…and here’s where it gets confusing
If America weren’t confused enough about the state of the economy, it now is completely lost. The cognitive dissonance is so thick, Michael Phelps is thinking about training in it for 2012. Let’s do a quick rundown of what your average American is hearing right now (with your humble host playing the role of Joe Sixpack).
President Bush wants the bailout plan which means that all people who hate George Bush and normally disagree with everything he says automatically have to hate the idea of a bailout. On the flip side ardent Bush supporters must support the plan because their leader says it’s time to save the nation’s economy. I mean, no matter how I feel about George Bush, I have to want to save the economy, right? And as my wife says, even if I don’t like Bush, I have to reserve a certain amount of respect for a Presidential address during prime time television that says the nation’s economy is collapsing.
Save the economy! That’s a good thing, right? Of course it is. It will let me buy a big screen TV, a new car, and several new boxes of ammunition. Oh, but hold on. To save the economy, I have to bail out a bunch of people who gamble worse than I do and apparently have a weaker grasp on on how to manage a company than just about anybody we’ve ever seen (and that is giving them credit for not just planning to to gamble with the hopes of winning while knowing they would get bailed out if they lost). That doesn’t sound right! So, to wrap up, if I don’t enable a bunch of degenerate gamblers, my country will fall apart? This sounds like a good time to look to our next President. He will know what to do!
Ah, and this one is easy. Both Obama and McCain are for the plan. That means that no matter who I support, I can support this plan and still support my candidate. Whew. I was getting worried I wouldn’t be able to ride first class on the Idealogue Express. These guys are on top of it. They support saving the economy. Candidates to the rescue and all that. U-S-A. Four more years. Suck my eggs. Wha? You’re telling me these two Senators who would travel back to Washington to make a yes vote can’t rally enough support on the other side of building to even get a chance to vote? How can these guys lead the free world if they can’t save the economy? And what’s all this about one candidate taking credit for the bill getting passed when it actually failed? And what about the other candidate not putting enough effort into it? Both of these guys suck? Really? They care more about their candidacies than the economy? Well, hell.
Thank goodness for the media, because they will tell the truth and help me understand. Wait a sec. We’re watching CNN during the biggest point loss the stock market’s history and in the middle of the most high profile Congressional vote in recent memory and the CNN anchors and reporters are literally saying, “We really don’t know what’s going on here.” This isn’t breaking news, new territory, or silence-inspiring terrorist attacks. This is the world economy, parliamentary procedure, and democracy in action. You don’t know what’s going on? Who hired Kyra Phillips and why wasn’t she fired before 5pm? I mean, damn, my friends and I use parliamentary procedure during bar room debates when we’re half in the bag. Point of order, for the love of all that’s holy. (Update: Just as I was posting this, G-Rob sent me this link to someone who apparently agreed with me in part).
Yep, this is where it all gets confusing for the average American. And by average, I mean the people who have fallen into the habit of knowing what to think because that’s what their party or favorite news network told them to think. This is what happens when you parrot James Carville or William Bennett. This is what happens when Michael Moore is your favorite filmmaker or Bill O’Reilly can convince you to stop drinking Pepsi. This is what happens when you settle for 90% opinion, 10% news on your cable news network.
We have to think for ourselves and deal with our decisions. Don’t think Biden or Palin are the best VEEP candidates just because your guy picked them (because, let’s be honest, okay?). Don’t think you will see radical change if the “change” guy or “maverick” guy gets elected. Be honest with yourself about what you need and want. Decide the best course toward that goal.
I’m not innocent here. I’ll admit that. But this is it, folks. This is one of those places in which people can’t tell us how to think.
And, damned if there has never been a better time to be put in that position.