THE BLOG

We Deserve What We Get

Jan 13, 2008 | Updated May 25, 2011

This column is not about Hillary vs. Obama vs. Edwards. The truth is if I had the choice I'd vote for Dennis Kucinich because he's against the war, for the impeachment of war criminals in government, smart on the environment and the economy, and he has a sense of humor about UFOS. He's not afraid to joke about 'em for fear he'll be labeled a nutcase -- as indeed he was.

But I don't have that option. Kucinich represents my views, but he only got 1% in New Hampshire. Too bad.

I want to talk not about candidates but about our media turning every presidential election into a high school popularity contest. And we let them get away with it. And we don't stop Rupert Murdoch, Clear Channel, Disney, GE, Sumner Redstone and a few others from owning all the media all the time.

Our magazines and newspapers are so dumbed down that they never discuss issues, only stereotype or attack or puff up candidates -- and all for the most idiotic things -- like their marriages, which in truth we know nothing about -- or their weight or their clothes or their hair. They don't discuss brains, intelligence, psychological maturity, but only who's up or down in the polls, cuter in photos, who misted up, cried or didn't cry, said "my friends" like Reagan or mimicked Bill Clinton's style or JFK's or whomever's. Our press is a disgrace.

When Al Gore was a candidate, he was mocked and slimed by our stupid press. And look who we got? Cheneybush! Now Hillary's being slimed for being a woman, for being the wife of, for being smart, for being political, for being old, for not having left her husband -- just as she'd be slimed if she had left her husband. She has baggage -- like any old broad -- because the truth is that the older you are the more baggage you have. So there's ageism too. And a new fresh face, with less baggage, is like the latest starlet in Hollywood. We never heard about Edwards' ideas until his wife got cancer. We heard about his haircuts!

We never discuss psychological depth because hey, who cares if the president's a bomb-happy dry-drunk trying to play out an Oedipal war with his father? We never talk about people being tested in power or how steady they are or whether they read books or understand what they read because we judge them on their looks. Or one idiotic sound byte, taken out of context.

We had gazillions of columns about Al Gore's weight gain and growing a beard -- I was even asked to write one for the New York Times -- and I obliged because that's all the news that's fit to print and I like shooting my mouth off on the Op-Ed page as much as anyone. Besides women writers are only drafted for the most trivial subjects. We comment on style not substance, beards not policy, clothes and shoes and chick lit and cooking. The men get the big topics like war, though women have the most to lose--like their children whom they carried and nursed and suckled and love more than themselves--as of course do many men.

Bush was considered a good ole boy and Gore was a considered a nerd. Now Edwards cares too much about his hair, Hillary "cried" in the press--though she didn't cry in reality. But we live in this parallel universe where there is no reality. Obama? Who knows who he is? A brilliant writer, yes, a cute young guy, yes, a progressive, we think. But who really knows? I give him the benefit of the doubt. Why not? But what a stupid way to choose a President!

If Eleanor Roosevelt were alive and running, they'd talk about her big teeth and her hoity toity accent. If JFK were alive and running, they'd reveal his affair with Marilyn and slander his wife for it. If Jackie O were alive and running, they'd say she fucked Onassis -- which she did -- while she was married to JFK. If Plato were alive and running, they'd say he was gay--though many Greeks were bisexual and thought nothing of it.

So kids, if you elect a President of the United States like you elected the President of the GO in High School, you deserve what you get.