In a reaction that surprised even myself after watching last night's debate sponsored by the LA Times: I might actually vote for Kerry next Tuesday. He's always been closer to where I am on the issues than Edwards -- especially on the big issue of free trade. And his "unelectable" cultural elitism is actually a positive for me -- what kind of world do we live in when fucking Ralph Nader's going around demonizing the "liberal intelligentsia". Gays and coastal elitists, the last politically correct targets in the United States. On behalf of the coastal elitists, I say, fuck you all. (I'll probably end up voting for Edwards to keep the race going just so my pitiful life will still have a purpose.)
While I was watching the Kerry-dominated debate last night, I was struck by a certain Tolkien dynamic at work. Bear with me:
* Stout, strong-jawed, and his presence *commanding*, Kerry finally has finally picked up Aragorn's sword. Like the King of Gondor, Kerry knows he's top cat but is smart enough to keep up appearances so his men will fight on. With his words strong and squarely aimed at the enemy, the guy's ready to fight and win.
* A somewhat callow pretty boy with remarkable skills, Edwards resolved himself to be Legolas, Aragorn's stalwart sidekick. Edward's got one neat trick, the "Two Americas" jive, but he breaks it down with remarkable precision. But like one-trick Legolas, the dude's content to stay the clean and sunny right-hand man.
* Kucinich and Sharpton: Merry and Pippin. Not really essential to the battle, but good for some distracting comedic relief. Like those irritating hobbits, there's no need to ever dignify these guys with a response: when Dennis K. "challenges" the candidates to endorse a single-payer health plan, both Edwards and Kerry just looked away and smiled. There goes that little gnome again.
* To stretch a little to include the drop-outs, Dean's parallel is loyal, dogged Sam Gamgee, the beleaguered and uncredited *real* savior of the mission. Who's Frodo? Not a real good fit, but Clark's delicate features, creepy eyes, and role as putative savior make him the best candidate. Lieberman's Boromir, tempted by the darkside. Carol Mosely-Braun, the radiant Eowyn. Gephardt, the limited, one-note dwarf Gimli. And Gandalf? Wacky elder statesman Bob Graham.
Okay. Need to stop before this becomes the dorkiest post, like, ever.