Fear and Loathing From Enola in 2012

OK, so I’m not moving the blog. We’re just gonna change this one around and stay right here. I don’t want to have to build up a readership all over again; it takes too long.

I’m still kind of trudging along here with reading. One of the books I was hoping to finish before the New Year still isn’t done, leaving the book I want to talk about (Fear and Loathing On the Campaign Trail ’72) kind of in the lurch. I’m only through Thompson’s first month or so in DC, but I’ve already found quite a bit to write about, particularly this subject here…

Thompson, early on in the book, makes a comment to the effect of, “No one’s going to vote for a man who doesn’t seem “normal.”  By this, he implies that extreme views in the race to the White House  will get you nowhere.  The people don’t want someone who isn’t like them; they want normalcy.  Effectively, and this is Thompson’s point, this make’s every candidate pretty much just the same.  Frankly, I couldn’t agree with him more.

Right now, CBS’ Early Show is on right now. I’m hearing about Mitt Romney and how, with the New Hampshire caucus on the way, he’s got the lead in the polls.  Other than the fact that he’s Mormon, a trait that no doubt would have been shunned in Thompson’s day, he’s a pretty run-of-the-mill Republican.  Same typical views: pro-life, anti-gay marriage, anti-Obamacare, etc.  Nothing much to write home about.  Thing is (aside from Ron Paul, whom I am amazed is even up for consideration amongst Republican circles) most of the other candidates, such as Newt Gingrich, Jon Hunstman, Rick Santorum, and others are JUST LIKE HIM!  Their haircuts are even eerily similar! It makes me wonder if these candidates (and this goes for Democrats too) aren’t just cranked out in some factory in Kentucky and then programmed to be politicians.

Whether you want to admit it or not, the two-party system has America split right down the middle with the margins filled up with the freaks who can see both sides of the coin (and Green Party candidates).  There’s such little room to see both sides that people peg your affiliation with your stance on one issue.  Pro-life?  You’re conservative.  Anti-War?  You’re liberal.  You can’t be both.  Is American thinking so polarized, so narrow, that someone can’t support both these initiatives?  Or what about being pro-public option and also for the cutting of certain entitlement programs?  Or supportive of the War in Afghanistan and for trimming up the trillion-dollar defense budget?

We can’t just do politics as black and white.  It doesn’t work.  I dropped my party affiliation long ago because I got sick of getting phone calls from the Democratic party to vote for the candidate they wanted in office.  There was once a time in this country when you actually had a choice on your candidate, but that was long ago.

Whatever.  I’m writing in the Jabberwocky when the Pennsylvania caucus comes around.


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