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Semiformalishmaybe

McCainisation and a close to 2012

New term:

  • McCainisation, when a political candidate, when seeking their party's nomination and possibly during a presidential race afterwards, backs off from whatever moderate positions they ever had.
I've been seeing this a lot in the current Republican runners, who have been courting a base that recently seem to be entirely off their collective meds.

Some of them started this early; Bachmann saw an opportunity for prominence when the whole Tea Party stuff started, and reinvented herself so throughly that you'd need to go look at her earlier voting records to see that she ever was not an apparent nutter. It helps that she was also not particularly remarkable before that.

Romney has had a rougher time with it, as has Gingrich. Focusing a bit on the latter, his past ties with government house loan groups and past stances on environmentalism are haunting him pretty loudly now. I'm not sure which departure bothers me more; by my view if you're cutting down programmes that aid home ownership you're supporting financial privilege and pushing bad social policy (home ownership is good for neighbourhoods, societal vesting, and a number of other things). If you're pretending that man-made global climate change isn't happening, you're turning your back on very solid science in a way that enlargens a problem that we'll have to deal with more drastically in the future (and lessening our ability to mitigate ongoing harm). It is saddening to see candidates retreat from what I feel are the only broadly sensible positions on these matters (even if the specific content/approach in those positions can vary quite a lot).

Anyhow, indian food and wine has been acquired for the 2011-2012 rollover; there are hints of a migraine, but hopefully that won't come to pass. Maybe I'll watch some old Dr Who.

2011 really has been a pretty decent year for the world, all things considered. I'm hoping we'll continue to see non-American institutions improving themselves to reasonable function as American power continues to wane. I hope we see Apple stop being such a douche. I hope we see human trafficking and spammers brought to an end. I hope we keep inventing new programming languages, and keep on with the science, and I hope we continue to make cultural production something everything does as we move further into a post-television era. I hope we build that transhumanism of the mind that will be needed to use transhumanism of the body responsibly. I hope we continue to be activist when and where we need to be to fight real problems, without becoming acidic humourless beings obsessed with respect and affirmation of the narcissistic and bizarre. I hope that humanity learns to be more kind and more awake, and that this leads us to eventually pick up those philosophy books and give them both the critical eye and thought that they need and deserve. I hope we come to love education for its own sake, enabling us to be better people even if it also can make us more easily employable. Let us better ourselves as a species, and remember to laugh, and to kindly mock each other the whole way, spearing the self-important and vain the same as anyone else.

It's hard to be too grumpy about being so alone in life when I've a cat on my lap and another that looks amazingly comfortable on a nearby bed.

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