Sunday, 2 September 2012
When politics get weird-the weird get going!
The big moment of the Republican Party Convention in Tampa Florida- the warm up act for candidate Romney-none other than Dirty Harry himself-Clint Eastwood!
Now some PR wonk in the bowels of the Republican political machine must have thought that a good idea.
82 year old movie actor famed for his tough guy roles to introduce the buttoned-up Mormon(maybe one too many 'm's there) and give the convention a touch of class.
Well it proved several things, Eastwood can only work off a script,and a monosyllabic one at that.Left to do his piece unscripted it was excruciating,mind you it will live for ever on You Tube as the ultimate in weird!
For not only did the strange old man ramble on fifteen minutes too long,forcing Romney to lose the end of his speech to the millions on TV-that was bad enough.
But Clint talked to an empty chair.
The poor delusional old guy thought he was talking to an invisible President Obama.
Perhaps he thought there was a six foot white rabbit called Harvey on stage with him,maybe he could see a six foot white rabbit!
That American politics is dysfunctional is an accepted fact, indeed a party that selects as the number two a numpty that believes rape victims have some sort of magical powers that can distinguish an evil rapists sperm from a benign lovers little fellows really is far from reality!
Imagine the un-fertilised hanging about in the womb seeing the wee tadpole wriggling towards it and turning to its fellow eggs:
"Don't touch this one girls-its a naughty rapists progeny!"
The politics of the surreal.
But its what you get in the absence of any ideology or theory or direction based on logical thinking.
It's as if the enlightenment has never happened and the world is consumed by brutish ignorant calibans with the crudest grasp on reality.
It's what happens when you allow sixteenth century religious beliefs come up against the rational.Increasingly the rational loses out to the emotionally stunted.
If I thought that it was only a feature of modern American society I would be worried but feel comforted by the thought that the enlightenment was a European concept and maybe the Atlantic is proving an obstacle.
But the great fear is that the world has gone backwards!
The founding fathers were rational men who wanted a state that was rational and whilst offering freedom for almost all, regarded the separation of church and state as essential.
John Adams,Tom Jefferson and the others were in favour of religious tolerance,after all many of the early settlers were fleeing religious persecution in Europe.But they also recognised the value of education,science and a democratic settlement.
Where on earth has it all gone wrong?
Presidential candidates who believe in blokes finding gold plates buried in fields outside New York that decreed that all adherents must wear dodgy underwear,and that was the promise of eternal salvation!
But their absurd and dangerous fundamentalism is just as daft and dangerous as every other sort of fundamentalism.There is in my mind no difference between the Taliban and the extreme Zionists in Israel and the Protestant extremists in Ulster and the Catholic dogmatists in the Vatican.
The brutal treatment of the Pussy Riot girls in Moscow is just one more sighting of the intolerance that seems everywhere.
And when we look at Britain, there is a growing trend of intolerance and bigotry.I have always assumed that the right of the spectrum have always held views rooted in pre-enlightenment days.But how can Liberal-Democrats buy into the new brutal-ism of the neocons in the coalition.
And finally the Labour Party, which long ago abandoned its socialist tolerance but now seems to have abandoned even its Methodist traditions too.listen to any recent Labour Home Secretary and you hear only the shallow rhetoric of the UKIP baroom.
Gordon Brown talked about his moral compass, he may well have had one,but in the rush to court the goodwill of the Daily Mail readership I think New Labour(because that's what it still is) has pawned the compass and bought a new blackjack!
So don't laugh too loudly comrades at Mitt and Clint and the other jackasses.
Think of the road New Labour has travelled, and think how often these days the fundamentalists in the cabinet can point to polices they are enacting and say:
"Not us guv, we inherited student fees,immigration controls,health service privatisation,welfare cuts ......"