The Moralization of Everything in America

Today at lunch someone was discussing whether Hillary Clinton was going to be the next president of the United States. I then brought up her other two principal Democratic rivals, Bill Richardson and Barak Obama (who I have mentioned previously). For the time being, Hillary and Obama seem like the most likely front runners for the Democratic ticket. It appears to me that Hillary would have a better chance at winning the Democratic primaries while Obama may have a better chance at the definitive presidential elections — my argument being that Hillary is more likely to arouse the negative passions of Americans than the good. And after W., that’s the last thing we need. Of course, now it is simply too soon to tell. There are still a lot of things that can happen and plenty to learn about the candidates. Here’s what bothers me:

I mentioned to the people at the table that revelations that Obama was a smoker may in fact render him unelectable. I received a perfectly healthy European response of disbelief. Europeans really cannot understand why Americans are so obsessed with the petty picadillos of their elected officials. My response was to justify (or rationalize) the American electoral psychology: Because in the U.S. the executive branch has fairly limited power (in a nutshell it executes the law, commands of the armed forces, and represents the national interests abroad), the president is seen as a moral figure. Thus, Americans need to be able to trust their chief executive. I recognize that what I just said is a bucket full of excrement, but that is how Americans see things. And yet, presidents have consistently proven to be more than fallible.

This brings up the question: (i) would you vote for a smoker as your president, and (ii) if not, what does smoking have to do with being president? At the same time, Americans voted for Clinton when he said that he smoked marijuana but did not inhale. Could anyone have honestly believed him? Obama himself has admitted to having used illegal substances in college and in fact inhaled “because that was the point”. There were also plenty of rumors of Clinton’s serial infidelity. George W. has also alluded to a sordid past of substance abuse that is generally recognized to have covered more than just alcohol, and he was elected twice. So, where is the problem? Do we prefer not to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt? We will elect them as long as no one shows us a mug shot?

What if Americans say that they won’t vote for Obama, not because of his politics or lack of experience, but because he smokes some three Marlboros a day? Does that mean that smoking cigarettes is comparable to Mark Foley or Don Sherwood? Obama may very much in fact be a horrible candidate, I don’t know. Smoking is not good, nicotine consumption is an addiction, and children don’t need a cigarette smoker as a role model. (Does one vice destroy all of a person’s virtues or act is our defining trait). What if he were to lie about his smoking in a civil case because he felt like it dealt solely with his personal life?

What really concerns me the course the United States is taking whereby we are constantly making everything and every type of behavior a question of moral virtue or moral turpitude. We really need to get back in touch with reality, guys! Because if we don’t start focusing on what is important, the country will be heading for a real crash landing, and you’ll hear the president over the intercom saying, “smoke ’em if you got ’em”.

Next thing you know, its going to be coffee, peanut butter, carbohydrates, and then a guy who eats pasta and Nutter Butters and once lived abroad doesn’t have a chance in the land of opportunity.

20 Comments

Filed under Digressions, Essays

20 responses to “The Moralization of Everything in America

  1. James

    Reality?! I don’t need no stinking reality, I’m an American!!! I have a whole week of reality TV loaded up on my DVR. Reality, piffle.

    There is no choice but to vote because it is your responsibility. But, in the “really real” world, you’ve voted to make a choice between slow social system entropic destruction or slow corporate entropic destruction, of the foundation of the country.

    All this continuing to happen while the mindless unwashed herds busy themselves with illiteracy, ego hoisting, agendising, and general unimaginative neuronal listlessness.

    Maybe the fascism of Italy isn’t so bad …. Passport please.

    (P.S. Surely you realise that this is a “Puritan” country? Can’t you tell how much more moral and ethical American’s are, than anyone else, anywhere? If not, it’s a small matter, Christianity will save us like always ….. LMMFAOROTFL)

  2. eric

    James,

    The sad thing is that no matter how good one candidate over another is probably does not really matter much at all. Not at all. Not at all.

