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The Feel Good Express

The Feel Good Express*
By Jax
July 26, 2008

Much has been written regarding the Campaign D’Oh!bama, so this won’t exactly be treading new territory. But these thoughts have been tumbling about my brain like mismatched socks in a clothes dryer, and I think it’s time to set them free – and sort them out.

Gerard Baker’s latest piece, “He Ventured Forth to Bring Light into the World” – catch the video HERE -- was the source of a genuine belly laugh, followed quickly by a tinge of dyspeptic quease. It would be far funnier if not for the sense that there are more than a handful of folk out there whose views on the good Senator are fairly accurately reflected in Baker’s satire.

Thing is – I get it. I really do. I was raised in a household in which John F. Kennedy had been thoroughly lionized; with ideals of hope and change and promise; with notions of righting the wrongs of the past; with a firm belief that classical liberalism was the way, the truth and the light. Those are all lofty and admirable concepts and I don’t begrudge anyone who holds them dear. I still hold some of them dear, myself, only I see them through a different set of eyes. I am quite certain there are times my family looks at me and wonders when the aliens abducted me and replaced me with an imposter – so like me in all ways, save the fact that I now espouse conservative stances and exhibit no reflexive need to proclaim myself a Christian with an apologetic tone.

Americans, and perhaps ALL people, are hungry for a hero. We want someone to believe in; someone we can vote FOR, not simply settle for. We want to believe in the noble leader – the brave, handsome stalwart with an inspiring vision of what our country can be – of who we, as a people, can be. From whence does this desire come?

If you look closely, you’ll see that it manifests rather early. Think back to student body elections – even those in grade school. Who was most likely to win those early exercises in civics? The popular girl or boy – the one who was attractive and confident; who spoke in hopeful fashion, with minimal faltering; who promised to fight the injustice of shortened recesses or absent vending machines. Nevermind that he or she realistically couldn’t deliver such ambitious goods. Even if, on some level, we KNEW this, we voted for this candidate anyway. We liked what he or she had to say, and we wanted to be part of the winning process. As we checked the box next to or scribbled his or her name on the small slip of paper we then carefully folded and passed to the front of the class, or dropped in the designated ballot box, we were making a difference. And it felt good!

And the votes were counted and the class president announced, and he or she took “office,” and we went about our daily school lives with little or no “change” actually being effected. And the election faded and promises made were forgotten, until the next year when the process repeated itself.

It isn’t all that different as an adult. MOST people don’t pay much heed to the elections until they’re almost upon us. Most people AREN’T policy wonks who set upon candidates’ platforms, fine-toothed combs in hand, and attempt to untangle the rat’s nests of platitudes.

We forget that too easily, I think, here in Political Immersion Land. There was a Chit Chat thread, a couple years ago, where we jokingly created the concept of “RN Island.” Various offices and duties were volunteered for or assigned. It was a fun diversion for a couple of weeks. But RN IS a sort of island – of political thought – for those of us who spend any appreciable amount of time here. Day after day, article after article, we chew on and digest all manner of political events, issues and commentaries. Most people don’t.

They’re starting to pay attention now. The election draws near and the media coverage of it is nigh on impossible to avoid. The people are looking for their next leader. And there are those who are wed to one ideology or the other; whose feet will remain firmly planted on either the left or the right, regardless of the names on the ballot.

And then there are those whose views aren’t quite so concrete – who will be swayed by the kid who’s perceived as more popular; whose promises sound better, whether a careful analysis would prove them to be realistic or not. And this is why I believe (and have believed for quite some time) that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. He’s offering up a seat on The Feel Good Express. Have to wonder if its underside is as roomy as that bus.

*Hat tip to tidelady for the comment which inspired the title.

And a Post Script which just doesn't seem to fit within the body of the blog: There's a certain irony in the messianic fervor with which many of the left seem to embrace Obama. For it is, it seems, so often these same folks who so quickly and soundly reject the open and public acknowledgment by Christians of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. With a nod to some of my Chat pals, I do believe said folks may be "looking for love in all the wrong places."

10 Comments On This Entry

Great post Jax.
And right on point, IMO.

USNJIMRET, on Jul 26 2008, 04:24 PM, said:

Great post Jax.
And right on point, IMO.

Thank you! :coolshades:
Very good. I am glad that you grew up and saw the light. I was raised with conservative values and Kennedy was no hero to my family so I have always looked at things differently than you, but I am glad that we see a lot of things the same way now.

katnapper, on Jul 27 2008, 09:28 PM, said:

Very good. I am glad that you grew up and saw the light. I was raised with conservative values and Kennedy was no hero to my family so I have always looked at things differently than you, but I am glad that we see a lot of things the same way now.

Thanks, Kat. :)
First off---great blog and I know alot of people who are just voting because of the fact that he does present himself well. His family looks Presidental. He does speak well. He seems to be taking people out of that "dark area" that President Bush seems to have painted for some people and seems to forget---this guy has no experience. That showed in his trip overseas with forgetting or not pencilling in the troops but calling for a 16 mos pull out of Iraq and seeming to focus on Afganistan. I almost feel like he is going to send them there and call for a draft to Afganistan once he pulls out of Iraq with his "plan" which is scary. Pull the troops from one area to the next.

Second, we have to remember---he's not been in any power for any real length of time and his lack of experience isn't being focused on. Like the high school kid who speaks well and promises a new vending machine to make the class happy and unable to follow through. He did a popular trip to show he was going to make nice nice with World leaders and demote us from a Super Power. We can't be a "wussy" Country and still maintain that (superpower status). Did he go to China? Or Korea and meet with the insane leaders there? Or even Iran? No, he stuck with safe issues.

And why the hell is he talking to a crowd of Germans??? Why did he go to Germany? He fluffed that one and should have addressed our troops. I also like the campaign ads of him in front of "weapons of suddenly mass destruction" found in some attic. He found them--yay. President Bush has been screaming about them for years falling on deaf ears.

He has no experience. I have to admit he looks good and his family looks Presidential, like the Kennedy's did, and promises us fluff. He's against oil drilling. He doesn't know the budget. He just looks good spewing "fluff" like having those egg salad sandwiches in the vending machines without adding a cooling system to keep them from making us sick. He hasn't a clue.

McCain, on the other hand, stays here and wants our vote. Not the worlds. He has the experience despite the focus on his age. It's like you said, the popular kid wants everyone to like him except the people who will support him. I think his trip was a disaster. I can't remember but I think he was not very well taken to in Jerusalem.

Anyway, I don't have the political know how as you or most of the people who do on this board but I can agree with your blog. Thanks for posting it and put it in "simple" analogies for us who aren't as well versed or don't have access to Fox News. :)
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