One of the most grave sacrifices I make for my race and faith is keeping up on mainstream political affairs. Among those sacrifices was watching as much as I could stand of the Republican National Convention.
The highlight of the event was Clint Eastwood’s awkward and senescent attempt at a political comedy routine. While he’s seen better days, he does exude a sort of unvarnished masculine energy that has since been lost in a sea of alienated hipsters, ironic dandies, and posturing pussies. Even at his worst — and he was certainly at his worst — his barely scripted and honest performance was better (and, perhaps unintentionally) more memorable than all the other speeches combined.
At the beginning of his speech, he claimed that he was not alone in Hollywood . . . that it had plenty of conservatives. They were, however, more conservative. Conservatives are, after all, by their nature less vocal about their beliefs. This was meant as a punchline at the expense of obnoxious liberal celebrities, but who’s the joke really on? Is conservative silence and submissive acquiescence after having faced decades of humiliation and defeat something to be smirking to ourselves about? No. If America’s most gruff badass of all, the man who famously growled “Go ahead, make my day,” admits to backing down and shutting up rather than answering and challenging leftism, then perhaps it’s time to fold up the tent.
In an especially awkward moment in the especially awkward speech (at an especially awkward convention crowning an especially awkward candidate), Clint Eastwood chided Obama (symbolized by an empty chair) for his warmongering, for his reversal on Gitmo, and for his breaking all of his promises to curb America’s war machine. What little laughter was had was nervous laughter. With the possible exception of some Ron Paul delegates (who were in no laughing mood), the entire audience supported Obama’s warmongering.
Both Romney and Obama have the same foreign policy agenda. They’re both beholden to the same interest groups. They’re both bankrolled by the same banks. They would both be horrified by the very notion that my people have a right to protect and preserve themselves and their way of life. If anything, Obama would likely be less horrified, as minorities generally harbor a suspicion that we Whites can’t actually be as naive about racial matters as we purport to be. I suspect Romney actually is just about as oblivious to the threat facing his ethnic extended family of White Americans as he purports to be.
When beset with a choice between Romney and Obama, I can’t help but wish I could vote for the empty chair.
And, yet, this is the time during the election cycle when the outliers from the respective herds are rounded up behind one of the two monolithic American parties. This is the time for essays and Facebook posts insisting that we go ahead and vote for the lesser of two evils. Brett Stevens at Amerika.org explains in a roundabout way why it’s imperative that we vote for Romney in his essay “The right wing fragments its own vote again.” In it, he argues that the Right wing always fragments its vote while the Left wing always unites because it’s united by the singular goal of “equality.”
I disagree with the philosophical claim that it’s all about choosing between equality and hierarchy, but my quibble with that part of his assertion is a subtle and abstract one. His message contains what I believe to be a demonstrably false statement of fact. Just over a decade ago, the Left did split its vote between Al Gore and Ralph Nader, delivering George W. Bush his narrow victory. The Right split its vote with Ross Perot in the two elections preceding that one. Of the three major minor parties, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party have far more elected officials than the Constitution Party, so I struggle find a perspective or spin which could support the proposition that the Right-wing is more likely to fragment.
I apologize for playing the word games, but should we just accept the whole “Left” and “Right” paradigm promoted by mainstream American punditry as legitimate? Is Libertarianism really a “Rightist” thing, for instance, or perhaps an especially soulless and alienated variety of Shia Leftism? And if the single biggest leftist thing Obama has done is enact “socialized healthcare,” then wouldn’t that make Romney, the guy who first modeled and implemented it, a Leftist, too? And if Romney boasts of his family’s commitment to “civil rights,” to his father having marched with Dr. King and his having wept uncontrollably (with relief) upon having heard that his church had abandoned its racial principles, shouldn’t I just take him at his word, that he’s also a fanatical supporter of multicult hysteria?
Obama’s Black and Romney’s White. But sometimes I wonder if perhaps a Black man plugging Black interests is better for everybody than a White man plugging Jewish and corporate interests. Of course, Obama also serves Jewish interests, but I have a hunch that he only does so to the extent that Realpolitik demands it, not with the zeal of a Christian Zionist (. . . or LDS equivalent) stooge. Given that I’m closer to Father Coughlin’s authentically conservative economic policies than the GOP’s classically liberal economic policies, and Romney’s shown little interest or aptitude for any matters other than economic ones, is Romney not, perhaps, the more liberal of the two?
I’m sympathetic to game theory undergirding coalition politics, that we all need to team up at the right time to ensure that the lesser of two evils wins. But what about when it’s two evil twins? For the life of me, I can’t tell which one of these two candidates is the lesser of the two evils. I can’t find the mainstream political coalition that I wouldn’t be driven out of with a pitchfork if I shared my beliefs and positions with them. And, finally, at this late hour, the thought of politically, socially, and financially unplugging to the greatest extent possible seems not only tempting, but morally defensible. I’ve seen enough episodes of Celebrity Rehab and Intervention to know how loving relatives with misplaced pity and misguided hope can end up enabling the addict and holding back the day the addict hits rock bottom.
I’m not going to make the empty gesture of voting for either of the empty suits in either empty chair. I can’t do that to myself.