Sunday, July 18, 2004

It's the looks, stupid 

The Democrats focus on the real issues.

First it was about
what's on top: "We've got better hair," announced one half of the John-John team, in a show of clear supremacy over the unfashionable Republican team.
Now this from the potential First Lady at a Democrat fundraising concert: "I have to say that John Edwards is very beautiful, and my husband is very smart."

A nice formulation, but does it unintentionally imply that John Edwards is in turn very dumb and John Kerry very ugly? And what are the electoral implications for the Republicans who will shortly once again fail to nominate the Stephen Hawking/Angelina Jolie ticket?

In the Democratic Party, hinging as it does on the California-New York axis of beauty, such sentiments are understandable. If, after all, Hollywood had its own electoral college votes and only "Vogue" editors were allowed franchise, the Party of Fashion and Style would occupy the White House indefinitely.

The problem is, as
Michael Moore clearly identifies it, "We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance... Our stupidity is embarrassing." Can such dumb (not to mention overweight) people be really be counted on to recognise they need to entrust the future of their country to their more beautiful betters?

As Mark Steyn notes, foreigners and America's enemies (not necessarily the same thing, even today) have a schizophrenic view of the United States: "The Arab Islamists despise America because it’s all lap-dancing and gay-phone sex; Europe’s radical secularists despise America because it’s all born-again Christians hung up on abortion. They’re both right." As reluctant as I am, being a foreigner myself, to perpetuate the ur-stereotype of America as half-virgin, half-whore all in one body, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Democrat style will have limited impact outside of the leftie Politico-Industrial Complex. Out there, in the real USA, John Edwards' beauty won't matter unless he's dancing on a pole, or on the other hand, crediting his good looks as a consequence of accepting Jesus into his life.

Regardless, as a case of compliments inflation, the Kerry/Heinz statements verge on political narcissism. Strangely, too, coming from the party that proudly announces "At the start of the 21st Century, the Democratic Party can look back on a proud history - a history not just of a political organization but of a national vision." Not vision, apparently, only looks.
Someone should remind the Democrats that a more clinical name for self-love is masturbation.


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