Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I’m trying hard not to write about the election but the blank page keeps bringing me back to the Republican ticket, white as Mitt’s shirt, blank as his tax returns and vacuous as he often appears when unscripted.

Most of us have made up our minds by now but there remain about a million probable voters who have a mind that can’t make itself up, lots of blank space between the ears. One wonders on which planet they live.

A recent survey focused on the 35% of Americans who either probably will not vote or who never vote. Reasons given were, It won’t matter or I’m too busy or They’re all the same. 40% didn’t know the difference between the two parties. When pressed with the hypothetical that their vote will decide the election, almost 70% said they favor Obama. It’s safe to say that Obama has the vote of those who won’t vote. Imagine the uproar if we made voting mndatory as in Australia (of all places).

The cynics among the non-voters are disappointed idealists who cannot get over their dream deferred or punctured. They are the lovers scorned. No half-loaves for them. The real world is too messy, too grey, too squiggly. It won’t behave. The vicissitudes of life deny them the tidy society they insist upon. They would rather gripe like spectators than join the fray.

If Mitt should win it will be because he persuaded millions of Americans that they can be mini-Mitts. If you wish hard enough…. fill in the blank. These must be the folks who buy magazines from Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. It reminds me of the story of two guys at a racetrack. One of them notices that the group sitting in front of them had won every race. He told his friend to follow them, get in line right behind and buy whatever they buy. Half an hour later he came back with four hot dogs, three beers and a coke.

How else do the Repugnants appeal to a general population? Only by presenting a shell of man to whose business success the average guy aspires, that is to say, shameless greed.

Not for several decades has the blank space between candidates been so stark. A Romney /Ryan victory would not only be seen as an endorsement to set our clocks back a century it could also sweep into power a parade of misogynists, Neo-Cons and evangelicals as well as a Supreme Court at the ready to secure a new American oligarchy. Given this scenario the blank page will look more like a Canadian winter.

On the other hand we could also be looking at a new chapter in our nation’s history in which the forces of nescience are repudiated, the shrill noise from the new confederacy hushed, a Congress that mirrors our diversity and the essential role of government restored.

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