Archive for January, 2008

Campaign artifice

January 17, 2008

Listening to all the American candidates on the trail for Decision 2008, one gets the uneasy feeling that their rhetoric is largely an artifice, a posture, and carries little to no substance. As with any and every campaign in history, I suppose. Each candidate is compelled to put a spin on all his pronouncements, so he/she and the electorate begin to believe that the spin is the substance. Personality becomes the relevant coin, not policy. The media builds them up, knocks them down on that basis, and then they react to the coverage — it’s a spiralling rhetoric that conveniently sweeps aside the underlying truth. What are we to believe? That the process is some kind of mandatory but expensive ritual? What a waste of precious resources. Some may argue that everyone sees through the bullshit rhetoric (even feigned oratory?), and eventually the truth emerges. We simply have to go along with the spectacle as show biz. (Most wink knowingly and agree that it can be entertaining). Market forces inexorably strip away the artifice and the candidate is laid bare to be examined for what he/she is — hopefully by election day.

Billary finally becomes Hillary?

January 9, 2008

the morning after

Hillary won N.H. and symbolically bounced back from Barack’s blow in Iowa. Let’s see what she’s made of now. But let’s consider the two burning questions on the minds of many the world over: is America ready for a ‘white’ woman or a ‘black’ man* (that too with an African name) as President, and in what order? A resounding yes to the first question. Putting a woman in the WH would not only be historic, but transformative (women tend to govern people better due to their stronger interpersonal skills; of course she could end up becoming an Iron Lady, in the Indira Gandhi-Margaret Thatcher mould); putting a ‘black’ (Obama is half white) man in the WH would still retain the gender of all American presidents to date. To me a gender change is arguably more significant than a color change!–at least as a start. As for the second question, let me speculate: Hillary in 2008 and Obama in 2012 — that would work like a balm, wouldn’t it? Fewer shocks and plenty of time to adjust to the new reality: a radical change in the consciousness of a superpower with military bases around the world, but which is now under siege from hostile quarters, praying for salvation.

see Dec19 post: “Charismatic Clinton”