Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Romney’s $billion campaign to sell “Whatever”

Along with a saccharine family in our faces for the next four years, a Romney victory would validate the Romney way of winning. Think about it; pundits, tacticians, and a new class of aspirants taking their cue from this:

“Here is the Romney strategy: since you don’t like what you’ve got, vote for what you haven’t got. Whatever it is you haven’t got, it is better than what you’ve got. That was supposed to be enough to secure election after what we’ve got—Obama’s apparent economic failure. But the Romney campaign is taking what-you-haven’t-got-ism to new heights of what-you-mustn’t-know-ism. It supposes that revealing any details of what you haven’t got will just distract from the fact that you haven’t got it. Vote for Whatever instead.”

Garry Wills introducing his summary of the US presidential election in the November 8 edition of the New York Review of Books.

The other thing: the vacuity of his message not only smudges Obama with the same pale paint, but dignifies the fussy preference of 80% of young Americans who apparently would rather study at Starbucks than vote.

Remember, disillusioned, we-tried-it-once young adults: The piece of the world that you’ll have to account for, along with the rest of us, is being shaped by the people who vote, and no one else.

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