One more week | AspenTimes.com

One more week

Paul Andersen

“You can fool some of the people all of the time,” warned Lincoln, and I’m afraid this has been one of those times. How else to explain the last four years under George II?The last great hope for democracy will occur next week when the American electorate can stop playing the fool and throw Bush out of office for the deceits and indignities he has brought to the presidency.Just one more week to endure the deadly barrage of political propaganda. Then we must lie in the bed we make as a nation. Undoubtedly, some will chafe on the national divan no matter how it’s made. Democracy is no panacea for polarity.If you listen to both candidates, then neither man is suited to fight the War on Terror, solve national health care, stabilize the economy, bolster education, create jobs, or lead the free world with morality or conviction. This may be the greatest truth to emerge from the political maelstrom.The televised debates allowed the candidates to hurl cream pies barbed with epithets and slathered with innuendo. This national spectacle featured two grown men bickering over groundless factoids under the ground rules of political correctness. Mumbelty-peg would have been more revealing.For the record, I’ll be voting for Kerry, with the hope that his recent duck hunting for NRA votes won’t escalate into trophy hunting endangered species for a second term. I’m hoping that the least used word in either campaign – “environment” – can be spoken under Kerry’s administration without censure from the all-powerful SUV bloc.What offends me is that Kerry has adopted the saber rattling of his opponent by issuing bravado pledges to “hunt down and kill” terrorists, as if that were realistic. I look for Kerry the diplomat, not Rambo. We’ve had enough of that with Bush.Speaking of whom … Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t piece together the thin shell, even with Super Glue. Given the serial disasters of this dismal presidency, it’s amazing that Bush has any support at all.Stealing from the poor and giving to the rich has made the neocon Sheriff of Washingham a hero, while Robin Hood has morphed into a tax-and-spend liberal with Ted Kennedy’s girth stuffed into tight green pants and an earth-toned jerkin.Using fear as an emotional cattle prod to hot-wire the Bush campaign is the ultimate act of desperation, and still the polls show Bush edging Kerry. Come on! Are Americans so vapid that they’ll bow and scrape to a certifiable demagogue with a Texas drawl and an entitlement issue?”Every man’s life is a fairy-tale written by God’s fingers,” said Hans Christian Andersen. The Bush fairy tale is written in blood by a deity who whispers sweet nothings into this president’s ear! And God is not even a registered voter!The American public has been blogged, flogged and dumbed down by an election campaign that has escalated into one of the biggest marketing promotions since Pepsi took on Coke, or Burger King challenged McDonald’s. The presidential product must be sold!Analysts are expecting one of the highest voter turnouts in years because Americans are soft touches for sound bites, come-ons and packaging. Punching a ballot is beginning to feel a lot like scratching a lotto ticket.Regardless of the annoying polls and all their stupid predictions, I hope there’s a Dewey/Truman upset and that Kerry trounces the hell out of Bush. But just in case, I plan to cast my vote and disappear into the wilderness until the dust settles. I envy Rip Van Winkle for his long, long sleep.Paul Andersen thinks our national conscience is being subjected to a popularity contest. His column appears on Mondays.


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