I Was Here First
An angry man, scaling the cliffs of coherence and only rarely reaching the top.

Politics Are Pointless

Mitt Romney just cannot keep the stupid from falling out of his mouth. Gaffe after gaffe after gaffe keeps happening. At this point, it’s clear that the man has absolutely lost any chance of being the President of the United States and Obama is a shoe-in for another term.

Except that, even though Romney apparently started this week by getting bitten by a radioactive Sarah Palin (also known as the Serpentes Palinus) and gaining the proportional stupidity of the Greater Alaskan Spacker, this week has seen Obama’s Clinton/Eastwood-inspired 5-point gain in the polls utterly nullified.

Because in the world of politics, gaffes don’t count and neither does success.

Hell, after half a decade or so, history barely counts, either. We’ve got a transgendered Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street right now (yes, I am saying David Cameron has a vagina).

That’s because a clip showing a political slip-of-the-tongue or a poor understanding of facts or good ol’ fashioned disdain of the lower classes has a half-life of a day. A day is how long it takes the cock-up to spread across Twitter and Facebook. A day is how long it takes for all the opponents to get the snide jabs and cries of faux-outrage out of their system. And a day is how long it takes the politician’s base to rationalise said cock-up as “a good thing, really” or “a mis-quote” or “the truth, and you can’t handle the truth”.

The opponents find their dislike vindicated and the proponents feel beseiged and so close in tighter around their candidate and the polls stay exactly where they are.

Politically speaking, Mitt Romney was right when he said he could disregard 47% of the American population. I mean, ethically and morally, the man’s a gaping asshole that’s begging to be filled with a primed howitzer shell, but politically, he’s right. 47% of the American population will always vote for the Left, regardless of who they’re actually voting for. And a similar number will always vote for the Right, because, goshdarnit, them pesky Mexicans will come pouring across the borders to steal their wives and guns if they don’t. That means any genuine success or cock-up by the politicians matters for dick-all. Half the country celebrate Obama’s every success whilst the other half think it’s further proof that he’s the devil himself (and black, too! How dare he be so arrogant as to get voted into the White House whilst being black!).

It’s because some clever, proto-Alastair Campbell dickhead worked out that if you turn politics into a competition, with one side working against the other side’s goals, you get people emotionally invested in their side. And emotion makes a competition much easier to wrap in narrative. A political opponent is someone who is working to improve the country using different methods that you, yourself would use. You might disagree with the means, but you’ve got to love the goals. But if you wrap that up in a story, featuring good guys and bad guys, then suddenly you’ve got one side ACTIVELY TRYIN’ TA DEESTROY AMERICA! HE GON’ LET THE MOSLEMS IN!

And, forgive me, but that’s fucking stupid. Every politician who goes in for that needs a swift kicking. Every single one. Because every politician who tries to demonise the other side for a small jump up in the polls is helping to break that system just a little bit more.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter. The only way to truly fix the political system would be to torch it to the ground and just make it as boring as we can. No more rousing speeches. No more televised debate. Just everyone paying a lot more attention to the boring political process because it’s important, rather than exciting. And that will never, ever happen, because we’re a planet of slack-jawed idiots and we get what we deserve.

DISCLAIMER: I have taken quite a few pot-shots at the American Right in here. That’s because they’re gits. This may sound hypocritical, but they’re the assholes behind the further polarisation of the American political system (and by creeping, seeping, awful fucking osmosis, the same of the British political system). Yes, they are bad guys. They feed off of people’s fear and stupidity for their own ends. I try to remain as politically neutral as possible, as I think there are dicks and idiots on all sides of the political plane, but the Tea Party and those that pander to them (HI MITT!) are the worst of modern politics. The Left might be naive and idealistic, but at their very worst, they try to help too many people with too little. Give me that over the “this huge pile of food is mine, and you’ll fucking starve to death before I give you any of it” excesses of the Right any day.


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