THE CANDIDATE CAFÉ
Eugene Narrett, Ph.D
At the fitness center I glanced at the bank of TVs. CNN was on, it always is and always has been since the TV’s were installed. The ownership says it’s the result of democratic elections and member preference: no diversity of image per the people’s choice…
It’s always on in the airports, too; must be a coincidence.
It was Wild Card weekend but that didn’t stop the other part of the distraction machine from grinding out its alternate fare. And speaking of fair, there was Hillary Clinton at a virtually spontaneous “lunch at a diner” meeting with some “typical” denizens of New Hampshire whose “first in the nation” primary used to be in February. But in the rush of these times they’ve moved it up so it still will precede Super Sunday which is a bit after the Super Bowl, for now.
You can’t tell the players without a program...
At the diner, Mrs. Clinton sat at the head of a long table, gesturing like a President and trying to appear natural: it wasn’t pretty. Grim-faced couples tried to smile. The ones who grinned looked worse than the others. A bouncy middle-aged gal who just happened to be sitting next to the Senator asked what book she had most recently read “for pleasure, just for your self”: Uh, Justine or, perhaps, the Diary of Lesbia Brandon? The candidate was still winding her way toward an answer, looking more spontaneous all the time when this writer trudged off to the stretching mats and tried to forget everything.
Stretch it out, ride a bike, stretch again, shower, car, make and eat dinner, one step at a time: the darker it gets, the simpler one tries to keep it, -- before they take it all away. Mozart, a little football; it’s boring, though some distraction helps; you’re addicted and the world is painful. A hovel’s better than the moor on a night like this. But in the perennial campaign the candidates are having a “debate.”
The red team went first. The inquisitor from central control was like a ten degree day: it hurt the eyes to see and the ears to hear him build the corral for discussion. At his mercy were six persons on stage enshrouded in a smog of clichéd categories of “thought” and slogans that worked like Novocain. The writer dimly remembers his mind struggling against the undertow. After the Reds (they inverted the historical reference of the colors about a dozen years ago) the Blue team came on. It was smaller, more lithe and quirky and showed that famous diversity about which one has heard.
If you’re sober, sane and still care, your portion is anger and disgust. Thank heaven for the ability to write and try to squeeze a smile out of Orwell’s nightmare fulfilled...
It’s sad to see how far discussion has regressed into slogans, remnants of thought even more tired than Fred Thompson’s or Mrs. Rodham-Clinton’s faces. Thompson looked avuncular and defeated; Mrs. Clinton looked tired and angry. She probably knows the Group has earmarked her for rough water in this part of the schedule. But then, she’s a tough gal. In her scripted arguments with Mr. Obama the younger fellow was consistently more cogent. His suavity seemed less sinister, less disturbingly artificial and made-in-a-lab; or perhaps the observer just grows tired and numb. He explained the evolution of his position on health insurance though not what its results would be: the only one who really touched on that, to my surprise was the former mayor of New York who sharply criticized “socialized medicine”: good for him! But “words without deeds do not to heaven go…”
Is John Edwards real? Kind of an unfair question since three-dimensionality is not the purpose of the perennial campaign – distraction machine (or of much else in this virtual time). But this fellow – the ambulance-chaser who loves the middle class, how did he get here? Is all the voting in his state by electronic balloting? Have all the people there been podded? He says he has a somewhat different schedule for withdrawing all our troops from “Iraq” than Mrs. Clinton does. Edward’s bookend was the cadre who used to run the machine in New Mexico and whose current role as a “serious” candidate seems to be deflecting heat from Ms. Clinton, and the other blues by being more egregiously to the internationalist left in that gravel-voiced, blunt-talking vapid way the Democrats long have honed for bit-parts like his.
Mrs. Clinton, or the pod playing her, who used to say “when I wake up in the morning I never know who I’m going to be today” now talks about the importance of principles and solid accomplishments; she’s not just for “change” like the other candidates claim to be, one of the perennial mega-slogans coming around the carousel again. She mentioned that she’s been “getting things accomplished for thirty-five years.” She was in Law School then, germinating the notions and relationships that eventually sprung from the crypt under the rubric of “it takes a village” of lawyers to seize your children and destroy their hopes, minds, lives and society. But you can’t say that on TV…
Repeatedly the viewer felt a Rip van Winkle sensation as decades swirled in the fog of slogans. Was it 1962, ’72, ’82 or ’92? The Blues talked a lot about “nuclear non-proliferation and fretted that Bush had flubbed it. No one asked how Putin, China or others might be induced to comply. Please: this is the anesthetic clinic. They moaned about “disarmament” which means unilateral American disarmament. Are the Reds and Blues both commies? Is the sky blue? (Not in Massachusetts: it’s purple).
Oil prices are too high; we ought to build a refinery. We need to develop alternate fuels, solar, wind, gas…they were sawing wood and gassing good. Heck, it’s just a Punch and Judy show. Maybe a dictator President could cut taxes 80%; maybe DC will melt: s* happens; sometimes it amounts to progress.
Every word, category of policy and “issue” arrives in a comic strip bubble above heads of implausible but official contenders. They all talked about “health care”; the phrase and reality of “the practice of medicine” is gone, off the table. Mr. Huckabee said we spend too much treating diseases and not enough on prevention; he’s right. He criticized “the Pharmaceuticals” and sleepy Ted objected. None of the pods discussed, nor did the inquisitor prod them to discuss the fact that states like the one Mr. Romney pretended to govern now force people to buy care (unless you’re an illegal alien) that’s unaffordable for most and then penalize them via taxes if they fail to bow to the State’s demand that they buy the machine that beggars them. Obama approached this nasty point but reined up. No one mentioned this frightening coercion; the long-time epidemic of divorce, a genuine issue that must not be broached; a candidate in Massachusetts was targeted by disbarment proceedings after noting “the terrible way fathers are treated in divorce courts.”
