John Perry Barlow on John Kerry

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]