But what is the focus? For news media entertainment, a contest. Like a full body contact sport - an exciting ratings winner that brings people to the television set to watch, enthralled. Will your team win, or mine? Break out the popcorn.
However, Charlie Rose had on Daschle last night - I happened to catch a bit of it late at night. Daschle is a campaign manager for the Obama campaign, and he supported the presidents war.
And in the end, he brought up the most important point that I've heard. Not that climate change hasn't been spoken of more often - although I believe that is true given that weather goes in cycles and the cycles are obviously amiss (how quickly we forget that only a few months ago there was only water enough for 90 days. I am writing as the rain is falling again). Or that the gig. is. up. The sense that the game is over - that whatever damage has been done to the environment is irreparable. Some distance acquaintances of mine in New Mexico firmly believe that the climate change engine is now started and can't be stopped. And that one day someone will wonder what it was like to be alive now - seeing the world burn - earths final days - most people don't realize how fragile life really is until a friend or a loved one dies. All life that we know of exists in a shell that - if the earth were a basketball - would be as thick as a coat of paint on the basketball. A human being, if they were able to run up - could run the entire livable width of the biosphere in less than an hour. If you were driving in your car, you would be able to go from the beginning of the biosphere up to the very end, where barely even a microbe could survive. In five minutes.
What Daschle said - that I found more important than this point - was that whatever nominee makes it today - our focus should be on a substantive debate that gets at the core of who we are and what we are doing as a country. Both candidates, Obama and McCain were willing to take risks in their career. Obama's drive to have police interrogation videotaped - when he was in the Chicago senate, was his risk. All sides opposed it - even bleeding hearts that wanted the false accusation and false testimony that the brutal methods were providing. It was ammunition for their drive to abolish the death penalty. McCain - in opposing America using methods of torture against anyone. Honestly . I am not interesed in whether or not you hate Al Qaeda - McCain was right. The idea that America is a country that tortures people is repulsive. And they were both opposed by their own party - and both of them succeeded against all odds. But in the end, whomever is the candidate that wins the nomination and goes on to the General election - Daschle made the point that a real, and deep discussion of who we are and where we are going - is the real focus of this electoral season.
I am extremely happy with my choice to support Barack Obama, and my work for Richardson does not diminish that. And oddly enough, I am also happy that McCain is running for the GOP because he is the reason I left the Republican party a long time ago - Karl Rove's maneuver in South Carolina that , perhaps - not unlike the current last minute games that are being played - carefully invited people from South Carolina to consider - Would they vote for John McCain if they knew that he fathered an illegitimate black child? - are the kind of politics that have cost our country 200 billion dollars a year in failed foreign policies.
Everyone likes to pile onto George W. Bush but I have never done that here. Because he is a man, and a good man. And in the end, he was a politician. A reformed drunk who was picked up by an ex-secretary of state at a dinner party in california. The kingmakers and owners of news media entertainment companies circulated memoranda asking the acting talent that poses as reporter - to "make him look heroic" *actual quote from an internal memorandum. And to a degree they did.
But he will go back to Texas. I have George W. Bush's reading list. He will live out his life on that Ranch. Read a book or two. Maybe write. People will be surprised when they find out that he's actually an intellectual. Rove is not done yet - Bush's carefully crafted image as "everyman" - that was designed along with Kevin Philips southern strategy - to sweep the south. In addition to a touch of nightshade at the last minute - got the Republican party in power so that we can see precisely what these types of republicans - Bush Republicans - are made out of. I only lament as an independent, and ex-republican - that it took most of the party until this long to realize the game that Karl Rove was playing. Like his father before him Karl Rove's options for a future will soon be limited to the choices he made in the past. The good shepherd never lets his focus stray from his task - and certainly Rove has been made prideful - if only the eight year taste of power that he has been given has caused him to go even deeper baseball than he already was. To him, its still baseball. It never was baseball to George W. Bush. It was his relationship to the father. I say those words carefully, because I respect him. Unlike the others around him - and the spectacle of bush republicanism that has made thanksgiving dinners almost impossible for many families.
Instead. Setting aside the statistics. What issues are really dividing the candidates may amount to a worldwide phenomenon if in fact, we set aside the aspect of commercialism and look at two fundamentally different approaches to government. McCain's approach. And the Bush Republicans.
Or, in the case of the Democrats. Progressivism. vs. Payback. Clinton was a great president, he did a good job rallying the market. A resilient politician.
" A statesman waits to hear the footsteps of God, then grabs the hem of his robe and swings himself up, as he walks by."
- Otto Van Bismarck
In my life I have been hearing those footsteps for quite some time. Become ever louder. My wife has been very ill and now she is recovering , and I am so proud of her. My children are both very bright. I have started my own company - and succeeded in watching in grow. And now I stand at the make or break stage. And I am broken. But I am not dead. Like the game I played in WoW - I have exactly one hit point left. and for a priest that makes all the difference in the world. Broken. But not dead.
I left an instance last night, in WoW with - zero armor. Zero mana. All red. I truly enjoyed playing WoW and getting to a high level character was fun. I recommend the game but its totally addictive and I am now in the final stages of managing that addiction [ Give Everything. Take . Nothing ]
In my life as a voter. It is more of the same. I simply turned off the talking heads. And never turned them back on. And now, in this season, we have a chance to find our focus as a country. A vision for a twenty first century.
Our children and perhaps ourselves will be subjected to life extension, bioethical questions - and the slow dawning realization that we are all essentially trapped on a dying planet. The internal pentagon papers circulated state that climatic change will result in mass migrations and war. The moonscapes of Texas or the fields of plenty in California will be overrun. The dogs of war come quietly.
And in that future world war, it is the moments when we centered ourselves - that we will return to, for strength. So head off to your bars. Your yup hangouts and neat restaurants with 200 things hanging over your head to look at while you're eating an oversized meal and trying not to have a conversation that you care about.
Or maybe you're off to "Extreme" sports to try to drink from a firehose. Maybe our lives are so cut off from the natural world we need things like - what I did when I was young - big wave surfing. Or mountain climbing.
You can even tune into "reality" TV programming that is all about losing not winning (ever notice that 90 percent of the time on a reality TV show, they're talking about the losers?) (or even better about that angst a person feels in making a random decision and how they handle defeat when or if it comes.) Or you can tune into sports, and live your life vicariously. You can cheer for your "team" , or maybe its "your" team. And when they win maybe you win.
But do you hear that sound of footsteps approaching? Its a heavy sound. The ground is shaking beneath your feet. The sky is getting darker. It ends today. Good luck. You rarely* get stomped when you try this stunt. You want it to end, ok. You're going to have to make it end - today. Go for it Texas. Good luck.
* If it didn't work, it wasn't mine. And if it worked great for you and everyone else, lets talk about royalties!
page through the WoW clip scene selections - after clip is finished. Select 'Jimmy'.