This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, October 13, 2004.
Has this happened to you?
Have you been sitting there, nursing a refreshing beverage of the sort a Senatorial candidate hereabouts might recognize, innocently watching a Ken Burns tribute to Heroic Female Librarians of the Labor Movement – which, somehow, changed to the NFL Cheerleaders Mudwrestling Finals - when a series of political ads spoil the enlightening episode, the evening, your week? Has that happened to you?
And has a political ad made you so angry, so upset, that you want to punch the television and strangle the person whose composed face and measured voice assures you they approved the message, even though that person is someone you plan to vote for? Have you felt that the ad was so simple minded, misleading, incorrect, and disgusting in its dishonesty that it was an insult to the simplest synapse in your brain stem? That it obviously assumed you have an IQ hovering in the dim area between linoleum and chalk, and that the people who ran it must have been betting how much ridiculous garbage you could stomach before they lost your vote? Huh?
Have you felt like that about the commercial of the man you plan to vote for? That he thinks you a moron?
How about the women you plan to vote for? How about the Democratic woman who does everything short of giving birth on camera to assure you that she’s not only female but a caring, mothering, compassionate sort of female who intuitively knows what’s good for us, as all mothers do, and probably makes a pretty mean chocolate cake as well between her stints on thousands of national not-for-profits saving starving but adorable small mammals across the globe? Eh? Really, don’t you feel like throwing your beer on her after your insulin kicks in? I know that’s not PC, but she gives me a diabetic reaction.
And what about the Republican Woman, this Maria Theresa Antiviagra who makes you feel like burning all the world’s beds and somewhat like the very face of Treason if you’d momentarily hesitate to relentlessly nuke any non-Christian nation that looks at us wrong, because apparently we have the proper values, religion, and hair styles and they simply do not. Don’t you think she’s, oh, a tad simplistic? Not to say stupid?
Could the race for the Colorado Senate become more bovine, stupid, and dishonest? Is it possible that before the race is over Pete Coors will be assuring us that Ken Salazar slept with Hillary Clinton while secretly planning to return Colorado to Mexico and sell off our military bases for porn magazines? Will Salazar retaliate with assurances that Coors finances al Quada and put granite statuary of the Ten Commandments by the front door of every elementary school in the state with “Sponsored by – Um, Um! - Cold and Refreshing Coors Beer” at the base? It’s almost that bad now.
And another thing, why do these candidates always campaign on those issues about which their desired office cannot do much? Presidential candidates campaign on economic issues that are almost entirely settled in Congress. Congressional candidates thunder about national security issues as if their finger was even remotely close to the button. The Congress has essentially abrogated its declaration of war powers to the executive anyway, like they even want responsibility. And we respond, like idiots.
We respond to image, but not that of the candidates. We respond to the image of ourselves the candidates trumpet. Bush apparently wants us to see ourselves as a lynch mob, with himself the big war leader, and he’s felt this way since Gore’s election because it clearly satisfies something within himself. He himself avoided combat, but he’s assumed all the bullying stimata of the dry alcoholic, which is what he is, and the rigidity of belief that emerges from simplistic thinking not stretched by much real world stimuli. He wants to be seen on an equestrian statue with his adoring countrymen at his feet and following. He wants to be Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt without the communication skills or the vision - or the work - that provides either. He just wants those parades. What was his first term but the California self-esteem quest risen high?
And the man I plan to vote for, John Kerry, has a plan, he says, but it’s presented as the plan for a trailer park economic revitalization. Help small businesses. Make friends. Get them to pay a fair share. Don’t burden us with details, John. We just want fair play in the sandbox while Daddy – either you or George - takes care of the bad men.
Are we really so stupid? Can’t we talk about things that go a tad deeper than 'liberal' or 'conservative,' or 'corporate' and whatever liberals think the opposite of corporate is? And they get away with this.
Look, it’s too much to expect them to listen to their opponents, but at some point I think these people should hear from their supporters, and we ought to tell them either treat us like sentient beings or we’ll find someone who will.
Of course, we’d have to mean that……….