Friday, August 31, 2012

Can the 'wrong stuff' carry the day?

Evidently, there is no shortage of apologists for Mitt Romney who, as many have remarked, was nearly upstaged by Clint Eastwood's "imaginary friend" last night. They so want to believe that Romney's CGI persona is not a handicap. Will Wilkinson, a libertarian who contributes to the Economist, writes: "Mr Romney's acceptance speech didn't rock the rafters, but that's not his style. What he did manage to do was, for once, make himself feel emotionally present, and not so canned. He told Americans ... that he'll do better [than Obama] as clearly and forcefully as he ever has. I don't think he has it in him to do much better. It may be good enough." Granted, that's not a ringing endorsement. But have we really arrived at a point, as Wilkinson seems to suggest, where it is blithely acceptable to elect a president who is merely "good enough?" I must have been asleep on the day mediocrity became a virtue. And yet Romney is in a dead heat with President Obama, if the polls are right. What does that say about us? Have we become so neurotically prone to political bamboozlement that the idea of choosing the best among us for high office has lost all meaning? I wonder if, at bottom, Rome's fate was sealed by a similar thoughtlessness at a similar fork in the road.

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