America And Pandemonium
It was the worst of times; it was the worst of times. Isn't it curious how mightily Pandemonium reigns in contemporary politics? Chaos bestrides the globe like a colossus. Serbians versus Kosvars; WGA versus ATPMP; Kikuyu versus Luo; Persia versus America; Red States versus Blue States. Everywhere are contrary forces in conflagration, wryly spitting wrath.
The American Republic has gone through quite a bit of rough going in the past 10 years, no? While the Clinton era was marvelous economically, it's foreign policy objectives were mixed at best. But as bad as all that was, the Manichianism of the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has left our nascent neo-empire in a peculiarly binary sort of bind. Either/Or -- the central narrative of religious faith -- is the dominant political reality.
But what of we who do not wear our religion on our sleeves (Averted Gaze)?
As we soldier off into the meat of the 21st Century we can thank Karl Rove for introducing such iron-clad divisions into the vocabulary of American political discourse. To be sure, there were always North/South division in this country; such divisions predate even Abraham Lincoln. Agrarian-Urban; Jeffersonian-Hamiltonian; Slaver-Abolitionist; Black-White; Papist-Protestant; and so on ...
But the degree to which, in the past decade, our politicians have been dividing-to-conquer us is truly alarming. Senator Hillary Clinton's shameless appeal for the woman's vote comes to mind. It always comes back to sex with Scorpios.
The Senior Senator from New York, amazingly, is not even attempting to conceal this strategy of getting the majority of women, a particularly potent force within the Democratic party. This, of course, will attract the countervailing force of the Republican candidate -- whomever may be -- into appealing directly to men and trying to siphon off a fraction of undecided women to craft himself an electoral majority.
Very Girls-versus-Boys, that.
We have come full circle from the politics of religion and race to the politics of genitalia. How positively Scorpionic, no? When, O Dear, Lord, Endless Administrator of The Cosmic Order, will we have a candidate that appeals to us as human beings -- irrespective of gender or race or existential proximity to Jebus -- interested in a strong, prosperous and humane America, first among a stable community of nations (The Corsair sips at a jeroboam of aged champagne)?
Imagine, if you will, if the Republican candidate is McCain. Usually the republicans appeal to the baser, more masculine interests of voters (fear, national security, law & order). The Clinton strategy, cunning, is that women outnumber men so, meh. But it is also not inconceivable that Hillary Clinton, in achieving the Democratic nomination will have wounded Senator Obama politically-mortally. The Clinton's -- educated politically in Arkansan backrooms -- roll like that. Unfortunately, the Republicans will have calculated for the eventuality of a brutal Democratic primary race against Senator Obama. It is only logical. And it is not inconceivable that an overly violent campaign against the only sitting African-American Senator might precipitate a small but significant percentage of African-Americans either staying home or abandoning the Clinton legacy altogether. And John McCain (Or the comical Huckabee, for that matter), as far as Republicans go, are not entirely un-warm and fuzzy. This is a possibility that the Clinton's would do best to think on deeply as they run their crassly binary -- poor women versus uber alles -- campaign.
Compromise, Bush 43 has decided, after a spell, is for suckers. He learned these lessons from managing the failed campaign of his diplomatic father and -- from the distance of Texas -- the defeat of the Great Compromiser, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. The one-dimensional mind of Bush, unable to probe the lessons of the remote past, stretches back to the 80s, to Reagan, to a Republican majority held together by a man of (questionable) principles. And so Bush 43 does his best Reagan impersonation with what can only be properly construed as a simian versatility (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). Bush clears brush; Bush has a ranch; Bush has a "special relationship with a more articulate British Prime minister. Just like Reagan.
Odd, of course, is the unnatural Father-Son dialectic that this sets up as Reagan isn't Bush 41's father. Equally unnatural are the binary relationships in opposition to each other that are everywhere around the globe flaring up. The late, great Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whose political crystal ball was so clear (and we are the worse in his absence), predicted this panmdaemonium with the lack of strong, enforceable International Law.
But that would be Compromise.
Perhaps Obama is right. We need to get beyond this binary configuration of contemporary politics. We are not, however, going to get to that promised land with Hillary -- just as perniciously as Bush, 43's appeal to Evangelicals -- dividing us into our gender roles.
Is it because The Corsair was born under the Sun in Gemini that these binary divisions seem, right now, so mightily pronounced?
(image via irvinghousingblog)