Monday, September 15, 2008

John McCain makes Adam go "sproing"

As far as I know, not very many people are readers of Adam Cadre's regular articles.  His site is not really a proper blog, and I only know of him originally through his great work writing offbeat interactive fiction.  I am a big fan of Adam's writing.  He's blunt, atheist, liberal, and has great taste in entertainment styles, ranging from comics to games to movies to food.

So I want to wave a hand in the general direction of Adam's latest article about the presidential race.  I'll qualify this endorsement with apologies to my friends who live in red states and love them.  Hell, I love Austin, but only because it's not part of the "real" Texas, and I've long ago learned to abandon all hope when it comes to my vote personally influencing a national race.  However, quite a few things Adam says ring true for me.

Every election in my adult lifetime has played out the same way: Republicans argue that Red America is better than Blue America, and Democrats cry that, no, we're not so different! Republican political ads spew insults — or at least epithets thatRepublicans think are insults — while Democrats hold out their hands and coo that"There is no them — there is only us." I am so sick of this. There's a reason the guy who said that moved to New York after his presidency instead of back to Arkansas: New York is better than Arkansas. Massachusetts is better than Texas. Chicago is better than Wasilla, Alaska. Saying so might mean losing votes in Arkansas and Texas and Alaska, but those states are lost causes (in more ways than one); Republicans certainly show no compunction about slamming San Francisco and Boston and Vermont, and they're the ones winning elections.

Democrats can avoid saying that the red states are inferior to the blue ones as much as they like. But the red staters will continue to hear it. They'll hear it because the voices inside their heads are saying it. And those voices are correct. This makes them angry, and they lash out. Ten years ago, I was floored when a direly unfunny SNL alum named Adam Sandler suddenly scored a massive hit with a movie called The Waterboy, in which he played a mouth-breathing loser who becomes a star linebacker, fueled by uncontrollable rage at the thought of people making fun of him. At the time I couldn't understand why anyone would watch that, but now I get it. It spoke to people. After all, it's what vast numbers of American voters do at the ballot box.

What kind of people do places like Wasilla grow? Well, for one thing, it's hard to get off to a good start in life when your drunken stepfather is tasing you, bro. Child abuse happens everywhere, but some cultures foster it more than others. When parents exert total hegemony over the household without any kind of societal check, it opens up the potential for a real horror show — as the Palin family has demonstrated. Barack Obama tried to provide that societal check in Illinois with a program to teach schoolchildren how to avoid sexual abuse — and a McCain/Palin ad this week actually slams him for it. But given that an Anchorage judge ruled in 2005 that Sarah Palin herself was guilty of child abuse, I suppose it's not so surprising that she and her ilk are so afraid of daylight: it makes it that much harder for "our small towns" to keep their ugly little secrets.

Much more... please read.

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