The Primary, Part 2
The actual germ of this essay about the primary was an instance about a month ago when I happened to be walking on Main Street in the small city where I live and crossed the path of a couple of Mitt Romney's girl storm troopers who were out canvassing for support. Curiously, they did not go out of their way to solicit me, but that is another story. I was immediately struck by the fact that they had, among other superlative physical attributes, the most prominent, roundest, and firmest breasts of any candidates' young female acolytes that I have come across yet. This was almost certainly not a coincidence. Though some organs of political propaganda attempt to keep up a pretense that they and their audience are engaged in a contest of rational thought with their (usually much less rational) enemies, for the most part energy in popular politics is better expended in building up prospective supporters' egos, generally by convincing them that all of the other sides' supporters of the same sex, and the unattractive members of the opposite one, are either social losers, intellectual inferiors, or these resorts failing, evil (those of the opposite sex who are undeniably cute or successful are depicted as being driven to their misguided political beliefs out of frustration, usually sexual, the fascination with which would disintegrate swiftly after an evening in the superior company of the partisans of the other side). Romney, being the most utterly shameless politician in the race, and the most eager to promise anyone at any time whatever he thinks they want, no doubt was operating under the influence of this insight at some level of consciousness when he assembled his staff. These girls were a perfect expression of his whole program, in that they were so pleasing, and superficially reassuring, to look at, and had so little of an air of any reality about them, as if their purpose was to induce somnolence in the onlooker, for ends that remain inscrutable to me, and as far as I can tell, to most of the experts as well.
The other candidates are no less revelatory in this regard. Giuliani's girls are predictably terrifying, very purposeful-looking, without any hint of pity for the weak. These are not people you are going to want reviewing your secret files and having a say in what is to be done with you when that time comes. The three female supporters of Dennis Kucinich that I have seen look as if they might have come straight from my old college (and even from the cute end of the pool there); that nothing can get his poll numbers even a little above 0.5%--that this fairly intimate identification can't even induce me to vote for the man myself--tells all you need to know about the status of the kind of people I know best in influencing the course of the nation. Kucinich at least is doing much better with the ladies than the hapless Alan Keyes, whom I have seen in years past walking up and down Main Street by himself trying to corner people to deliver his harangue to. The Howard Dean girls of course were my, and apparently everybody else's, favorites. As much as I hate to admit it, I believe his campaign's downfall really began when the word began to get out that his female supporters were "easy"; that is, they were susceptible and open to commonplace possibilities with commonplace men while in the midst of what was supposed to be a deadly serious process. This did not play well in Middle America, which wants assurance that whoever is running the country can exert some control at least over the sexuality of the women of his own party (Clinton solved this dilemma I suppose by channeling it all to himself). I admit I was a little heartbroken to read all the accounts on the Internet of macho conservatives who boasted of infiltrating the Dean rallies posing as vegetarians and gay rights fanatics and bonking the living daylights out of the choicest of the granola girls. How I am supposed to worry about keeping the hordes of Asia off of our women if we can't even keep the Republicans off of them? Some people think the Obama campaign may have some of this hooking-up potential, but from what I have seen so far, I say no way. Obama himself seems like an all right guy, but I don't like the makeup of his supporters, nor the vibe they give off. He does not seem to be drawing from any kind of natural base that forms any real community at a deeper level. Where the Dean campaign had an earnest, grasping, semi-desperate energy about it that appealed to me, the Obama people come off as already being pretty satisfied with themselves for coming out openly for a black man, as well, quite surprisingly to me, as lacking any stomach or passion for a fight. They're going to get clobbered.
There is a lot to write about on this subject. I will probably do another post or two on it. We have a few months to go.