candidates. Unfortunately the wobbly center is what splits the halves, and this time it wobbled towards Obama — probably because the wobbly center consists of people whose primary desire is to be “nice.” Obama’s campaign could be boiled down to “if you don’t vote for me you’re not nice” even more so than “you’re racist.” I’ll bet a significant number of Obama voters just wanted the whiners to shut up, and also thought McCain was a cranky old man even though his crankiness seemed quite absent this campaign. In fact, he’s been and is still being accused of being too… nice.
So the problem is long-standing (half a population of enablers and victims is half too much) and right now insurmountable, because the only way to break people of life-long bad habits is to force them to face the truth, and that’s not very nice. (By the way, the older usage of “nice” included meanings such as overly-fussy and delicate, as well as discerning. Now we mean it to mean “amiable,” “bland,” “non-trouble-causing.”)
I forgot to add — the problem is also the other side of the coin; people who aren’t “nice” enough. What I mean by that is not only are they needlessly rude and angry, they lack discernment. Many of these people either didn’t vote or voted for one of the third-party candidates out of some misplaced sense of pique — the most common reason I came across was that neither candidate was perfect. Third-party voters are probably worse than the stay-at-homes, because they know that their choice won’t mean anything except that they’ve taken a vote away from the Imperfect Ones, stuck it to the Man, whatever. I think in a situation like this past election such an action is irresponsible. There hasn’t been a third-party candidate with any sort of pull since Ross Perot, and we know how that turned out.
And yes, someday when I have extra cash I’m going to buy this book. Of course, right now I have several sacks of books I’m trying to get rid of, not to mention several e-books and two library books to read.
Update: Iowahawk sticks the knife in so nicely that you don’t even feel it until everything starts to go dark and fuzzy.
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