  3. James

    Oh definitely, I concur. Ineptitude is ineptitude … doesn’t matter what kind of adjectival phrase you put in front, it still amounts to the status quo.

    It’s the failure of a bipartisan system that breeds career politicians.

  4. Charlie

    Was I the only one who had to look up entropic in the dictionary?

  5. eric

    Don’t worry, I have a program installed in my computer that translates James’ words into my 6th grade reading level.

  6. James

    LOL, stay on topic.

    Which isn’t my linguistic flaws, necessarily.

    Mia cugino is a funny guy … 🙂

  7. eric

    No, it is more about caveat Chuckster.

  8. James

    Yes, Pops enjoys taking issue with my linguistic proclivities, and most assuredly, Caveat Chuckster.

    Strange that neither of your procreators enter the fray? Reasoning?

  9. eric

    My procreators have been silenced by decree of the blogger general.

  10. TheCommentKiller

    and Uncle Louie (as i call him) doesn’t have an email address yet. But both C-Nap and Uncle Louie religiously read the blog.

  11. James

    LOL, such a mighty force this “blogger general”.

    “C-Nap” and “Uncle Louie” …. ? ? ? ?

  12. TheCommentKiller

    C-Nap= first letter of her first name and the first three of her last name. that is her rapper name.

    and Uncle Louie for Lou b/c it is more mafia sounding than “dad.” And all my friends call him Uncle Louie; a few call him “Louie, Louie.” But i prefer Uncle Louie.

  13. James

    At what point did the inspiring tower of womanhood that is my aunt, descend to the shiftless, uncreative, unimaginative nadir of life known as “rapping”? Seems rather antithetical to all those scathing, didactic diatribes we were privy to during familial gatherings in our youth. (Not that I’m complaining, I quite often proffered myself as sacrifice to the adults, to protect you and Eric, being the selfless fallguy of your brother’s multifariously insidious schemes, that never ended well. Nothing a few decades of therapy wouldn’t correct … no harm, no foul) :X

    Your father, my uncle, mafia?

    That’s a stretch of the imagination implausible. Most mafia members dress much more stylishly than he ever could. Not to mention, I’ve seen him in sunglasses … not intimidating, at all. Besides, he can articulate and eunciate … that takes him out of contention right there.

  14. TheCommentKiller

    what can i say? C-Nap is still hip and loves her gangsta name.

    Uncle Louie just likes to keep a low profile.

  15. Marti (momma)

    I would like to reply but my dictionary is in the other room, so,I’ll lay low like Uncle Louie for a while.

  16. eric

    James,

    You will be reward in full, I am sure, in some other place and time, for your role!!!

    Quite funny!

  17. James

    A dictionary is an exigent necessity of internet posting Mother/Momma/Maternal Unit/female procreative personage/non-male, upright, bipedal mammal.

    Well, that and an odd display of aberrant hominid behavior. Most notably, delusions in exhibition of other peoples flaws as extant knowledge. Wow, good thing I don’t suffer from that affliction.

    Eric,

    Sorry you had to be outed on that scenario, but considering the decades that have passed since the last occurence, there could be no repercussions.

    Although you might have missed it, due to the inability to apply inflection to the wording, it was in an endearing manner that your capabilities in youthful … ermmmm … tactical leadership were announced? (whew, any more politically correct wording and there is going to be involuntary enactment of the gag reflex)

    LMAO … was that sufficient to remove all ownership of actions? LOL 🙂 Glad you took it in good humor.

  18. Randy

    Blogger general,
    C-Nap and Uncle Louie are banned, but James-Lo isn’t?

  19. James

    Wow!!! The arrival of erudite, journalistic tactician … I’m in awe and wonder. Humbled really, in the presence of linguistic greatness, and nary a thesaurus to be found.

    One must inquire though as to the whereabouts of the exegetical opus for the nomenclature “James-Lo”?

  20. TheCommentKiller

    i think it comes from J-Lo

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