Democrats & Liberals Archives

Of Men and Mantras

It is always interesting to watch a debate where something is at stake, even if it is only the nature of a man. Running for President has altered John Kerry. As a candidate he has been attacked on a scale that will stun and amaze those reading the history of our times one hundred years from now. President Bush on the other hand has escaped with the usual epithets being cast against him, stupid, ignorant, puppet and the like.

Neither man comes off as advertised by the political party of the opposition. In the mud wrestling exercise that political campaigning has been lately, and at other times in our history, no one escapes clean-faced and honored. The debates are important because they take that dynamic out of the race for a moment. Debates let the two people involved communicate directly with one another and the audience about their stance on important matters. They also allow the audience an insight into the real positions of the candidates absent most of the embellishments available in political advertisements. The bare person emerges slightly, if only for a moment in the give and take of the debate.

Since the decline of our political system into what I call the “All Star Wrestling Syndrome” with the advent of political advertising on TV and its subsequent dominance of all media in the pursuit of political office we have lost something. It is the candidates contact with reality that gives us the real prospect of evaluating their potential performance in office. We no longer get much of a glimpse of whether they have any contact with reality or not. We have gone from attack ads to attack cultural events like Michael Moore’s movie and the Swiftie’s Book of John, neither of which bears much resemblance to reality. Bush is not out to eat your babies, as Michael portrays him in his parody of Gulliver’s author, the real Swift out of political history. John Kerry was not making a political future for himself when he was commanding that “swift boat” in pursuit of glory and honor. Both men have stumbled through life more than a little, as we all do in this confusing world.

It is with no little pride that I review our short history as a nation. It is with no little trepidation that I examine the slaughtered goat’s entrails where our future lies entangled with disgusting objects de art and bombast of a higher order. Our national obsession with events like the end of times, The Rapture as some call it these days, is some cause for alarm. We have a clear choice to make about our future, we can go down the broad and well lit path of Empire which I can assure you will not lead us toward either freedom or liberty. Or we can go down the path of Democracy which is a tangled, seldom traveled trail in a wilderness of unknown perils; but is the only way towards liberty ever discovered. That is our choice at this point in our history.

President Bush has managed to overcome his handicaps and operate effectively in the forum of debate. For that I give him immense credit. He is apparently dyslexic, and it is possible that his early and frequent alcohol abuse damaged part of his brain. Nonetheless he is an effective presence behind the debate podium. John Kerry suffers from a more severe handicap; he is a gentleman out of his time. He well could be a Victorian gentleman with his penchant for marrying the rich woman, his urge to impress with his physical courage, which is real, and his dedication to principles of Noblesse Oblige and ethical integrity. The politics of our time have no place for such niceties.

Who won the debate will be the subject of a lot of discussion over the next few days. I suspect it was the American people who actually got to see the real people who are running for office for a change that won this debate. There is little more certain than the fact that we all need a reality check in this election. We are going to choose our political leader for four years. That is normally no big deal; we do it every four years. Regardless of, war, hatred, anger, disgust or all of the above we will select one of these men to lead us. Beyond that selection we will chose the political party that stands behind the bully pulpit and speaks to the world on our behalf. That is the critical choice this time out, the party, not the person. I prefer Kerry you may prefer Bush, but ask yourself if you prefer that the tactics of a Tom Delay, who has sold his vote and is about to be censured for it, have no check on them in the White House.

We badly need the balance that Kerry will bring to the White House In a time when Congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of our largest industrial interests. We badly need John Kerry, who may need a high colonic. There is no tube ever discovered by man that could clean out the source of Bush’s blockage, it is far too high in his body. I speak in jest, but also in justice, if you review the debate you will see what I mean. Kerry was making points about the connection he has to reality, Bush was chanting mantras. Omm
“Kerry changes his mind,” Omm. Omm, “We must be resolute,” Omm. Omm, Leaders must not confuse their followers with the harshness of truth, Omm. Omm, Leading the world in the war on terror is hard work, Omm. The mantras even connect with reality in a perverse sort of way; they reflect the reality of the people who have always prepared Bush to lead them to electoral victory.

It is soon going to be in your hands folks, this election will soon come out of the hands of the Karl Roves, and the swift boat swifties, the Michael Moores and the blogging boars and into the hands of the voters in the voting booths. That, my friends, is where the rubber of choice will meet the road of reality for the first time in this election. Good luck and Godspeed in your pursuit of a connection to reality in this election. May God keep all of your feet on the path to Democracy, the road to Empire is wide and well lit but not kind to people in the end. ©Henri Reynard/GoldenBrush Interactive

Posted by Henri Reynard at October 1, 2004 10:18 AM