ROFL: Random Outbursts From Lar! LarryNocella.com

29Sep/08Off

Voting For Me Makes No Sense To Me (or, Is The Antidote for Identity Politics to Establish an Official Figurehead?)

I watched the presidential debate this past Friday night.

I found McCain to be semi-coherent, which impressed me, because usually he's a total boob. There was one moment where he got lost in his own words and mumbled about being a maverick. I thought he might be having a stroke. It was like he was falling asleep and his brain was randomly firing off its reflex synapses, his mouth responding with a ready-made cliche.

Obama wasn't as great as I usually find him, but still, he was sincere about making average American lives better, he had ideas (not all of which I agreed with) but he spoke about the struggles of most Americans, while McCain stayed closest to lofty abstracts about war without any concerns for concrete reality.

My impressions of the debate overall? BORING!

Which led me to consider the mystery of why some people are inclined to vote for someone because they allegedly have a lot in common. It's a phenomenon known as "identity politics" and I don't get it.

I don't ever want a president that's like me. I want a president like Obama, who is willing to study the data, talk with world leaders and work past knuckleheads like McCain. I want someone who knows the details of financial markets, or at least is willing to learn and discuss all that crap without resorting to abstracts like "free markets" and "victory" and "no taxes" while failing to connect those words to anything in the real world.

I would hate to have a President like me, a person who puts an abnormally high priority on playing Xbox, sleeping and eating Cheetos. I want a scholar, an intelligent man with a calm, tough, practical temperament, willing to read huge documents filled with legalese. Count me out!

Sometimes an identity voter reveals itself by statements like this: "I'm voting for [whoever] because s/he's one of us." I always find that funny. The one saying it is usually much less wealthy than the person they are voting for, who is allegedly one of them. "Sarah is one of us!" They say. No. Sarah is rich. You're not. "John McCain is one of us!" Um, no. John has seven houses and thirteen cars. You got jack.

Among thousands of other reasons, identity politics is exactly why I cannot vote for Sarah Palin. It makes me cringe to think her and I have anything in common, however, she did do exactly what I would have done Friday night. Facing the responsibility of attending a stuffy debate, I would have found any excuse to bail. Debates require sober and serious discussion for an extended amount of time, and who wants that right before the weekend?

My motivation was boredom, if Sarah had a choice, her reasoning would likely have been an arrogant but plucky, "I can figure that stuff out with my fierce independent grit!"

Really, it's likely she didn't have a choice. The Whacky Mac team bosses kept her away because she's become a liability. She reveals how clueless she is every time she talks. Whatever Republicans have to do to keep Palin away from serious questions, or serious situations, or even the cameras, they do it. The only reason I knew where she hid Friday night was because she snuck into the Philadelphia Area and the local media here made a big deal out of it. It seemed even the national media wasn't sure where she was.

She was in Philly. In a pub. On the night of a debate. Unavailable to any media. I guess we don't even know if she watched the debate.

Meanwhile, Biden was being interviewed by almost all major networks to talk about issues like a VP should. Anyone remember how much mocking Dick Cheney deservedly endured for hiding in his "undisclosed location" repeatedly after 9/11? Seems Sarah is already of that attitude, that she doesn't have to answer to, address, or even acknowledge her bosses, the American people.

Sarah and I are worlds apart. Even so, I would have gladly accepted the sequestering she submitted to. Her desire to avoid a formal event (leaving out beauty contests, of course) seems matched by mine. I'm not voting for her because I wouldn't vote for me. I wouldn't vote for anyone who ducks a debate. Such a person wouldn't make a good democratic leader.

The fact that identity politics is a phenomenon that threatens to put cheerleader-type people in serious roles of power, makes me think we could all be a lot safer if we elected figureheads in the USA. Let's look at the UK. They have a Prime Minister, who cares for the serious stuff, and a royal family, a collection of physical representatives of the country with no real power, who cheerlead their nation and the average folk can gossip about.

The identity voter could be satisfied, I think, if they could elect a Prime Cheerleader. Then electing someone like them wouldn't threaten to put dopes near the nukes. Hell, I might vote for Sarah Palin and Whacky Mac for such a role, because that's what they're good at: rah rah rah and not much else. For serious stuff, I'm voting for the serious candidates, Obama and Biden.

To put a person with a cheerleader mentality in charge of serious stuff is a recipe for disaster. I hope humanity's end is a little less stupid than that.

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Larry Nocella is the award-winning author of the novel Where Did This Come From? available at Amazon and Xlibris and other fine online book stores. Where Did This Come From? is also available as an eBook. For more info, visit Larry Nocella's website at http://www.larrynocella.com/.

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