Politics, philosophy, religion, and other things

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Is Rudy an asshole?

I suppose it's a sign of how much I've changed that it is Feb. of the year before the election and I'm already beginning to think about the candidates. I used to complain if I had to pay attention before September of the even years. Thanks 9/11.

But I am a bit older now, and hopefully a little more thoughtful about politics and especially who I should support politically. When I was 20 I voted by comparing the three candidates on a list of about a dozen political issues I cared about to see who agreed with me the most and (oh the shame) some kind of intangible "honesty" and "sincerity" in presentation. Yes, I voted for Nader.

Since then I've eschewed the political evaluation based on the character of the candidate. It relies too much on how the media chooses to present certain candidates. Do I really think that Al Gore is "wooden"? How the fuck should I know? Yet that was the image I was given by the MSM during 2000. More significantly, there was the meme that we should vote for Bush because he would be great to have a beer with. I don't know if people actually voted for him for this reason, but the media certainly thought that they would. And somehow these things seem to become self-fulfilling prophecies.

The point is that I've become distrustful of any attempt to sway me on the quality of a candidate for political office on the basis of character. That is why I'm not sure how to respond to the recent flux of articles in the liberal blogosphere on how Rudy Guiliani is so very autocratic and thin-skinned. It seems like this is just another way of saying that we wouldn't enjoy having a beer with Rudy.

But the real problem is this: it ends up that Bush's "character," or even more important, Cheney's character is important. That the reason we created this disaster in Iraq is a result of their character. But as someone who will never meet them, how am I supposed to know what they are like except by what the media tells me? And this when I don't trust the media? I don't know.

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