Awash in the Toxic Hypocrisy

You know what upsets me most about the current state of society in America? It rewards venality, it rewards the soundbite but never looks beyond it to see if the soundbite "fact" is an outright lie.

Weeks ago, I read a Twitter that summed up what I think is wrong with, well, everything. The twitterer commented that she caught herself scanning tweets when they are, at most, 140 total characters. She couldn't be bothered to actually read them in their entirety so she was skimming them for something interesting. A soundbite.

And soundbite politics have a firm grasp on the current election cycle. With incredibly stupid utterances like "A pitbull with lipstick" capturing the fleeting attention of a glazed over America despite clear evidence of a pattern of lies. But the American people don't care if the words ring true or false, they just like an easily digested soundbite because American Idol is about to come back on and they've allotted only thirty seconds to political thought during the commercial breaks.

America doesn't want the best leader, they want the one who can "score" the best zinger, the one who can "diss" the other guy and make him look bad. America doesn't care about health care or the economy or the war in Iraq, they care about appearing to be big and tough and strong.

A good metaphor for America is the Hummer. An oversized and ridiculous gas-sucking vehicle on its own. Now replace the engine with the engine from a 1983 Ford Escort and that's pretty much what America is like right now. A hulking appearance on the outside, brutal and tough looking and ready for action but a whimpering kitten of a beat down and beat up engine on the inside, struggling to keep from seizing as the driver repeatedly mashes the accelerator to the floor to show off.

Only not all Americans are actually like this. Some are deeply thoughtful people who approach this election and the country with an open mind, who want to engage in real debate, who want to, you know, actually try to make the country and the world a better place. Yeah, I know, fucking losers.

Only thing is, I'm one of them. I want my country back, I want my presidential election to not be a circus, I want it to be a real examination of the candidates. I want political discourse to be about real issues, not smokescreen distractions. I want our next leader to have a firm idea of how to set about undoing the grievous harm we've endured under the deeply hateful and criminal Bush administration.

Instead we have ridiculous arguments about whether "uppity" is a racist term (it is). About whether media inquiries into the character and person of Sarah Palin are sexist (they are not). About whether Obama's use of the word "lipstick" is offensive and wrong because Palin already used it in her hate speech keynote (it is not).

And, in the end, the election won't be about issues that are actually important. The election will swing on lies, fabrications, mistruths, misdeeds and carefully controlled media exposure. All the while, the economy goes septic, the war in Iraq goes on, Osama bin Laden (remember him? the Bushies don't seem to) continues to walk free nearly seven years after masterminding the attack on the US, the environment continues to be assaulted by big business cronies of the GOP, reproductive rights are in jeopardy, idiot fundies want to inflict creationism on our already behind and slipping further behind because they are underfunded schools and America is still being sold to OPEC barrel by barrel.
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