Nostalgia, Satire, and Bigotry

The satirical Onion (“America’s Finest News Service”) has a provocative article that begins as follows:

WASHINGTON—With just days left before the election, the nation’s 150 million registered voters have started to remember the simple, reassuring comforts of entrusting control of their country to an extremely out-of-touch white man, sources confirmed Monday.

In the wake of the presidential debates, multiple polls have shown that citizens nationwide are beginning to recall, with great clarity, the soothing, familiar sense of security that comes with handing total domestic and foreign policy authority over to a sixtysomething white male who is completely cut off from any way of life other than his own. And with the country having gone four years without such a familiar, calming, clueless Caucasian presence in the Oval Office, experts reported the populace is now overcome with nostalgia.

I have blogged before about how this country is easily taken in by images — especially the ones recently seen on Debate TV. Though clearly tongue-in-cheek, this article makes an important point. It cites “studies” that have shown we want the comforting image of a sixty-something white man with grey on his temples to take us by the hand and lead us into the next four years. True or not, it would seem plausible given the level of fear and uncertainty in the country.

I recall a bit by stand-up comic Shelley Berman back in the 60s when the comedian mimicked a calm and soothing voice coming over the speaker on an airplane just prior to takeoff: “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Captain Holbrook speaking…” and Berman, who professed to be scared to death to fly, cut in and said “It’s Daddy! Daddy’s taking us flying!” The same sort of thing might very well be going on in this election. How else to account for the fact that millions of people in this country plan to vote for a man with as many faces as Eve who lies through his teeth while showing himself unwilling to retract his falsehoods in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary? Daddy’s going to make things right. Daddy’s taking care of us. Obama doesn’t fit that image: he’s the wrong color.

A recent study reveals that more than half of the white people in this nation are prejudiced against black people. I dare say many Hispanics also have their prejudices, as do the Blacks themselves. Prejudice seems to be a common human attribute and plays no color favorites. But we did manage to elect a black President the last time around, although the more reliable pundits tell us he will lose the popular vote this time. They also say, thank heavens, he will win the electoral college vote and be reelected. When this happens it will result in immediate calls by the Romneyites and their minions to trash the electoral college which is an eighteenth century invention designed to safeguard the country from idiots in high political office. It hasn’t worked since politics is overrun with idiots, but the electoral college may be short-lived after this election if the corporations that pull the political strings have to deal with the fact that it interfered with the election of their man.

In any event, it will be interesting to see how many fools in this country buy into the comforting image of a duplicitous businessman who was handed success on a platter and is out of touch with practically everyone around him who doesn’t happen to belong to his country club. If Mitt Romney wins the popular vote, as predicted, it will tell us something about ourselves we may not want to know. To paraphrase Lincoln let’s hope you can’t fool enough people this time around, that the voters in this country aren’t that easily duped and just maybe are a bit less bigoted than we have been led to believe. Time will tell.

11 thoughts on “Nostalgia, Satire, and Bigotry

  1. With nothing more behind me than instinct and gut feeling, I do believe Obama wins both popular and electoral college. The polls aren’t reflecting peoples true feelings out there. Having said that, I can see it taking months for us to know the outcome, as the big money you refer to first spend their mountains of cash on lawyers in courts.

  2. Hi Hugh! I don’t think he will lose the popular vote and win the electoral college with the number of people in cities that are more progressive than in many more remote areas of the country. But I could be wrong. I feel like the electoral college gives more weight to the rural areas than their population would generally justify so it would be more likely for a conservative to win the electoral college than the popular vote with the current political dynamics. But I could very well be wrong. I hear what you are saying – we are so used to having a 60 year old white man in office, it is just seen as the norm. I hope that that is shaken up substantially in the years ahead – beginning with Tuesday. I love the Onion. They are simply brilliant, in my book. Thanks for highlighting this.

  3. Well, not totally off the subject, but someone in NC had a noose hanged Obama figure in their yard and professed not to know how it got there. It saddens me that leaders do not come out and say this is wrong. The other point made in the article about the noose is how can you expect others to take your party seriously when you allow this kind of stuff to happen, or tolerate booing of a gay soldier, cheering to the comment to let the uninsured die or let someone get away with the comment “chucking and diving.” I think this is the final Presidential election where being a 60 year old white male will matter anymore. That scares the crap out of those who “want to take their country back.” What will happen Tuesday – I don’t know; I can only hope that Barney is correct and some daylight is inching into the results based on recent events – economy improving, Sandy, Christie, Bloomberg and our GOP rape/ abortion buddies. BTG

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