I am not a particularly political animal. I have a deep distrust of people that run for office; I believe that most of them have deeper agendas. That is perhaps unfair but there it is. It was a cold Saturday morning early last year when I blearily shuffled over to the Fitness Center to go about my constitutional, and on the TV screens that provide our soundless entertainment I saw the image of a tall, slender dark fellow striding about in the cold around some neoclassical structure; it was Barack announcing his candidacy (surprise). The banner on the TV announced "America Goes to the Polls 2008." I was gripped with a sudden fear: had I gone to sleep for a year? No I hadn't. It is just this noisome process drags out for so long.
So, one year on, they have started to vote - or at least have primaries or caucuses or whatever. Some chap was attempting to explain how a caucus worked yesterday. It all seems frightfully complicated - and unnecessary. Am I the only one that thinks the whole thing is anachronistic and hopelessly outdated? That a few dopes in Iowa who think that immigrants are going to ruin everything (but who of course go to church regularly) can have an impact on the election completely out of all proportion to everyone else?
I will say this: all of the Republican hopefuls scare me, some more than others. I was ambling through the radio dial a few weeks ago and interrupted one of those "debates." I heard someone talking about how oil revenues inevitably ended up in terrorists' pockets and how he was going to make America oil-independent. My immediate response: this fellow is crackers. It was Giuliani. The one who cannot utter a sentence without beginning with the word 9 and ending it in 11. The one who wants to make all foreigners (forners in the vernacular) readily identifiable. Identifying myself as a forner I take some offence at the idea: should there be a large F emblazoned on my forehead - the mark of the beast? And I'm thinking, hey buddy, a name like Giuliani sounds distinctly forn to me - like some Italian. Sweet Zinta Konrad prevailed upon us to use "international" to describe our students from overseas since forn has a negative connotation. Actually she is right in this case. Strictly speaking I am a Permanent Resident Alien, which is scarcely more positive sounding. Did I emerge from someone's stomach in a violent fashion?
But I digress. I am filled with nausea at the sound of this fellow, who made sure the light was strongly upon him during Yankee baseball games as others dug in the wreckage of the devastation, amping up the paranoia on the terrorist threat. This is the fear-mongering that reinforces the absurdly ridiculous pantomime of the airport security experience: the removal of the shoes, the belt, and one day my trousers when I lose my patience; the obsessive inspection of tiny tubes and lotions (and why the plastic bags?).
There was a piece on Giuliani in the New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/01/07/080107fa_fact_kolbert) by Elizabeth Kolbert - the same person I took to task over her GW leanings - which further strengthened my feelings. In fact, it moved me from a position of mild hatred and contempt to one of the type of ferocious loathing usually reserved for those that disdain the unwritten codes of traffic merging. As well as crackers he is a fraud and a phony. Most telling is how none of the fireman or police in New York are supportive, quite the opposite in fact.
Do not vote for this man.