Hoping Against Hope for No Signs of Life

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We now have Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin. If you are a voter, you will be thinking: "There are some great things and some awful things about both tickets, so how do I know which team will be best for the country?"

In case you missed it — the country is filled with 300 plus million people, many of whom are deeply in debt. Before they can even start to pay off that debt, they work 113 days each year to pay off their local, state and federal taxes. This legal plunder supplements local, state and national borrowing which has produced a kind of snowballing catastrophe, bankrupting municipalities and cities across the country, and creating a nation that owes an astounding $100 trillion dollars that it has little intention and less capability of paying back.

That’s pretty overwhelming. But there’s more! This same nation lays claim to an unsustainable military empire, and in pursuit of easy living and glory has warped its national culture and economy into an ungodly union of Spartan machismo and Bismarckian pre-fascism.

The icing on the cake is not that electoral systems are generally untrustworthy, as are the politicians themselves. The icing on the cake is that over 100 million Americans will actually show up to vote this November with a fervently held idea that the vote means national change of any kind.

Keeping this in mind — which pair of presidential hopefuls would be better? If it is true that a government that governs least, governs best, we need to choose the weakest, least imaginative and laziest candidate. We want a president and vice president who are able to happily accomplish the limited executive duties as set forth in Article II of the Constitution, and then lie back utterly exhausted, without a single creative idea about what they could do next.

In addition to a weak, unimaginative and lazy candidate, we need someone who will have difficulty working with the idiot Congress. This difficulty could be the result of different political views (the fantastical split-party idea), real earnestness on the part of the executive branch to serve the Constitution (unlikely), or a personality type that will forestall the "governing" process.

Let’s examine the choices. Obama is weak (good!) — but he is imaginative in a socialist utopian way. Sadly, he is also not lazy, and he appears to be a cooperative team player. Obama gets one point.

Biden is better on this scale. He is also weak, and better yet, he seems unimaginative and somewhat lazy! But like most in the Congress, he has a penchant for working with others to grow government, and is a loyal nurturer of the warfare-welfare state. Notwithstanding his liberty-destroying neoconservatism, Biden gets three out of four.

McCain is not weak, but like Biden, he is lazy and unimaginative. And if he really was a maverick — going his own way instead of following the herd — that would be a plus. But he is a deal-making compromising class clown, secretly yearning for approval and constantly fearing he won’t get it. But for being lazy and unimaginative, McCain gets two points.

Palin is not lazy — a big negative in my book. She is also not weak, another negative. But she is unimaginative, and given her apparent willingness to fire people, threaten to fire people, and her failure to fall into line with the GOP network in Alaska, I’d have to say she isn’t really a team player, past basketball career aside. So Palin gets two points.

Candidate

Preferred Presidential Qualities

Weak

Unimaginative

Lazy

Non-cooperative

Obama

x

`

`

`

Biden

x

x

x

`

McCain

`

x

x

`

Palin

`

x

`

x

If we look at these presidential teams, both have an equal number of points, but the McCain-Palin team has extra dullness (!) and provides the only example of combativeness with governing institutions and the fat cats who live in them with the inclusion of the Alaskan.

Comedian Lewis Black is surely correct, and this country really could use a dead president (n.b. foul language). If we cannot have a dead president, Black outlines another presidential selection process, one with real possibilities. We take the latest winner of American Idol (popular democracy at its best!), blindfold the winner, and have them throw a dart at a large map of the United States. Then we fly a monkey over the area marked by the American Idol winner, throw the monkey out of the plane (wearing a parachute, of course), and the first person the monkey touches is the next president.

For many observers, this was McCain’s strategy in selecting his running mate, but the Palin choice was predictable, given McCain’s internal polling data. One need read only Richard Land’s advice to McCain on August 11th to understand McCain’s gamble.

The happy fact is it doesn’t matter who is elected. The tenor of the fake Washington whine about "free trade and market access" will stay the same. The annoying Washington complaints and military threats over how some foreign country isn’t treating its people, its minorities, its churches, synagogues, mosques or temples, its women, its neighbors, its resources, its prisoners, its poppy plants and its puppies the way we think they ought will continue. Waste, fraud and abuse — native to all governments, will continue at a Bushian pace. We should certainly expect a continued, even accelerated erosion of freedom and liberties in the next decade.

On election day, it will be exciting to watch, and it might be fun to place a bet, and throw your chips down on this or that hand. But when we are ready to truly change the country’s direction, we won’t wait for an appointed day and month, and we certainly won’t line up, ID cards in hand, implicitly legitimizing the criminal empire as we "choose" its next rulers.

LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for MilitaryWeek.com, hosted the call-in radio show American Forum, and blogs occasionally for Huffingtonpost.com and Liberty and Power. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here.

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