Please put your political affiliations aside. This is a non-partisan commentary. In another year, I'd be talking about a different political party.
In the past week, a group of pathetic fugnuts have duked it out in Iowa. They're a pretty shoddy crew of adulterers and has-beens, men and women whose ideas and positions have not been able to take hold in the minds of the Republican electorate. For months, whether part of the fray or on the sidelines, we have watched one Great White Hope or Great Black Hope or Great Female Hope after another come and go, while the blandest candidate held back and bided his time and courted the big money and the establishment power. And he won. This "winner" amassed a whopping 25% of the vote, finishing only a close shave ahead of his closest contender. In real numbers, that means he got about 25,000 votes.
But his reward, now, is "frontrunner." He is the top fugnut. You can see it happening everywhere. Not only is he way ahead in New Hampshire (not a big surprise since he's from Massachussetts), but suddenly he's getting strong in South Carolina as well. A week ago, he didn't have a chance in Hell of winning South Carolina or any other Southern state, except Florida.
If you check the news stories online, already most of them work from the perspective of him being the guy to beat. Already most of the stories are, in fact, about him. The rest of the candidates have suddenly become the pack. Because that's what our media does. It reduces everything to its simplest terms. It doesn't like to have to talk about a whole bunch of candidates.
We are still in the first week of January and all of the focus has coalesced on one annointed man who will more than likely become the Republican nominee.
My father, who prides himself on his conservatism, put the Iowa caucuses in these terms: "Romney is a moderate. He got 25% of the vote. The conservatives got 75% of the vote." But he's wrong. The percentages don't matter at all. Romney won, and everyone else lost. And now Romney will convince everyone that he is indeed a conservative.
Ideology is almost out the window. Someone is holding it by its legs, dangling it, ready to drop it.
Within a few months, maybe less, people who disparaged this man, distrusted this man, hated this man, will be waving signs on his behalf. They will be willing to live or die based on his election. They will pour money his way to back up their new sense of conviction. They will fight for him. They will lie for him. They will threaten to move to a different country if he is not elected. He is the one who can save us, because the one we thought could save us didn't, and the one before that didn't, and the one before that...
For his part, he will "refine" his positions until they were nothing like what they were. He will say anything. He may even convert to Catholicism. People will be hazy at best about what those positions once were, and political ads from the other side that try to remind people of what those positions once were will be seen as "dirty politics." He will do whatever it takes to be their man.
People like to talk, every four years or so, of a third party, one that will rise on either the left or the right. Or could one rise on both sides and we'd have four? No time soon, I'd guess. Let's face it: our American brains can't handle three parties. We don't have room for more than two. This is nowhere more true than with our media brain. It can't manage more than pitting one side against another side.
Politics in America are like dogfighting. We send out the two dogs that we think can win. It doesn't mean that they are the best two dogs, just the two that we think can win. There is no room in the match for a third dog. That would confuse everything.
All because of 25,000 votes in a country of 300 million people.
Actually, those sorry candidates who couldn't find a way to take hold, they're not the fugnuts. We can blame the system, we can blame corporate power, we can blame the unions, we can blame the media, we can blame how out of touch politicians inside the Beltway are, but the blame ultimately only points in one direction--the people who swallow all of this shit. Sorry, my friends. We're the fugnuts.