When I was in college and freshly divorced, I went on a spiritual journey amongst several different religions. The then-ex had been raised as a Theosophist, and there were some interesting times that came from that. What I took away was an appreciation for spirituality, an eye for the more occult, and an openeder mind. So I went on a sort of sample tour of various religions, including LaVeyan, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Rastafarian, Muslim, Sufi, Theosophy, Philosophies both Eastern and Western, Wiccan flavor-of-the-month, Paganism flavor-of-the-month, and a smattering of others. What I ended up with was an appreciation for the structure and an admiration of the philosophies but a distinct distaste for the people. Not all of the people, but in general the power structure and hypocrisy that invariably came along with it. Invariably, inevitably, it was the people that were the issue.
So it is with politics. The professional politician, someone groomed from birth to become a power broker, backed by the right people, glad-handed through the good ol' boy network is what I consider a necessary evil, in that our society is more than ever pushed by the media and the availability of signal (which is used here in a technical sense as a composite of information and noise), we don't have much time to think about things beyond our immediate environment, and we tend to make those things the important ones, offloading the rest to quick-browse media like radio, TV, and the internet. But these sources are the signal equivalent of junk food, the highly-processed refined sugar devoid of any nutritional value other than highly bioavailable carbohydrates version of information and noise. These prepackaged media "snack bytes" go light on actual, usable information and heavy on noise (flashy packaging, editing, motion graphics, commercials for snacky cakes) on the best of days. When turned to politics, they become instruments of evil, turning the information receptors in our brains to docking ports of untruths and outright lies, frippery and opinion disguised as an easy intellectual meal.
Here's my take on the Obama/McCain thing: Obama will win by a considerable margin. He's the most charismatic presidential candidate that we've seen since Bill, and it's charisma that wins the signal, and the signal that wins elections. We're that plugged in.
That's not a bad thing. The situation of POTUS is largely one as a head of State, and a charismatic leader is a very very good thing to have. I also happen to like the way he plays the game, and haven't really seen him misstep. The guy is graceful in the way he handles things, and he's probably under more scrutiny than a handful of people in the country right now.
McCain is no slouch. If he's elected, I don't think our country will go in the toilet. But he's also pretty clearly running on a campaign that is taking some risk, and they know they're in a catch-up position. They have to come on loud and strong and howling about change because they have to distance themselves from our current administration. From that basis, Sarah Palin as a VP is a good strategic choice. It's a gamble on the side of the new, the active, the call for change-but-not-too-much-change. Either one will be better than what we got now, so we pretty much win either way.
And yes, I know they're different, and how much you're outraged. This is not about you. This is about me making fun of you because you're trying to tell me that your baby's poop smells a whole lot better than that other mommy's baby's poop. It's still shit, and it sticks to the walls whether they're red or blue.
That we need professional politicians is sad. At least I find it sad. I hate that we have political parties and don't look at issues.
I like to talk about political issues. I like them in the same way that I like to talk about philosophy, or religion, or science, or art, or pretty much anything that I can do at an intellectual level, where we can talk about ideas and fly things between each other and have fun doing it. What I don't like is the hur hur hur bullshit that comes spewing forth from the mouths of the velociraptors, when they don't even bother to cover up the lies and duplicity anymore because it's the sound bite that counts.
But leave the kid alone. She lives in a town in Alaska with less than 10,000 people. She's probably drunk alcohol and smoked pot too. And if her mom becomes Veep, this girl's life is gonna be seriously fucked up with Secret Service agents having to be around all the time and all the paparazzi...
Obama's kids have at least had some exposure to 'the lifestyle' already. And by the time they become adults, I'll be willing to bet that at least one of them will have tried alcohol or marijuana, and will be likely to have had unprotected sex.
Neither of those things should really affect your choice of who you should vote for.
Both Obama and McCain are strong leaders. They are strong in different ways, have different ideals, and stand for different things, but either one is a good choice. Biden and Palin are strategic choices, not necessarily the best for the job, but more likely to get the primary candidate elected.
And in the end, the urinal cakes in Denver smell just like the ones in St. Paul.
I look at the RNC convention this way: it's their equivalent of CONvergence. If there were protesters outside the Sheraton over that weekend that were protesting things about my geek lifestyle, or smashing windows or vandalizing people's cars or other shit, I'd be pissed off. My plan is to give the 'Pubs the same courtesy and dull avoidance that they give me. I'd do the same if it was the DNC, or the Scientologists (okay, I might fuck with the Scientologists), or what have you.
I am ticked off about the "pre-emptive" behavior of the law enforcement officials. Calling in SWAT teams to intimidate people is a massive abuse of police power. Then again, it wasn't me that was messed with. And really, the kettle's on to boil and I'm so easily called away...