Last year about this time, I was, believe it or not, still holding out hope for America. Yea, I know; it’s crazy. The whole lot of candidates of all persuasions was a bunch of players, except one. But he had some momentum behind him that I thought might result in some fresh, positive political change in the United States — an American Spring, if you will. I mean, of course, without the gang rapes and bombings and self-immolations.
Spring. Sounds like such a nice, happy word, doesn’t it? Boy, those media wordsmiths know their stuff, don’t they? I wonder how many young couples were holding hands and strolling past Lara Logan amidst the uprisings in Altunigyptyarain, remarking to one another about how it all felt just like an Irish Spring commercial.
Momentum notwithstanding, though, my candidate, as the imitable Don Henley sings on the title track of his last studio album, Inside Job, had his “little protests summarily rejected.” So, last year’s U.S. Presidential election ended up being between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, with everyone in Romney’s camp scattering as their shepherd was struck, asking themselves why he lost. Was it the “47 percent?” The shelter of his extreme wealth? The wealth of his extreme shelters? His latter debate performances?
Don’t kid yourself. My argument — and I’m really going out on a limb here, I know — is that none of these issues were pulling the levers last November. They are all just rationalizations masking the singular deciding factor in the minds and hearts of American voters. The bottom line is this: against the formidable sexiness of Barack Obama, Romney was always certain to lose such a contest.
That’s right; you heard me: sexiness. It’s as simple as that. Depressing, eh? But let’s go ahead, face it, and say it out loud. We Americans wanted our sexy back. And if it never left, we sure weren’t trading down. We really are that shallow.
Unsavory and banal as it may be, the simple truth is, underneath the veneer of issues and morals and ideology and patriotism, every presidential election in the United States since 1960 has been determined by one criterion: who’s sexier? Sure, in some elections, the decision might be a matter of degrees, really, but on this characteristic, most of us have proven to be single issue voters.
You need a little coaxing? Okay, let’s go there. Ready? Because in next few weeks, we’ll examine here at Intentious all U.S. Presidential elections since 1960, in chronological order, and from them follow the logical arc that leads naturally to the outcome of this past year’s election. When I first stated this last summer online, I remarked that in the end, I’d either be a fool or a king. Well, for what it’s worth, crown me. See you next week.
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- Obama vs. Romney: America votes for next president in 2012 election (darkroom.baltimoresun.com)
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