Flapping Gums

There seems to be only one explanation for the flutter of flapping gums that came forth in response to Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comment – McCain and his cohorts want to avoid the issues at all costs.

It boggles the mind that the candidate – who in 2006 said to his second wife Cindy. “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt,” and who offered that same woman up for a “beauty pageant” at the Sturgis biker rally during this very election cycle – could imply that Obama is somehow being sexist in using a common phrase that McCain himself has employed (in reference to Senator Clinton, no less).

But these are the tactics of politicking in 21st century America. EmoÂtion smothers reason, debate focuses on “character” over policies and something akin to theater – or better yet soap opera – replaces truly thoughtful contemplation of our nation and its people.

But these tactics aren’t dirty solely because they are impolite or childÂish – though they are – but because they form an extension of policy that signals a startling shift that has occurred in the relationship between the governors and the governed in America.

Though they squabble for the lowliest, most “everyman” position in the eyes of the population – sporting rolled-up sleeves and blue jeans wherever possible – it is not these people that they represent. In their squabbling and braying – not unlike the sounds coming from the barns of the farmers they hope to sway – they have shifted their perceptions of “we the people” into that of millions of tiny handholds for their own ascenÂsions to greatness.

They don’t come out of the people, but climb on top of them, striding atop the heads and shoulders of the ordinary people they pander to in $500 loafers. The voters here are no longer thought of as millions of little challenges – stubborn minds to be persuaded what’s right – but as opportunities to be gathered and exploited at all costs.

If it takes exploiting gender-identity, if it takes amplifying the still-lingering fear and pain of 9/11, if it takes lies and manipulation, if it takes harping upon the basest elements of human behavior to do it, then so be it.

That is the type of character that will toss out national interests in favor of their own. That is the type of character who will see war for its greatness, rather than its human cost. That is the type of character our nation should focus on.