Saturday, August 2, 2008

Kneel before your next president!

I sometimes have a hard time trying to decide who is worse: John McCain or Barack Obama. The basis for my confusion is that my evaluation uses only one piece of criteria: the candidates degree of and affection for authoritarianism. I'm torn between the militarized imperial state of John McCain or the socialist PC nanny-state of Barack Obama.

Let's see, what would I like to go to jail for, refusing to hand over my laptop or a random piece of paper when traveling abroad or for being a racist, sexist, anti-hopist? It's so hard to choose.

For John McCain it's a bit more clear-cut because he is a security authoritarian:

Answering a question about his approach to combatting crime, John McCain suggested that military strategies currently employed by US troops in Iraq could be applied to high crime neighborhoods here in the US. McCain called them tactics "somewhat like we use in the military…You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control."

What matters is that I am safe and everyone is safe from me and so on. He might as well cover the world in bubble wrap. Of course, who cares if I am free... he was born to be a monarch.

Barack Obama on the other hand is more of a modern leftist:

"In Africa, you often see that the difference between a village where everybody eats and a village where people starve is government. One has a functioning government, and the other does not. Which is why it bothers me when I hear people say that government is the enemy. They don't understand its fundamental role."

Great. Governments fundamental role? Governments fundamental role mr. Obama is to do as little as humanly possible in order to ensure the liberty of all and as a result the society will flourish or flounder based on the quality of its people, not it's government.

Barack Obama wants us to apologize for our past crimes:

"I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged."

"I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it’s Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds."

Unless he can raise the dead then I'm not exactly sure what he's talking about. I would have no objection to apologizing to slaves so long as I get to own one but seeing as that isn't going to happen then I don't really want that on the next presidential agenda. That is Obama though, pandering to emotions more thoroughly than Clinton ever could have dreamed. For Obama it is about hope, possibilities, dreams and very little about ideas, values, and the nitty-gritty. For this whimsical senator from illinois, governing amounts to little more than a new-age feel good session.

McCain prefers to subsume the individual man to the greater goal of national greatness:

“Sacrifice for a cause greater than self-interest, however, and you invest your life with the eminence of that cause. Americans did not fight and win World War II as discrete individuals.”

"A world where our ideals had a realistic chance of becoming a universal creed was our principal object in the last century...In the process, we became inextricably involved in the destiny of other nations. That is not a cause for concern. It is a cause for hope.” 

So there, it is our duty as a nation to re-shape the world in our image and the obligation of every citizen to put this meglomaniacal vision at the forefront of their character. The imperial presidency indeed! I don't personally have any interest in following this pied-piper of national greatness to the inevitable apocalyptic conclusion of his delusions of glory. I saw more of that than I care to with the current president, thank you very much.

So what am I to do? Wish-washy victimhood, thought police, and a resurgent socialism or watching as "national greatness" descends into the Vader presidency? Such a choice is made nearly impossible by the intangible yet palpable fear that whichever choice I make, the long-term legacy will be measured in bodies stacked deep.

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