Sunday, November 09, 2008

More (Self-Fulfilling) Prognostication

Someone found the Woundup whilst searching for graphics related to turning 50. I was still doing my birthday essays on the Woundup, but I'd forgotten that I wrote about turning 50 fours years before I actually did. I'd also forgotten that I'd made some predictions about this most recent election that turned out to be quite true:
As I get closer to what I kind of hope represents the mid-point of my life, my understanding of issues has increased, but my tolerance for the political process has decreased. By the time I turn 50, I will patently hate the process. I will understand what must be done, but I'll hate it.

I'll hate it because this pivotal year of my life will be spent listening to carefully groomed individuals crow about how they will make my life better than it was four years ago. Not one of them will forward a truly unique idea, because there are no unique ideas left. Very much like Hollywood. Every new movie you will see four years from now has already been written and you've already seen movies just like them. But you'll probably plink down the gold it requires to see them because this version has much slicker computer graphics.

I'll hate it because not one single candidate will remind us that the government already has far exceeded its constitutionally limited powers and that we need to return to those constitutional limits. Rapidly.

I'll hate it because not one of them will have a common sense approach to getting this country out of debt. For good. They won't promise not to exceed our ability to spend, because they can't. It's pathological. They can't help themselves.
All of it accurate, so far as I can tell. My predictions, then, were:
  1. I will patently hate the process.
    Yup. I loathe the process. Or, rather, I loathe what the process has become. It's nothing more than Ultimate Fighter in designer suits, using poisonous words rather than lethal kidney punches. I particularly hated the accelerated pace of the primaries this year. I hope we have finally put to bed the notion that moving a state's primary up several months earlier somehow has any positive effect on the election. California's certainly did not. It also means that we don't have anywhere near enough time to fully vet the field of candidates before whittling them down to the two ultimate standard-bearers. I believe had we been given more time we might have had someone else facing off against Obama last week. Perhaps not, but we'll never know now, will we?

  2. Carefully groomed individuals crowing about making my life better.
    It's a sucker bet, really. That's what candidates do. What I left out is the part about warning people that the other guy will try to make you afraid. Fear-mongering — not racism — was the most frequent accusation made during the primaries. And the only person out there who was making a huge deal about one of those candidate's race was the one whose skin tone was different from everyone else's. Just sayin'.

  3. No unique ideas.
    Oh, brother. Every idea we heard was really just a re-hash of ideas that have been floated from time to time over the last several decades. The funniest part, though, was when one candidate would begin floating the same ideas as the other guy while trying to make us think they were new. That was hilarious. But unique? No. Not one.

  4. Ignoring constitutional limits.
    I really can't blame the candidates we had this year. We haven't been paying any attention to the Constitution for, oh, more than a hundred years now. The closest we got was Reagan who at least campaigned on the idea of reducing government. Whether he was "successful" depends on which parts of the government you happened to work for or need. For instance, if you were a huge fan of welfare, you probably didn't like some of Reagan's initiatives. If, on the other hand, military might was your thing, Reagan was a demi-god. No other President in my memory ever promised or attempted to reduce the fingerprint of the federal government. One might even go so far as to call it the "feral" government nowadays. It is untameable.

  5. No common sense approach to national debt
    Need I really expound? We made it possible for people who could not actually afford homes to buy them, and now those people have defaulted on enough loans to sink the country financially. So instead of fixing whatever idiocy allowed that to happen in the first place, we will instead nationalize numerous financial institutions. Were we born this stupid, or did we have to get several math degrees first?
Taken altogether, I hate having been right. The state of modern politics is one of cookie-cutter campaigns, developed by people with Masters degrees in marketing and film-making. We have no truly original political thinkers left in this country, it seems, and we're paying the price with the prospect of yet another failed administration. (Yeah, I know; the guy hasn't even taken office yet. Still, I'm not scoring too badly as a prophet now, am I?)

Check back with me in another four years and see if anything has really changed. If it has, I'd like to bet it isn't for the better.

I hope I'm wrong.

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