My view of Politic Americanus can probably be summarized thusly:
I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this:
God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.
God is an elderly or, at any rate, middle aged male, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations.
He holds men accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well being of the disadvantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything in the world. God is difficult. God is unsentimental.
It is very hard to get into God's heavenly country club.
Santa Claus is another matter.
He's cute. He's nonthreatening. He's always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who's been naughty and who's been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without the thought of quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he's famously generous to the poor.
Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: There is no such thing as Santa Claus.
- PJ O'Rourke
Parliament of Whores
This isnt to say I identify with the republican point of view. not at all - except I suscribe to craven capitalism.
I am a black male, and as such, I appreciate that the general Republican point of View regards me as an oddity on the margin. In the abstract class sense, of course. *big wink*
Now, that doesnt mean I am automatically a democrat, even tho I DO identify as such for convenience sake, more than anything.
If I had to define my political views, I would say I am a libertarian - which in the political sense, means I am an agnostic.
I doubt anyone under the age of 30 remembers who John Anderson is.
What with the close, but definitive return of Bush, a lot of people, specially here, are stunned, angry, distraught that their candidate lost, it brings to mind the first time I experienced the loss of the candidate I wanted to win.
Young voters are acting like its the end of the world.
No it aint. Ive been through worse, many times.
Ronald Reagan vs Walter Mondale in 1984. Heh. He got stomped.
Bad. Like by 49 states.
Stunned was not the word.
According to Democrats, Reagan was the second coming of the antichrist, making Bush junior seem like a cuddly tub o' tribbles in comparison. Mister "Trickle-down economics and ketchup is a vegetable" was so obviously a walking disaster for regular folk. We thought he was vulnerable.
We found out different.
So, John Anderson. Was a moderate-liberal in 1980, who was the the thinking person's candidate. Sorta like the Howard Dean of this era.
Even though he was a Republican, he appealed to people on a wide political spectrum.
At Evanston High School, a suburb of Chicago - a uber-liberal, politically-aware college town if there was ever one - (think Berkeley, but nowhere as weird), John Anderson became the candidate of the young people.
Even those of us who werent old enough to vote yet. I was 16, so I could only watch as the seniors went all gung-ho in anticipation.
The hype was strong for the highly-regarded congressman. He toured the schools, his organisation setting up get out the vote drives for high-schools and colleges.
Man, we bit. He paid us attention when the traditional political machines wouldnt, which galvanized the liberals.
He ended up garnering 6 million votes in the 1980 campaign.
Long story short - he didnt win.
We were crushed.
It's like we found out there was no Santa Claus.
Little did we know that was just the start of the pain.
The subsequent demolition of Carter, Mondale, Dukakis was the tip of the iceberg. So, electing Clinton in 92 was life or death, even if we barely knew who slick willie was at first.
Cuz we hated Bush Senior.
And then we learned the consequences of apathy in 2000.
So, for those under 30 and other first time voters, my advice - Dont let what happened get you.
Even if its a choice between two evils.
Keep voting. You might lose the fight, but you can never stop fighting for what you believe.
Keep voting. Make your choices. Even if you think there is no point.
For there is indeed a point to all this.
Even when you discover there is no Santa Claus.