Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lies, damn lies, and elitists

With the bailout defeated Monday, WTF is as common an acronym as S&P. Is it good the bill went south? Unlike the people on TV, I won’t pretend to understand our country’s complex financial clusterfuck, so I’m going to have to say “not sure.” From what I can tell, there was too much pretend money. I remember learning about imaginary numbers in high school and permanently retiring from math later that day. I assume that’s why I don’t get this.

Clearly, this is all above my pay grade, so I wish it weren’t above McCain and Obama’s pay grade too. While it does make me feel less inferior, it’s not exactly comforting. I don’t want a president who’s just like me--nasty, brutish and short. We’ve tried that for four years now and we’re unimpressed.

No, I want my president to be the opposite of me, the anti-average American. I want him to move mountains with his mind and control the thoughts of foreign leaders with his brilliance. I want him to be heroic, fight evil and carry a laser sword. I want a Jedi president, a goddamn Jedi master, because elite is a good thing.

So I have to ask, on whose watch did being the best become bad? Which “culture warrior” do we blame for this embarrassment? I said I don’t know much about math, but I’ve become all too familiar with the lowest common denominator.

Obama needs to ask McCain if he has always envied--so violently and so smugly--the smartest kid in the room. When did intelligence become unpatriotic? When did it become dangerous?

And who let patriotism and liberalism become mutually exclusive? Patriots don’t pick running mates who thought Jesus rode a dinosaur, who will start a war with Russia because it obstructs the view of Europe from her kitchen--countries she of course has never visited and whose names she can hardly spell. Patriots don’t lie through their yellow teeth whenever the truth becomes too hard, too insurmountable, too damning.

Patriots are what McCain once was. I remember vividly McCain winning New Hampshire. I was elated. That McCain was a statesman, a real champ, even a maverick. It made me think an Obama/McCain face-off would be the best thing to happen to this country in years: It would raise the level of debate and bring two of the brightest, most admirable, most elite politicians together. This is not the McCain who blew bricks off buildings in New Hampshire.

And Obama’s guilty too of the wrong kind of change. Obama once spoke his mind and stood up for his convictions. He defused his opponents not just with intellect but also humor. He needs to stop acting like attention will be paid, praise will granted to him regardless. That 10 percent of the electorate they’re fighting for right now? They’re not unengaged. They’re not uninformed. They’re not uneducated, unsuccessful or unaware. They’re unimpressed.

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