Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Confession

I have a confession to make. I have developed an unhealthy hatred for all things Barack Obama. Living in Ohio, I've been bombarded with campaign commercials. McCain on how wimpy and inexperienced Obama is, Obama on the need to develop alternative energy and reform healthcare, you the get the drift, standard campaign stuff. But the most recent commercial had to be designed to give me a brain hemorrhage. Though I tried to find a link to the video (and failed), the commercial is roughly a 30 sec clip featuring Obama telling us all how "Speculators are bad, evil people" and that as a solution to the energy crisis he plans to give everyone a $1000 check to cope with the high prices, and to pay for all this he will introduce a "windfall profits tax" as retribution against those greedy oil gougers. Big Oil? Come on!

Now, I want to ignore the headspinning lack of coherent logic employed by the Obama campaign economically. (If you need a few reasons why those policies can be described as moronic at best, follow the links: On Speculation Here, Here, and Here; on "windfall profits" here.) What I want to focus on is my reaction to these commercials. I think it's obvious that Obama is a savvy guy. The man was a law professor at the University of Chicago. He is not stupid! Obama, and the folks running his campaign, make these commercials because it is what they believe the public wishes to hear from their president. The name of the game is to get elected, and rarely is it that a candidate comes onto the scene as a true reformer and driver of an entirely new political paradigm. (Reagan is a glaring example of this.) This is how democracy functions, for better or worse.

I guess what I find most unfortunate and distressing about these commercials is that there is an actual electorate that is eating this up. Barack Obama is the current favorite to be our next president! So these are not marginal ideas but, arguably, mainstream. I remain optimistic for the future, though this optimism is being challenged with each passing day knowing so many of my peers are susceptible to being duped by such contradictory and harmful ideas.

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