Monday, August 23, 2004

on elementary school and politics

i remember back when i was in third grade, back when one teacher taught every subject you needed to know in school. i think it was '92 and it was yet again election year. it was bill clinton faced off against george bush. what did i know about politics that year? nothing really, i was still collecting baseball cards, happily writing semi coherent creative writing stories, and trying to do multiplication on my fingers and in my head. the only thing that stands out about anything during that year was it was gulf war time and for some reason we had gotten war trading cards... i felt cool, i had some kind of tank and a bad ass card with a mounty on a horse.

we were going to do a mock election just like the big boys. clinton. bush. perot. what's a 9 year old to choose, i didn't know issues, all i knew was we were fighting a war and i think we were winning, being a navy town, we had a lot of pro-bush enthusiasm that was to be expected now that i look back on it retrospectively. we were the good guys, they were the bad guys, we had m-16's and were shooting all the bad guys and were winning, i probably played out kuwait action on my carpet with my gi-joes sometime along the way. my then friend sam asked me, "who are you voting for, i'm voting for bush, my mom says he's keeping us safe". what did i know, i said i was too and that i was republican. what did i know. issues? my biggest issues were making sure my homework was right, that i had a good tasting sandwich in my transformers lunchbox, and that i gave my parents a hug before i left for school. voting on issues was not something that i was prepared for, and really... i wasn't going to prepare for it and regardless of my faux vote, the sky would be blue tommorow.

sadly, i think that's how the majority of voting americans vote, not THAT mindlessly, but similarly in a biased uninformed way. that's why mass media campaigning works. i think it was in one of the more recent journals or news articles on cucomm about the swiftboat ads directed at john kerry, where was probably kalonji who said, the republicans are going to throw all sorts of bullshit right at kerry and depending on if and how kerry responds gives the american public a conception of his character. are they going to vote for someone that even has a spine? someone that can take a punch to the face and then get right back up and throw on right back? these are the kinds of things that i think sway the vote, not the issues so much, but the american public's perception of their future president of the united states' character.

you may say kerry's vietnam record does not matter. bush' air national guard record does not matter. kerry's purple hearts does not matter. bush's absence during duty does not matter. but realistically i think they do. look at the statistics of random polling at key points in time. after the conventions, when people get a good look at the man/woman running for the head office in our country, to hear them speak, to look them in the eyes from the vantage point of behind a camera, do they think he can be president? from those first impressions, do they trust him to take their lives into his hands? it's the stupid things that seem to matter most.

there are so many haters in america during election time. you hear all sorts of things. that john kerry is funding terrorism. that george bush is going to bring upon the apocolypse. john kerry is unfit to be president because he comes from a family of riches and privelege. it's all in how you present yourself i guess, nobody thinks bush went to yale or has a bajillion dollars in his bank account well because... he lives on a ranch and rides horses. they hate on kerry because he is married to heinz ketchup. but nobody cares about that. what happened to the war in iraq? it seems to have faded into oblivion, things are a-ok. iraq's soccer team is winning right? bush saved the day and has paved the way for 2 countries to make their way to the olympics... sans the fact that iraqis were secretly airlifted out of the country to athens.

what happened to going to war for oil? i'm no economist but i thought gas prices would be a lot lower. instead they keep approaching $50 a barrel. what happened to going after bin laden? all the headlines say we are tracking his #3. mccain said that the swiftboat ads are awful. bush didn't say anything. now bob dole and his my happy pants viagra self is saying kerry should apologize for having been involved in the anti-war effort accusing soldiers of awful travesties. why isn't the media investigating anything? people just want the news of what the latest dirt being thrown from one of the bunkers is and they want their news to be a reflection of that. just report it, whoever throws more and counters more wins.

i find it absolutely amazing that clinton was investigated in the blink of an eye for white water, his first affair when running for president, his monica lewinsky thing, etc. a blink of an eye. people were questioning his character from 1993 to 2000. and they still do.

as far as i know the majority of the american public doesn't give a shit about cheney's involvement with haliburton + iraq. nobody cares about bush's actions with the iraq plan. they care that bush is going to put on a happy face and tell them everything is going to be alright. america is depressed, anyone who says there is a light at the end of the tunnel is going to cut it. there's a little more to it that will swat a vote i think, i've talked about it in past journals and that's niche issues. the formula is, put on a happy trusting face and hope the voters agree with you on niche social issues or economic ones. we know we predominantly votes anyways. your mom.