Please Vote, Before It's Too Late
If you want to read me gushing about Nic Batum, complaining about Nate McMillan, and wondering exactly why there can't be such a thing as a plastic system (outside of the Spurs), click here.
Otherwise, I am going to talk about politics. Don't worry, this won't be 2008's shrill, impermissible left-wing ranting. If it were, we would quickly end up in highly questionable discussions about whether or not the American voter gets what he deserves; whether the right to vote needs to be aggressively defended with lawyers and knives; and whether, as someone who didn't lift a finger this election season past filling out my ballot, I have any right to be so indignant. The crazy thing is, as much as I want the Tea Party to govern itself back into the Stone Age, I'm nearly as sick of progressives with no grasp of realpolitik. You lose the right to play the "we're the smart, rational ones" card when you fail to see that two-party politics only get so good -- and elected officials only so smart and bold. In Obama, we've done pretty damn well. Even if he didn't save the world. That was some secular Jesus crap, and you all should have known better. Have you never watched The West Wing?
Once you reach that point, then elitism is empty, and subject to any and all critiques.
Again, though, you probably shouldn't listen to me. Even though there's arguably just as much at stake this November as there was in 2008, I didn't do anything to help the cause. I probably tailed off on following politics, especially if you don't count the Tea Party freak show as anything other than entertainment. The belief that Obama would reshape the universe may have been misguided, and the correlation between symbolic and actual social change greatly overstated (if such a thing ever existed). The right accused him of being a Nazi fascist commie, but let's be real about this: No one since you-know-when has aestheticized politics to the extent that Obama did (GLENN BECK THERE'S YOUR SMOKING GUN IT'S CALLED WALTER BENJAMIN!!!!). As a speaker, it was like seeing Jordan in his prime. So you've got politics-as-art, plus rhetoric of the gods. It's not hard to see why we all turned out in droves to make calls, round up voters, and most importantly, hit the polls ourselves. Especially when the other side was ugly, but not yet truly demonic, or so far-reaching and ingrained in the way this country sees itself. We, the young and relatively young, swung the last election. It was a blast, and I think anyone would do it all over again.
Two years later, there is no fun, or exaltation, in sight. Depending on how you see it, Obama has been unmasked, or fallen victim to harsh reality, or made us all feel like chumps for thinking that things would be different this time -- that his campaign would be literal, rather than figurative. We spend our time laughing at the right when, in fact, kooks like Sharron Angle have a good shot at winning. There are thousands and thousands of voters out there who are far angrier, and more stupid, than we were inspired in 2008. This isn't going away overnight, or in a year. Or even two. It will only get worse on the ground.
But there is something very basic we can do. Vote. At very least, keep remotely sane people in office. This isn't about idealism, or what kind of country you would build in a tea cup. It's about not being dragged down by a combination of opportunistic knaves, blood-curdling ignorance, and a form of populism with all the common sense, and force, of an avalanche. STOP THE PEOPLE, for they know not themselves. Go vote, and then get back to basketball.