G and I both live in Prague, me for 15 years and he for three times that, both married to Czech women. We watch our native America from the elevated limb of geographic distance and Internet immediacy, energized but perhaps a little seasick from the constant bend of left-right winds. I came home from a weekend in the country to his e-mail:
John McCaine’s choice of a vice presidential running mate was politically crass and totally at odds with his professed belief that a candidate should be experienced and capable of governing. By choosing a woman/evangelist Christian, his choice was strictly a cheap, opportunist design to win votes, with no serious consideration that the candidate was in any way qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. This act clearly shows that McCain himself lacks the serious judgment necessary to rescue our country from the morass the present opportunist president has plunged us.
To which I replied this morning, after having seen the news last night at NYTimes.com and the clips everywhere from youtube.com to Jon Stewart:
Interesting to me that she kicked off her introduction with the explicit statement that 18 million women had been disappointed by Hillary’s loss. She interpolates from that, “we women are not done yet. The 18 million reasons for breaking the glass ceiling are still there to be taken” (my remembered and inexact quotation), as if just being female was enough for the 18 million.
More dangerous, this choice of ex runner-up to Miss Alaska, small-town mayor with the chirpy grin isn’t laughed off the podium she is supposed to share with Joe Biden in the debate process. There’s a certain amount of gravitas behind the reception she’s getting that holds back the natural tendency to roll on the ground and give over to fits of laughter.
We are at the end-game of the poll-driven and divisive politics forged in the Kennedy-Goldwater race and sharpened by the Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush presidencies. A gerrymandered and paid-off Congress waits in the bushes like the yellow-eyed and hungry dog it has become. That’s where wedge-politics leads–to the narrow end of the wedge.
I haven’t the faintest idea how you explain any of this to your wife.
It’s going to be a watershed election in November and will tell us, aside from who is our new president, how we understand ourselves as a nation. Gene and I bounce on the branch and do what we can by writing and absentee ballot.