Friday, September 5, 2008

Know Your Audience

The conventions are over, the rhetoric has reached new stratospheric heights, and we are left with the discouraging knowledge that one of these tag-team duos will run the executive branch in just four short months. I don’t fault them, or their speechwriters. The first rule of public speaking is, “Know your audience,” and those politicos that we watched on TV during the past two weeks knew that they were speaking to an audience dumbed down by the worst public education system in the industrialized world. So, based on the rhetoric, here’s what we can expect.

If McCain-Palin are calling the shots, we will get a proposal for a Constitutional amendment to turn back Roe v. Wade. The Dems in congress will prevent anything close to 70% ratification, the amendment will fail, and the Dynamic Duo will tell the Christian Right that they, “tried their best to affirm the right to life, but were thwarted by the Left.” Mission accomplished. If Obama-Biden are running the show, they will task the auto makers to double fuel mileage standards by 2020, GM and Ford will go out of business (that will happen anyway) and the Obama administration will leave office with automobile fuel efficiency essentially right where it is now. It’s called, “kicking the can down the road.” Neither administration will use taxation or surcharges to make giant pickups and SUVs less attractive, and small cars more attractive. They are doing this in China, now, and God-forbid that we should copy China.

Neither administration will pull money from the Pentagon budget to rebuild the American railroad system, or to make New Orleans immune to flooding, the way that Holland has been for 300 years. Railroads and sea walls are “old technology” and they’re not as sexy as aircraft carriers. Neither administration will pull money from the Pentagon budget to institute a healthcare system for every citizen, so that we can catch up to the rest of the industrialized world in this area where we currently rank dead last. Neither administration will pull money from the Pentagon budget to fund the kind of “Manhattan Project” science that it will take to develop clean energy that comes anywhere close to meeting our insatiable energy needs. Make no mistake about it—neither administration will pull money from the Pentagon budget for ANYTHING. To even think about such a thing is deemed to be unpatriotic, un-American, and unsupportive of the troops.

Face it folks, we’re much more like Sparta than Athens. If you’ve been through the American public school system in the last 30 years, you probably don’t understand the meaning of that statement.

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