Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Quadrennial Address on the Eve of the Presidential Election

Honored readers, guests, fellow bloggers, scholars, friends and relatives:

This is the first of what I hope will remain a tradition of short addresses to the fair readership of TSM, God willing, on each weekend before the quadrennial event known as the Presidential Election.

I've noticed something in this election that I have seen before, and I see building gradually, but is now all more prevalent than before, and it concerns me a great deal, and that is the attitude of voters, particularly young voters.  What I have witnessed is a lack of civility and an awful, crass disrespect for people on both sides of the aisle, but particularly against those who support traditional Republican values or people tending to support McCain or other Republican candidates.

There is enormous, hyperbolic disdain, and a never ending torrent of bitterly sarcastic displays in You Tube productions, Twitter feeds, emails, blogs, letters to the editor, articles in periodicals such as Rolling Stone magazine (anything written by Matt Tiabi for example) and in any forum, electronic or otherwise. It is an SNL mentality, but taken to an extreme.  I do believe the electronic media revolution has contributed greatly to this phenomenon.  Spend a few minutes watching and reading the "tweets" on under "election," and you will find at least nine out of ten comments are terribly crass, crude, nasty and overtly prejudiced.

Everyone enjoys a good bit of clever humor, but humor that is a never ending garbage pale tirade at the expense of others, a specific class of people, or specific people, is not all that amusing, and in fact is a bit frightening.  It borders on the kind of behavior exhibited by Hitler Youth before WWII was in earnest.  And which later resulted in the organized snarling at people they didn't like, and eventually led to Krystallnacht escalating to other gross and nasty behaviors prior to our involvement in the war.

The debate at the moment is will these young activist, brash people actually vote, as in years past, they never seemed to materialize at the polls, but I differ with those who think it will be business as usual for them.  I think they will come out, and they will make a difference, and will impact this election, and not really for the better.

Young people surveyed at random and asked about fundamentals of history and democracy seem to be woefully lost.  Yet they will vote in their ignorance, and they will do so with passion and vigor.  It will contribute to the likely and unfortunate result of the election, and the ushering in of a period that will strain the middle class with a greater burden of taxes, with continued chaos in the markets rather than a quelling and a damping effect on the swinging amplitudes, and it will allow bullies to wreck havoc in others parts of the globe with impunity.

Some say maybe we need such a period to recalibrate and reinvigorate the right. I am not of the breed.  I think 4 or 8 years in the wilderness will be very damaging, and leave a legacy of things to fix that will remain on the doorstep of whoever comes later to correct the mess for years to come.

I believe that the growing array of conservatives and so-called conservatives, former Reagan officials, and other prominent Republicans who have announced their support for Obama will result in many if not all of the same regretting their choice, and their public pronouncements.  Obama is so liberal, his Supreme Court nominees will be so liberal, his inaction in the face of world crises affecting Americans will be so isolationists, his "spreading the wealth," his taxation of the middle class, his support for gay marriage, and his many other beliefs and behaviors along these lines too numerous to mention will ultimately embarrass these folks, i.e., the Colin Powell's and Chris Buckley's.

In his second letter to his fellow Christian believer and fellow pastor-teacher Timothy, the historical figure, Saint Paul of Tarsus said, "For a time will come when the people will not endure sound doctrine; but desiring to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves [leaders] in accordance with their own selfish desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will instead grasp hold of myths,..." Obama is a very attractive, smooth talking pol, who has what appears on the surface to be an even temperament, which I understand has been a very attractive characteristic, particularly with women voters.  But what do we really know about this person?  Is this the true man? I think all we have seen is a facade.  What will be the reaction when the real Obama is revealed?  And by then he will have been elected president.

In the most recent Weekly Standard, William Kristol comments on the McCain "juggernaut." 

It's always darkest before it goes totally black. This is one of John McCain's favorite remarks, ascribed (apocryphally, it seems) to Chairman Mao. Well, with ...days to go before the election, it's getting pretty dark out there.

Still, we hope for a McCain-Palin victory, for the sake of the country. And also for the pleasure of seeing the dejection of the mainstream media, the incredulity of the leftwing triumphalists, and the humiliation of the pathetically opportunistic "conservatives" who've been desperately clambering on board the Obama juggernaut. We're proud to stay off that juggernaut. We're proud, in our modest way, to stand with John McCain and Sarah Palin against it.

An Obama-Biden administration--working with a Democratic Congress--would mean a more debilitating nanny state at home and a weaker nation facing our enemies abroad. We, of course, have confidence that the nation would survive such an interlude, and we would even hope that a President Obama might adjust course from the path he's advertised, especially in foreign policy. But the risk of real damage is great, especially when compared with the prospect of a tough-minded center-right McCain-Palin administration that could lead the country sensibly through these difficult times.

I leave you  now to make your respective choices.  Choose wisely, but prepare to gird yourself for not so pleasant outcome.

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