Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Clarification

I know I have no business talking politics and I promise to shut up in a second. But I just wanted to frame my last post a little bit more accurately, since it might seem to imply something it shouldn't.

More than anything else, the thing that bothers me about our politics is the two-party stranglehold. It frames most issues in either/or terms and forces candidates into positions of extreme when nuance could have been possible. So my Obama willies shouldn't be taken as a defacto endorsement of McCain. That McCain should not be in the hot seat I think goes without saying.

My girlfriend forwarded me a David Sedaris quote yesterday that compared not having decided to vote for Obama to being offered two meal choices by a stewardess - chicken or shit with broken glass in it - and asking how the chicken is cooked. I don't exactly agree with Sedaris's point, and yet I feel that's a perfect analogy in a way for how I, who eat neither meat nor feces, feel about my choices in this election.

Don't get me wrong about Obama. I think he's very likable and, when elected, will give this country a nice facelift we can show off to the rest of the spiteful world. I like him, and that is not the point. My point is that it just feels like settling. Like pro-rated joy. We're a country in a state of limp political arousal. Like equating J.J. Abrams with Shakespeare, or gushing about McDonalds as if it were fine cuisine, it's a calibration problem. If we elect a pop culture president and call it a revolution, we'll never get the change we need.


Marie Lasferatu said...

The two-party stranglehold pisses me off more than anything. I looked at my sample ballot the other day to pretend that I might know some of the names on it. There's three or four other parties running for president/vice pres. Um, really? Thanks America, I guess you can still call yourself a democracy because you slapped some extra names on the ballot.

mike said...

don't lie, i've seen you caress your john mccain action figure lovingly.

Daniel said...

Is that what they're calling it these days?

man or mouse? said...

I agree the two-party dominance in politics does not allow for the nuance and shading that correspond to real political views.

Perhaps the electoral college needs to be examined--the fact that candidates can win a state by a small margin and receive all of its electorate seems to have the effect of marginalizing third parties. Granted, i appreciate a system that gives voice (but not an upper hand) to a minority. I don't agree with Wyoming's voting record, but i respect that they still have three electoral votes despite being the least populous state.

check this "ranking candidates is more accurate than voting":