The enormous size and intrusive power of the government was never questioned, as it used to be. Results are another matter but at least the thought and words once existed in national politics. “Affirmative action” and “preferences” were not questioned; the ruin of education by Momism and “peer-oriented” “collaborative student-centered learning” was not mentioned. Didn’t there also used to be some forceful statements about cutting taxes and the size of the Federal government? The bad thing about older people is that they remember too much of when things were very different, when there was affordable and truly accessible medical care (not “health care”) and we learned history, multiplication tables and converting to fractions.
How little ground even then remained beneath our feet…
But we have “politics” – that’s what “democracy” is, right? Elections and debates…Like sodden paper, the Constitutional Republic comes to pieces like the border.
No one mentioned that the main overt policy goal of this administration is creating a “Palestinian” State in Judea and Samaria and the “Gaza strip” or that its main covert goal is forming a North American union as part of a regionalized World State. No borders there, no borders here, no borders anywhere. Telecom ads croon, “know no boundaries.”
Rip didn’t hear the gang even talk about “fixing” social security; that’s good: a bit less pretense. The Blue Team did not talk about securing the southern border. Though some reds still say the word Mr. Tancredo has gone away to facilitate the synthesis of the teams in a purple mélange. He’s smart: when you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything!
We did not hear all two or three hours of the back to back, belly-to-belly zombie jamboree. Rip’s pain threshold is not that high. Is there a high-low or over-under on the campaign-machine? He can’t recall discussion of how many of us will have to die in the next thirteen years to save the environment™.
John McCain has experience™ and I believe he and the Mayor and Mr. Romney believe General Petraeus has done great things with the surge. The Red Team mostly agreed that it was crazy to tell an armed enemy when upcoming deployments will occur while Ms. Blue Team vowed, sawing the air that “when I’m elected President, the troops will be withdrawn in sixty days.” Fiat lux said Persephone; or maybe Rip dreamed it.
Several members of Team Red hinted that withdrawing our forces would leave a vacuum that would be filled by Iran. True, though none mentioned that this was a main reason for the invasion of Mesopotamia. One or two of them has learned enough history to know that there are three very disparate regions in the artificial, British-created state. None of them mentioned that Iran is the Group’s partner in the overarching dialectic in the region. Governor Bill grumbled that the President is a dictator and then said we should tell Pakistan when and how to have elections. Mrs. Clinton angrily decried the failure of port security under the Bush-fronted regime: and when she was co-President what happened?
Congressman Paul had a nice round table on Sunday at Candidate Café. He and a half dozen folks were actually conversing. During the debate, he made a few brief, almost shame-faced remarks about inflation and monetary policy. At times he seemed nervous. He again worked his routine with the Mayor stating that there would be no jihad had we had not attacked “Iraq” or “were not in all these countries”: surely his grasp of history is not so that. But the remark, as before was a “fat pitch” for the Mayor who noted the misreading and thus looked and sounded tough though with repetition he didn’t put much of a swing on it. On this issue, he’s right: he may even be sincere. Mr. Paul said there are extremists ready to kill in all religions; well maybe, some more than others by orders of magnitude. But the machine is beyond history: in the eternal present facts don’t matter. They say ‘sleep,’ Rip says stay awake: Prepare for disappointment…
Mr. Huckster-be mentioned abortion and the sanctity of life two or three times but seemed otherwise ill at ease and out of his depth: did someone hand him “the black spot” before the event? Oprah makes two and a half million $/day, John D. Rockefeller is worth two and half billion (the rest must be in the mattress foundation), Bill Gates scores of billions and Ted Turner owns twelve million or so acres of land and bison burgers . Can’t they teach Johnny to read? He, Dick and Jane are hot streaming video on their cell phones and staring at double-screen I-pods.
In the brave new world, you are your I-pod: who says the puppeteers lack humor?
Okay: Romney wins, Obama wins, the media tell us what it means and increase our handicap. The winners should marry: it’s all about synthesis. Imagine the power couple flavors and options. And there would be one party for one world of love…
A reader wrote that they especially liked the hug-fest in between the “debates” when the members of both teams got on stage together. It was like the last sentences of Animal Farm, like a prim-mouthed, ten-horned flying purple people eater. Good night.
October 8, 2007, “the Richest People in America”
© 2008 Eugene Narrett
- All Rights Reserved
E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale
Eugene Narrett received his BA, MA and PhD from Columbia University in NYC. His writings on American politics and culture and on the Middle East and geopolitics have been widely published. These include four books, the most recent being WW III: the War on the Jews and the Rise of the World Security State (2007) which examines the historical roots and purposes of the war on terror as a late stage in the undoing of the West. His previous book, Israel and the Endtimes (2006) lays the basis for these questions.
Dr. Narrett has appeared on scores of radio programs, both major networks like WABC, Radio America, Eagle Forum Radio and Westwood Communications, as well as regional and local stations. He has been honored for his essays on art and literature and on behalf of the pro-life movement.
Since receiving his doctorate in 1978, Dr. Narrett has been teaching literature and art and creating interdisciplinary courses in the Humanities. He lectures on a variety of topics relating to western civilization, geopolitics and the multi-faceted war on the family that is a striking feature of the postmodern west.
See his web site, www.israelendtimes.com for information on booking a lecture and for contact information.
No one mentioned that the main overt policy goal of this administration is creating a “Palestinian” State in Judea and Samaria and the “Gaza strip” or that its main covert goal is forming a North American union as part of a regionalized World State.