Thursday, January 22, 2004
We should keep this in mind whenever we reflect on the seemingly irrational method by which we as a people select the man to fill the most important office in the world. For the real purpose behind the superficially bizarre rituals of an American election -- caucuses, primaries, televised debates, concession speeches -- is not to provide an exercise in democracy; it is to test the inner resources and character of the candidates, and to do this by exposing them to a grueling series of artificially induced crises that simulate those that he will ultimately have to face as president. The American electoral process is, in a way, like the simulated testing done by the manufacturers of automobile tires -- we want to know which ones are reliable before we put them on our cars, rather than afterwards, and that is why the American people tend to respond so harshly to those candidates who fail to make the grade during this our national period of candidate testing.
Never thought of it that way, but it makes some sense. Being President is grueling and challenging. If you can't take the challenge and maintain the endurance to get through the sometimes nonsensical electoral process, how are you going to handle the job itself?
I guess this makes me feel better about the whole process.
On another Howard Dean note, Duck Hunt #7 is up at The American Mind, a decent source for all things Dean. Howard Dean. As opposed to the good Dean. Just as you might want Viking Pundit if John Kerry, the haughty, French-looking candidate, is your torment of choice. By the way, did you know he served in Vietnam?