so it is that i have always found it both humorous and disquieting that we as an american electorate seem to prefer to choose our elected representatives not on the basis of their competence, (or even their musicianship, as bill clinton's sax solo can attest), but, rather on the basis of their perceived similarity to our own private personal ideologies. sarah palin, for one relatively recent lightning rod, left the city of wasilla, alaska, deeply in debt, while soon after playing to cheering audiences enamored of her folksy charm and socially-conservative pronouncements without ever once (apparently) questioning to themselves if she would actually be capable of being part of a team responsible for managing the federal budget. likewise, sharron 41-to-angle, proven rogue in all the best sarah palin colloquial sense of that term, is asking that the people of nevada send her as their representative to a deliberative body where compromise and consensus are the necessary interpersonal tools for going along to get along. am i the only one who sees the extreme irony and potential folly in this???
in the rush to dump all the insiders who are destroying this country (and, make no mistake about it, they ARE destroying this country) i am extremely sensitive to the need to elect leaders who will be able to act together to get something done about it. i'm hopeful that "anyone but reid, pelosi, et al." does not mean we're going to be so stupid as to just vote in any gadfly who was prescient enough to sign up for a nomination slot. scott brown, to his credit, ran a thoughtful campaign and seems sensible enough to deserve the trust placed in him as teddy k's replacement. at the very least he's not passing off his decisions as commanded by god or anybody else, least of all his senior partisan party leadership, and that, as i see it, is a GOOD thing.
in my perverse way of looking at the world, i'm far more comfortable with an elected representative who is COMPETENT than i ever would be with someone who merely agrees with me and/or the way i think about something. ron paul, for one personal example, comes down on a different side of the "woman's right to choose" divide than i do, which is actually ok with me, because, most of all, i view that whole contretemps as the supreme court did--as a privacy issue--and i have fair confidence that ron's commitment to the constitution will keep everything as it should be. but that's beside the point--as president, ron paul would, in my opinion, and those of many other people, do a far better job of managing the federal budget than anybody else visible in national politics, and it is his COMPETENCE in this area that deserves fair hearing, and not the coincidence of whether or not he appears with your own personal ideology. but here we always go again, arguing "liberal" and "conservative" until we're blue in the face, and electing ideologues who are incompetent as legislators.
when will this madness end?
i sure hope it's before this country goes bankrupt, or newt gingrich becomes a viable presidential contender, whichever comes first. (for those still enamored with his "contract with america", but simultaneously concerned about what's been happening on wall street and in the gulf of mexico and elsewhere, please go back and read the fine print on that list and consider that gift horses from ideological trojans are the first thing not to be let inside the walls of government, no matter how pretty they look, or you could also consider that the man newt aligned himself most vociferously against was the only one to balance the federal budget in the last 50 years, so there's that too...)