As a group, I'm afraid that we the electorate are every bit as insufferable as our leaders. One suspects it is why we have the leaders we do. To wit: we voters avail ourselves of every opportunity to assert how desperately we want candidates who will tell it like it is, but when one actually emerges who offers even a smidgen of truth, we tend to shun him or her in favor of numberless gloss merchants who offer nothing but vacuity instead. I am sympathetic to an aversion to seeing things as they are; the unvarnished truth is rarely either flattering or comforting. But even so it is just a tad tragic to witness a country that fomented a revolution that shook the world a mere two hundred and thirty two years ago so hidebound in its functioning, and status quo in its outlook.
Each election cycle masses of voters listen with rapt attention to candidates who, while occasionally admitting that affairs have gone rather badly off track, are incapable or unwilling to honestly and intelligently analyze how and why, and instead bluster on instead about our nation's indomitability and its present and future greatness. To that end we are treated to a litany of inane slogans from both parties such as "Together we can", "Our best days lie ahead." or "Campaign of hope." Rather than being summarily dismissed from the stage, the purveyors of sub-Disneyland nonsense instead receive respectful attention from our media, and not infrequently, enthusiastic applause from the electorate.
Is it possible that a majority of voters subscribe to such swill? Given the sheer tonnage of ignorance and general idiocy about the land, I have to conclude that yes, more voters than not do find value in much of the absolute pap and puffery to which they are served. I must admit, that I too am occasionally captivated by the exhortations of dynamic word merchants such as Barrack Obama. However, when I step back for a second from the palpable earnestness he projects, when I, for one moment, stop bending my ear to Obama's mellifluously delivered oratory, I notice a distinct lack of substance. I do not mean to pick on Mr. Obama as such, as his colleagues are equally ripe for criticism. I bring him and his candidacy up as an excellent example of...of what?
A false investment. Perhaps the substance that does not seem in evidence will emerge, but why should I trust that such will be the case? Obama, who styles himself as an "agent of (as yet unspecified) change", has a track record that argues against such self description. He is not alone in this regard, but to repeat, as his star appears to be shining more brightly than most of his competitors, and by virtue of the fact that he so resolutely gives voice to what seems to me to be a rather grand, yet hoary abstraction, namely, change, I choose him as a sort of launching pad for my own somewhat grand thesis which I will explore in my next blog entry later this week.