Tuesday, November 04, 2008

World War Four

Albert Einstein once famously said that he didn't know what weapons would be used to fight World War Three. "But World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones".

It's almost midnight, and I sit here with an incredibly hot laptop on my lap, three beers in, with one more call to get out of the way before I can go to bed, three to four hours before I expected to.

It's been an astonishing election with an outcome that has cumulated in a moment in American history that will live forever - and rightly so. Perhaps it's the wrong time to criticise, the guy hasn't even formally accepted the presidency yet, but what was supposed to be a campaign that rose above the mire of the last two and was supposed to be different, eventually sank to the same, shameful depths that his stop-at-nothing competitor was indulging in and became just like all the others.

One could easily argue that, culturally, and in terms of making history that sorely needed to be made, the ends have justified the means. Make no mistake, this is big. Really, really big. But where does that leave us for the next election? What dirty tricks will be used next time? How much lower can negative advertising sink? How much farther can 529s go in their slanderous quest for victory? What else can be said? Or inferred? Or done, in the name of pure victory?

I already know what weapons were used to win the 2008 election. My fear is that I don't know what will be used to fight 2012's.

1 comment:

RedZeppelin said...

I think we can be more hopeful for future elections. This one might mark the end of Karl Rove politics. It's one thing to attack another man's record (which Obama did with as much airtime as he could buy), but it's another to use personal attacks. This election proved that for the most part people are tired of the latter.

The Ayers attacks didn't work.
The Rev. Wright attacks didn't work.
The "socialist" attacks didn't work.
And on another level, the Elizabeth Dole race showed that the "Godless" attacks didn't work.

The candidates will continue to find new ways to spread the message, and the 2012 race will feature technology and websites not invented yet, but I hope that the failed personal attacks in this election will send a message once and for all that people only care about the issues.