Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.
Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader spent waaaaay too much time trying to figure out a pithy title to this post. Then he got all sidetracked in a nearly vain attempt to make sure he got the quotation he did eventually use as the post title correct. All in all he wasted too much time on the least important element of what he wanted to say…
So, your Maximum Leader will get on with it.
Just as your Maximum Leader’s friend Skippy has found what he needs to be happy in life (and least for a few weeks); your Maximum Leader has found what he needs to be happy at least through November, and possibly – he should say probably – for the next four years. You see, your Maximum Leader had a revelation today while watching early returns come in from the Wisconsin primary. Allow your Maximum Leader to first restate a prediction he’s made. Senator Barack Obama will win the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States of America. He may not win it for a while yet; but he will win. It may not be pretty, in fact it will be bruising and nasty; but he will win his party’s nomination.
That means that this fall the race for the presidency will be an Obama/McCain contest. As your Maximum Leader has said before, he believes McCain will lose that race. But it is possible that McCain can pull off the upset (anything is possible). Regardless of the outcome your Maximum Leader will be pleased.
Yes, you read that correctly. Your Maximum Leader will be pleased with the outcome of the November election regardless of who wins it. Admittedly, he’d be more pleased if John McCain were to win. But his pleasure would be prolonged if Barack Obama were to win.
You are likely sitting at your PC (or Blackberry, or Mac, or whatever) and beginning to wonder what the hell your Maximum Leader is smoking. (Excursus: Nothing would be the answer. But if any of his Canadian friends were to get him some Romeo Y Julietta cigars – Churchills preferably – he’d smoke those.)
You see… It all became clear to your Maximum Leader. So very very clear.
As your Maximum Leader has written before, all Barack Obama really needs to do to become the next President of the United States is to run on a platform of “hope” and “change.” He will “change” the way Washington works. He will “change” the political culture of our nation. He will give everyone “hope” in the future. He will restore our “hope” for a better tomorrow. Change. Hope. Hope. Change. That is all he has to do. He will have won the hearts and minds of his countrymen by being upbeat, positive, hopeful, and young. Just look at how the pundits, media, and talking heads are practically ejaculating all over themselves about how Obama has gotten “the youth” of America to turn out and vote. Everyone wants to be cool. Everyone wants to recapture their own “youth” (except perhaps your Maximum Leader and other sensible people). People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Barack Obama is creating a movement where people can do just that. The movement doesn’t cost anything. Anything except your vote.
Now allow your Maximum Leader to go on the record and say that he’s heard before that the “youth” vote could make the difference in November. Allow him to state that the “youth” vote hasn’t amounted to diddly-squat ever in the history of US Presidential elections. He doubts it will make a difference this year either. But it is possible that it will. But regardless of how the “youth” vote goes, it is the “youth” vote that will give your Maximum Leader the greatest joy.
You see… Young people (and frankly some older people too) are all captivated by Barack Obama. They like him. They want him to win. And, worst of all, they are starting to believe him. They believe that he can change Washington. They believe that he can give people hope. They believe that he can deliver hope to all and make America a better place. As Barack Obama moves closer to his party’s nomination, they will believe more and more and more.
That is when reality will have them on the tracks in front of the speeding train called inevitability. Only unlike Neo, they will not escape.
You see… What is making your Maximum Leader so happy is that he will get tremendous joy when reality sets in and the dreams and aspirations of countless millions of his countrymen will be inevitably crushed. Crushed like bones through a grinder. Dreams ground down into a bitter powder and then swallowed without the benefit of water.
Oh yes… It will be glorious.
What the “youth” don’t seem to get (and frankly what some older people don’t get either) is that Barack Obama can’t change Washington. It is not designed to change. He can’t change the political climate in Washington – it is a closed system meant to run hot and nasty. He can’t deliver hope to the masses; because government doesn’t give out hope. Government is brute force and brute force is neither hopeful nor pleasant.
So let us say that Barack Obama becomes President. Over the first term (and who knows – perhaps two terms) of his presidency he becomes more and more ordinary. He becomes less transformative and more lackluster. He tries to fight the system, but the system eats people who try to fight it. The system hates hopefulness and it crushes your spirit to carry on. Slowly, oh so slowly, Barack Obama’s reality stops conforming to his rhetoric. And slowly, oh so slowly, the seeds of dreams he’s planting in the hearts and minds of so many become choked by the weeds of reality. The dream slowly dies and the youthful optimism that grew along with it dies just as surely.
And your Maximum Leader will laugh and laugh and laugh as it happens.
Of course, it is possible that age and guile might defeat youth and enthusiasm in November. A McCain victory over Obama would be a lightning strike that destroys the dream. Your Maximum Leader wonders if the suddenness of defeat would actually completely destroy the optimism that is being planted. Perhaps it would burn the exterior of the dream, but leave some trace of life down deep in a tap-root of hope. It is possible, this is all speculation of course.
Regardless of how it happens, slowly or suddenly, young people (and some old people too) will have to confront the reality that feel-good rhetoric rarely amounts to real-good politics.
Yes dear reader, it is going to be fun.