We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's been a dopey campaign. But they usually are. In 1932, Franklin Roosevelt ran on balancing the budget and cutting government spending. In 1940, it was preserving U.S. neutrality in the European war. In 1960, on the cusp of a decade of fundamental change in race relations and the size and scope of the government, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon spent a lot of time debating a nonexistent missile gap and Quemoy and Matsu. In 2000, the issue of Islamic terrorism was barely mentioned by George W. Bush or Al Gore.
This isn't a criticism of America or of its democracy. Other countries are no better. And it's not as if our elites are any more far-seeing than our politicians. Election campaigns--like intellectual debates--tend to be past- and present-oriented. But sometimes the past and present are of limited use as guides to the future.
Barrister ... the exchange about Couric and her question to each of the candidates about movies they liked was interesting to me. Obama's answer was typical of his age group, which grew up watching movies -- lots of movies. He named movies he liked, as if he modeled himself, his thoughts and reactions on the characters in those movies. It was a shallow answer from a man who hasn't decided who he really is yet.
McCain's answer was fundamentally different ... the answer of a man who has suffered much and has formed his character in the refining fire of pain and resistance. He chose a movie in which he found an echo of the person he had become through much painful effort.