The Leaders We Deserve

I remember a time when liberals ridiculed Republicans for choosing George W. Bush, an empty suit with precious few accomplishments, over John McCain, a Vietnam war hero with a long record of public service.

Stupid idiots, the liberals chortled. We Democrats would never vote for someone with nothing to offer but a famous last name. That’s absurd!

So what did Californians do when faced with the prospect of recalling Gray Davis, the governor it elected just 11 months ago? The overwhelmingly Democratic state chose Arnold Schwarzenegger, an empty suit with precious few accomplishments, a mediocre actor who ran on his celebrity and spent three months ducking debates, dodging issues and running out the clock.

Think the dim Democratic bulbs are limited to California? Consider that the polls show Hillary Clinton would immediately garner the support of up to 48% of Democrats if she decided to run for president. Someone remind me, what’s Hillary ever done?

In the end, I think, there is little difference between the Democratic rank-and-file and their Republican counterparts.

Schwarzenegger was right when he remarked that “the people don’t care” about the facts. What they voted for was an image, not substance. The fact that they’re putting “The Terminator” in charge of the world’s fifth-largest economy is beside the point; people voted for Arnold because, well, they like him.

Nationally, it’s the same story. Bush garnered many votes simply because many working-class voters felt he was one of them, even though all the facts are contrary. Bush trounced Gore among white males because they could imagine themselves sitting next to him at a bar, shooting the shit about nothing in particular. The empty bio, the military desertion, the cocaine use, the shakiness on foreign policy — those didn’t matter because, well, they liked him.

Statements by Court over at Miniluv provide the perfect example:

“But the main reason I continue to support Bush is because I like his attitude. I don’t like St. Dean’s or any of the other cantidates. From what I have heard, most of the Dems are extremely angry.”

Right. How dare those Democrats sound the alarm over the state and direction of the country? Bush good, Dems bad.

It’s appropriate, then, that the recent movement over at Miniluv is to appeal for positive blogging. With the recent confluence of negative events, and the emerging consensus that our country is on the wrong track, the reaction is to close one’s eyes and think happy thoughts rather than question one’s leadership.

Mark Twain is purported to have said: “My theory used to be that we get the government we deserve. Bad as we are, though, I don’t think we are that bad.” *Well, we are that bad. And because of our cavalier dismissal of competence and substance in favor of style, we are getting the government we deserve.

The next time the vacuous voters complain about the sorry state of our country, I’m going to suggest that they look at their schools, their televisions, their newspapers and their mirrors, and then ask themselves if they really believe the politicians acted alone.

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2 Responses to The Leaders We Deserve

  1. Court says:

    You completely misunderstand me. Sound every alarm you’d like. I just don’t like the style most democrats are doing it in.

    The same reason I like Bush is the same reason I like Arnold. It’s not because they’re popular, or attractive or celebraties, or anything like that. Our common sense is the same. We think alike.

    If you want to criticize my positive blogging initiative as sticking my head in the sand, that’s your right, but I really thought better of you than that. Maybe the folks at Kos, but not you.

    I’ll get back my own site with my cheerleadering now. Can’t have any good news around here.

  2. Logan Egbert says:

    I think another key element that was a factor in California voting Arnold in is that they are SO desperate for a leader. Micheal Moore was on Conan and he made a good point, he said that Californians need leadership they look to Arnold’s screen character and find it in that. No one really knows anything about Arnold politically or personally. Yeah, he is for excercise among America’s youth…terrific, thats like saying you are for living among humans. Despite his ludicrous lack of credentials and credibility, the californians literally voted in the Terminator, not even Arnold.

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