The Providence Journal: January 17, 2008
There’s a new breed of American voter these days. Privately they’re sub prime, publicly they’re tightwads. Foreign issues demand a front yard “Not on My Watch” sign, but local issues are consigned to backyard neglect. Dressed like a fair trader, they shop like free traders at Costco and Wal-Mart.
They talk like a Democrat, but live like a Republican.
They work all day pursuing hard-nosed private sector profits, but once stoked, prefer pie-in-the-sky cocktail conversation about public sector programs. They drive SUV’s to work instead of public transportation, but at night watch “Planet Earth” on Discovery and talk furtively about warming icebergs and penguin habitat.
Where have all the Republicans gone? Investment bankers just love Obama! Soccer Mom’s are with Hillary! Lawyers love John Edwards going after the rich and powerful! It takes one to know one to sue one?
Yet this presidential season within a writer’s strike, wrapped around an unpopular president, is a long road filled with pretend talk.
Just as no one will admit to voting for George Bush, they also will not acknowledge watching Reality-TV. Well someone in the form of a voting majority did and does! The point may be humiliating, but the votes, be they tallied for Idols or Losers, by clickers or chads, tell the story that reality ultimately sells.
That reality is that we are a nation of buyers and sellers, not savers and doers. Talk is cheap, and trendy, just like primary elections. Eventually, the conversation will matter. The general election votes will count for something, and then will the real American Idol please stand up!
That Idol should represent an economic and pragmatic
We want to look good, be liked, and be right, but mostly to advance our own interests! Do we really want a Democrat to make amends with the world through appearance and speech? Or will we choose not to apologize, and match action with deed to stay a course we have affirmed already once just three years ago.