14 September 2008

How to Vote

What is politics about? If you said "issues," you are very wrong.

Politics is about image which is why I'll probably vote for Obama. Palin is hotter but I don't want to listen to her talk for four years. Obama is captivating, even if he never says anything. It's possible he could fuck everything up completely if elected, but at least I wouldn't mind hearing him talking about it. Let's face is, Bush fucked a lot of things up, including most of his sentences.

I know you idealists are silently insisting that politics ought to be about issues. I'm not convinced of that either. Doubtless you have not come across this opinion piece in which the author argues that Palin stands by her convictions and Biden does not. I know that you come to meatiocrity to get my warped perspective on the very opinion pieces you do not come across.

In this article, the argument is that Palin is anti-abortion and proved it by having a baby with Downs Syndrome while Biden has claimed that he believes life begins at conception but has legislated for abortion rights. Therefore, Biden must not stand by his convictions.

I'm perfectly willing to believe Biden is a scumbag. No doubt for every child Sarah Palin has, Joe Biden has done a line of coke off a hooker's ass. What I'm about to suggest is more of a thought experiment.

What if Biden was standing by his convictions? What if he believed that national government had no right to legislate something for which state governemnts ought to be responsible? His conviction that life begins at conception is tempered by his conviction that for America to remain free, states must decide certain matters. Again, obviously not Biden's stance. The point is, the possibility exists that on any given issue, a politician might have more than one conviction to consider, even with all corruption aside.

So, when I suggest that politics is not about issues what I mean is that any given issue has behind it at least one other issue. The author of the cited article may agree with Palin's stance on the issue of abortion; do they also agree with her stance on the role of the national government in legislating these matters? Another point then, is that the issues that politics are supposedly about are in some ways secondary to the nature and philosophy of government itself.

And if we're going to be voting for something superficial anyway, I'm picking the candidate who best represents the way in which I'd like to be entertained. Obama '08!

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