- CRITTER TALK
- NEWS I FIND INTERESTING
Richard J. Daley – Mayor of Chicago, 1955 – 1976
The candidacy of Pete Buttigieg is a test and I’m afraid we’re going to fail it. I want to believe that a candidate with enlightened ideas and (it’s important these days) no criminal record could win, but these are not normal times and our sensibilities have been coarsened, vulgarized and enraged beyond any historical precedent. Many of the ideas many of us see as enlightened are seen in a far different light by the ruling Right, steeped in their ancient, uncouth barbarism and an alternate reality. As Pete himself has said, we can’t afford to dismiss or disregard 40% of the country.
How long before Trump notices him and gives him a nickname so that the giggle gallery can dismiss him, his domestic homosexuality, his boyish inexperience and a name that sounds like butt cheeks? Don’t laugh. Our process has all the dignity and gravitas of a fifth grade student council election.
Of course saving us from the savages takes much, much more than enlightened ideas. A president has to preside over a country where roughly half are nearly demented, stunningly ignorant; misinformed and besotted with their ancient gods. A powerful and commanding presence, Pete is not, and that’s what non-Millennial Americans seem to need: paternal, avuncular and able to foster calm. Think a Reagan who understands economics. The powers, foreign and domestic, arraigned against him will be massive and relentless and wealthy. They are ruthless. They are adept at enraging us and using that rage to drive us off the cliff for their own profit.
It hurts me to say it, but I think we’re looking for the wrong kind of candidate – and with our narrow, exclusive interests, that’s just what we will find. So many of our Liberal hopes are no less likely to divide us into factions and races and genders than the opposition who is more likely to look to a Juan Perón type than an FDR.
We need to remember about Democracy. We want the right to make bad decisions, and a righteous government that knows best; a paternalistic government that needs to use authority to overcome our objections isn’t appealing. Too many Democratic candidates are telling us to take our medicine; take our punishment for our own good. As the man said – don’t back no losers.
Our salvation can only be in getting the Trumpists out of office and that requires that we set aside the radical agendas. I don’t care about a president’s gender or stature or socio-economic and class affiliations. Passion for reform is far less appealing than the leadership, connections, experience and political clout required to accomplish it.
I want a sane person who will appeal to the more rational republicans and centrist Democrats. I don’t want to hear about how close she is to God or the working class or some victimized group. I don’t get exited by his being gay, I just don’t care. No, I want a leader who can get things done by legal means because there is much to be done to put America back together. A Utopian, 72 gender, insult and tuition free nation where everyone has an identical income can wait. This is our last chance.