Great Expectations

How sad is it, to realize that the only reason this race is/was ever close is because of Sarah Palin? I mean, really. This is what the base of that party wants; not McCain, the “Maverick.” He had a resentful following until she came along and fired up the ticket. He’s nothing without her. You saw the debate.

They don’t want a “straight talker,” as he was once perceived to be (long ago), but instead someone who talks–like Bush did–in a folksy way, appealing to the lowest intellectual level. All heart, no brain, like Colbert! Why such a low bar? Why not impressed by those who are more intelligent, or who may know more about the position they strive for?

Is the Republican base that insecure?

It bothers me, only in that there seem to be so many who think this way. You have that fierce nationalistic pride that disallows any criticism: “you’re either with us or against us,” “the fundamentals of our economy are strong,” and the trumped up patriotism of the Bush years that we all have endured. What is the point of such pride if it produces such meager results? What, exactly, is there to brag about?

That’s why you have the strange paradox of a Republican running against his own party’s past eight years with a running mate who represents its worst qualities. She won’t give a press conference and lies pathologically while pandering to the “I’d like to sleep with her” crowd (an update to the “I’d like to have a beer with him” crowd that voted so impressively in the past two elections). Winks and high heels, what else is there to know?

I wish for a higher standard. Obama may be a boring president, and wouldn’t that be great? Cool, calm, and collected–isn’t that what the country needs right about now? None of the fumbling and stumbling that we’re used to? I think I’ve stumbled upon something myself: a president who lacks deep thought and follow-through forces the rest of us to do the job for them. It’s been an exhausting eight years trying to warn, prevent, bitch, and try to fix the missteps; don’t we deserve to be in surer hands, so we can live and prosper, and not have to worry about all of this?

McCain tried to invoke Teddy Roosevelt in the debate, but Obama quickly shot that down; it’s silly to think McCain would speak softly and carry a big stick, not with the way he and his running mate conduct themselves. Talk about telegraphing your moves. “Bomb bomb Iran” is a guarantee with the ill-tempered P.O.W.

I’d like to think positively about this: perhaps there aren’t so many of these people with low standards after all; perhaps they are just the loudest? I’ll do my best to ignore them and vote for intelligence, judgment, and temperament on November 4. I have high expectations, you see.


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