Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tonight's Debate

I am seriously starting to worry about my country.

Getting older, I suppose part of that is my responsibility, or my right, or perhaps just custom. I'm sure other periods in our history have looked just as dire, and other candidates as doppy. Maybe this isn't a unique time.

But maybe it is. I listened to tonight's presidential debate and I heard nothing -- nothing -- that gave me an indication that either candidate has an idea about how to solve our enormous problems -- let alone the leadership and charisma with which to do it.

I heard platitudes. I heard generalities. If I hear "My friends" again I just might jump off the roof. I am not McCain's friend and I never will be.

But I don't hear any answers out of Obama either. He's on the 35-yard line with 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, up by a touchdown, and just wants to run out the clock.

Tom Brokaw, supposed to be some kind of heralded superstar journalist, didn't ask anything of the slightest significance. He has neither the balls for it or the understanding, living in some $5M penthouse in New York City. His knowledge of the world is so abstract it's useless and embarrassing.

Who does not think that the US is headed downhill? I don't need to be Number 1...but I'd like us to at least show some competence. Our financial system is collapsing. We are stuck in a war no one cares the least about and no one cares to win. We cannot provide adequate health care for many our citizens. The Europeans, better cared for, are routinely growing taller than we are. Our government and our politicians are completely bought off by corporations and us idiots don't even seem to notice or care, even though they just took $700 billion from us in the course of 2 weeks. There is no help for the ordinary person -- no health care, no retirement benefits, little unemployment benefits, nothing at all -- and yet we hardly even complain about it, let alone revolt. And the planet is going to hell -- climate change rearing up to decimate the future, half of all mammals in danger, the ocean's acidifying -- who really cares? NASA can't keep shuttles in the sky after 2010, and so must rely on the Russians for lifts. How utterly humiliating. Americans can't even seem to win any Nobel Prizes anymore. And all we get are puppet candidates like Bush and Palin who serve at the behest of some tiny group of men hiding in a hollowed-out mountain in Switzerland (my theory).

Where do I get off?

1 comment:

Dano said...

My friends, IMHO the structural issues are so enormous that telling Joe & Jane Sixpack that big changes and sacrifices are needed that, in our puerile public civic discussion environment, this would mean the candidate doesn't get elected.

As I get older, I get more convinced that we are incapable of solving our big problems (small problems like taking phone calls in the car? No problem!), and it will take some sort of collapse to change our direction. Economists call this 'hard landing vs soft landing'.

Also as I get older, I get more of a fatalistic outlook like Vonnegut.