Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Discouraging Word on the Primaries, but I'm Not in the Wild West

It's only January, and already I've managed to develop reservations about all of the people running for President, without exception.

All of the dramatic personae in this endurance contest that we call the political primaries seem to be the type who would have been in the S.G.A., whether in high school of college.

Think back: would you vote for those players that you remember as the S.G.A. wonks back in high school?  I hope, for the sake of your mortal soul (if you think it's unextended substance) that you wouldn't. 

Now, I know it's easier to see that with some than with others.  Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama would have been BMOCs in an earlier time on any campus.  Rick Perry, maybe an S.G.A. type in some cow college like Texas A and M.  Mitt Romney: an S.G.A. wonk to the core wherever he went to high school or university.  Even Michelle Bachmann.  Ron Paul?  Well, he may be the exception.

Why do I have these reservations about people who look like S.G.A. players?  Because there's a common perception that the S.G.A. in many schools is where the adult power structure (the faculty or at least the administration) engages in a strategy of control over the students by bestowing power and recognition on favored ones and making it hard for others.  In the 1999 Matthew Broderick/Reese Witherspoon movie Election one of the candidates runs on a platform of disbanding the S.G.A., and the administration tossed her out of the election.  No, no . . . . they don't want some radical lesbian upstart doing something to eliminate their ability to control the student body behind the scenes.
Why should there be any surprise?  People who turn to sandbox politics as youth may develop a taste for the big-league stuff later.   
I mean, what a power trip!  To be able to act as a mover and a shaker in a future political process, this is some control freak's fantasy. 

But in some amazing way, this might be what happens on a large scale, with the two major political parties, the mass media, and politicians in those proverbial smoke-filled rooms.  And this is why we should keep our minds and hearts open, and not be led like donkeys into simply accepting the maxims of the media or the slogans of the time.  It's a mixed bag, this national duty of voting.  The only way of doing it well is to get informed as well as you can.  Straight ticket voters and random lever-pullers just put noise nto the collective decision-making process.  Somehow, it reminds me of Pascal's Wager: you have to play; and eternal bliss is not one of the possible playoffs.   Therefore, make your opinion catchment a wide one; and vote like it's going to be majorly important.

Because it is.


3 comments:

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Unfortunately, if you listen to politicians you will feel negatively about their opponents. And some of them sound so venal and stupid!

Bilbo said...

Sadly, we do not have the option to vote "none of the above."

Duckbutt said...

I agree. There was a political candidate who tried to change his name to "None of the Above."

Stephen Colbert is running for President in the South Carolina Republican primary.