Thursday, May 15, 2008

Don't bet on a horse if you're not riding it

Something I've learned in my long life is never bet on a horse race if you're not riding the horse.

Don't get caught up emotionally in baseball teams, football games, or basketball playoffs if you're not swinging the bat, throwing the ball, or standing at the foul line.

Same for political races. And don't tell me that voting is like batting in a baseball game. You get one measly vote, and just like one of anything--one shot at a charging rhino, one meatball, one last lonely dollar--it doesn't give you a lot.

Here in Boston you get that lesson a lot with the sports teams. Balls going through first baseman's legs when a win has been clinched (well, obviously, a win is only clinched when the score is totaled or the votes counted), and 16-0 teams falling flat on their faces (or other parts of their anatomies) in the Super Bowl. Most recently the Celtics going 0-3 on the road with Cavs. Just learn to watch and see what's going to happen.

Anyway, of course I'm getting around to the election here, and my absolute disgust for what's ensued.

When my mind's eye falls on Clinton I recoil. And she just keeps getting worse, rallying the poor whites in every state to the point where it's really starting to look just plain ugly. In a very sympathetic moment, I feel that a lot of the people supporting Clinton now are being unfairly judged. Most, it seems, are uneducated and scared, which still doesn't absolve them of their actions and the things they are saying. But they are being publicly ridiculed and frankly proving exactly what Clinton is saying. Hopefully they'll just be so disgusted in November that they won't come to the polls. Let them feel like they're being heard now, when it really doesn't count. But if they decide to actually vote in November, that won't bode well for Obama.

Seriously, how are you supposed to take someone seriously when you see video of people drawing and shucking that they think Obama is Muslim and or his name is Hussein and "I've had enough of Hussein," or that they just can't vote for someone who's black? (Extra: he's not black; he's bi-racial. Ah, you know what I mean.) Unfortunately, in this country, really dumb people are allowed to vote for president.

And, frankly, in that dumb group of people I also include the people who are voting for Obama because his skin color (I'd like to see an African-American in the White House before I die; this is for my grandmother who lived during Jim Crow), and there are lots of people who are voting for that reason. It's just as racist to vote for Obama because of his skin as it is to vote against him for the same reason.

I simply don't know about him because all he's been is a symbol for change. And I don't vote for symbols. And that's really all I have to say about him, because after all this campaigning, I still don't feel like I know him.

McCain? He's not a visionary. I can't see him talking to, say, the founder of Google, or discussing social networking and it's affects on society. Come to think of it, I can't see Obama or Clinton doing that either. All we seem to get from McCain is he's this grizzled veteran whose experience will come in handy if terrorists attack us again. Well, that's handy.

I guess my prime beef with all the three of the major candidates--I'm still including Clinton because, as I've blogged before, you can't kill a Clinton. They're like snakes that you keep wailing on with the flat side of a shovel, then when you put the shovel back in the shed they slither away under some rock--my biggest complaint is none of them are visionaries. None of them give you something that makes you say, wow.

Again, I'm just speaking for myself, this middle-aged white, Buddhist, country-music-loving, hillbilly. With all three all I see is more government, more taxes, more of the same. I don't see any of them who seem to have a clue about where this world is going because of strides in technology, changes in the economy, major shifts in society, or in the world in general.

But I live in Massachusetts, and barring a real catastrophe, Obama will take Massachusetts, which means I can actually walk out of the voting booth with a clear conscious, having had voted (even if it's a write-in) for someone who I believe deserves and can handle the job.

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