Once again, John Perry Barlow cuts to the heart of the matter. Here’s the core of it, although the whole thing is worth your time and attention:
Right here, right now, somewhere over the Atlantic, I’m having a moment of clarity. I realize the obvious. I realize that, along with a lot of other people, I have fallen prey to the peculiar American frailty which has given us so many bad presidents. I refer to our national tendency to treat presidential elections as though we were all high-schoolers choosing a Prom King.
Thus, when it comes to qualifying for the American Presidency, a grating accent can be a bigger political liability than a record of homicidally misguided policies. Being inconsistent is a greater personal failing than being consistently, doggedly, disastrously wrong. Being dorky is more damning than being dictatorial.
We all need to get a grip and quickly. Whatever it has been traditionally, this Presidential race should not be a personality contest. I say this as much to myself to myself as I do to you. I have to snap out of it and remember we are not electing our new best friend here. We were electing a set of ideologies, cultural predispositions, policies, practices, and beliefs – many of them religious – that may literally affect the fate of life on earth. And one thing I will say for George Bush, he has disabused me of my old belief that it doesn’t really matter who’s President. [Barlow Friendz]