Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A Voice from the Past
Everything's screwed up. But government can fix everything.
A PICK-ME-UP. Pardon me if I sound fatigued. I blogged the Pennsylvania Primary yesterday from beginning to end. Hillary won. Obama lost. Hillary spoke for a few minutes. Then Obama took the stage, in Indiana, and poured on the special magic he is supposed to possess. I tried in vain to see Hillary's victory speech. Instead, every cable news channel seemed to be running and re-running this majestic non-concession speech by Obama all night long.
I'll confess right away that I don't share the universal conviction that he's a great orator. To me, he sounds like an imitation preacher. His whole accent changes when he launches into his periodic rhythms of self-aggrandizing gospel. I see an editor of the Harvard Law Review trying to come off as an inspired backwoods evangelist. I keep expecting him to heal someone. Just for the hell of it. I might be more impressed if he didn't turn immediately into a careful attorney at a deposition whenever there's no teleprompter to feed him his lines. But he does. In debates, he reminds me of every lame, verbose prosecutor CourtTV has televised in its now terminated subversion of respect for the legal profession. In short, Obama the inspirational firebrand leaves me cold. I guess I'm the only one who doesn't see it. Even the National Review and the Weekly Standard are larded with praise for such performances. Is there some obligatory correctness about all this that I've missed again? Probably.
I've honestly been grateful for the less fanciful flights of rhetoric exhibited by Michelle Obama. She seems to come very close to saying what she really means. I've started regarding her as her husband's translator. What is it he's really asking?
We all have to work for the government.
Uh, no. I don't agree. I don't want a president who won't let me live my life as usual. I don't want to be conscripted into canvassing neighborhoods and making phone calls so that the government can reach even deeper into my life and try to fix my personal eccentricities, undo my sins, and turn me into a better unit of a better nation. I don't even really want change, unless change means there aren't going to be as many instructions and regulations printed in small type on every fucking thing I come in contact with.
I know this is a total waste of time. But I'm offering a link to an orator who made Obama look like a game show host. By accident(?), he also happens to rebut practically every point Obama and his wife have ever made in their over-praised public speaking performances. It's called The Speech.
Most of you will find it an irrelevant and possibly offensive artifact of the past. Some of you will find it something of an antidote to the tons of crap that have been dumped on the American electorate in recent months. Note that it involves a clear statement of political philosophy rather than a superior recitation of pompous, nonspecific platitudes. He doesn't remind you of Elmer Gantry or Don King. He's making an argument to equals, not disciples. It's not even about how much everyone should trust the speaker to save them from the miseries of their pointless lives. It's about what people have a right to expect from the public servants who claim to be acting in their interest. Hah.
Yeah, don't watch. It's much much better to believe that nobody ever knew anything before Obama came along.