With so many signs of a nation unravelling â€”
- the budget-squandering, shame-spawning militarism;
- the self-serving foolishness of American unilateralism;
- the kowtowing to religious fundamentalists;
- the age-old campaign against the rights of women;
- the rampant “all-american” xenophobia;
- the fubar demise of our so-called free market economy;
- and, our idiot inaction in the face of urgent environmental concerns….
â€” isn’t it great that our presidential hopefuls are devoting their campaigns to media-manufactured hullaballoos over which advisor said what offensive-to-somebody-somewhere-thing or which old friend is not a media-approved perfect American citizen?
As Kurt Vonnegut once remarked: “There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.”
When they write the history of the fall of the American empire, they will point to this time and note how in one election after another we managed to avoid all of the critical issues of the day. Or at best dealt with monumentally complex problems with farce debates and sound-bite electioneering.
Actual candidates who have clue are quickly branded as unelectable. Which leaves, inevitably, politicians, not leaders. Which means that the actual governance of a great nation is all about the political game, rather than the issues of the day.
Maybe Obama’s just playing the game to win, and once in office will dazzle us all with sweeping progressivism. You gotta hope!
Or maybe Vonnegut’s right and we should be concerned about the mental health of anybody who wants the job of cleaning up George W Bush’s mess.