Aperture magazine at the Republican National Convention, Night 1
September 1, 2008. Republican National Convention. Xcel Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
Photo by Jon Winet
David Levi Strauss, Aperture magazine contributing editor, noted writer, and current Chair of MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department, School of Visual Arts, shares his unique perspective via daily dispatches from the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ A Ship in the Harbor
Who says we can’t afford another big election about small things? Isn’t it the little things that matter most? Like Bristol Palin’s teen pregnancy, and her mother’s little gun? Like John McCain’s age and Barack Obama’s secret Muslim heart? After all, the big things—war, environmental catastrophe, the energy crisis, economic ruin—are too immense to contemplate. So let us turn deftly away, as George W. Bush taught us with 9/11, and the Iraq War, and Hurricane Katrina, and Global Warming. Play some golf, dance a jig, cut some brush in Crawford. What we don’t think about can’t hurt us. Leave it to someone else. One day at a time.
Trivialize women’s rights. Make a cute little button-nosed joke out of the Vice Presidency. Turn the tables on those oh-so-serious Dems, with their sober assessments and dire predictions, and all that downer talk about mutual responsibility. Please. What ever happened to the happy-go-lucky, irresponsible Negro, anyway? Those were the days, remember?
When Blacks and women knew their place and were happy to be there? When the U.S. was the sole super-power and could conduct foreign policy from the air, no matter what Moscow or Bejing or anyone else thought about it? When economic policy consisted of deregulation and privatization and spending the government into bankruptcy? When energy policy consisted of removing all barriers for the oil companies? God created Anwar for us, didn’t he, so we could drill there?
The Democrats’ hand-wringing only encourages the worst tendencies of a Nation of Whiners. It’s Morning in America, my friends. Don’t worry, be happy. Let Sarah and Todd and Bristol and Levi and Cindy and John show you the way, Back to the Future.
Filed Labor Day, Sept. 1, 2008. First day of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.