Thu January 12, 2012
Primary Day Intern Addition !
By Ryan Edward Brown
Over the past several weeks the New Hampshire Primary has been steadily gaining heat on the back burner until the final culmination, the frothing boiling foam over that takes place on this day the 10th of January in the year 2012. While this is all exciting and paramount in the grinding gears of democracy, it has yet to captivate me and I’m left feeling rather blasé. Though this is not to say that I’ll be neglecting my civic duty out of pure ennui, much the opposite, I’ll be exacting my duty with great fervor; as much as that’s possible behind the voting drape. But I fear that I’ve been thoroughly disenfranchised by the gambling mall of political pundits, not simply because of their bureaucratic redundancies, generalized rallying words and over wrought tendencies to muddy one another in what amounts to a melee of nice suited slices of Wonder Bread. Closer to the point and perhaps why my political enthusiasm has been so languid: I’ve been basing many of my expectations of politicians off of the HBO series Game of Thrones and my rereading Homer’s Iliad.
Admittedly so while interning here at NHPR there is seldom a moment that the atmosphere is not permeated or popped with political jingle and jargon, rather than serve to embroil my election savvy, it passes over me in a red blue haze and prompts my imagination to speculate on the appealing aspects of which pundit would win in a battle royal outside the walls of Troy. The reason why it’s so easy for me to see Newt Gingrich strutting around in a mock Menelaus get up or Rick Santorum sitting on the Iron Throne, is simply the gap generated by yawning chasm of “unrelatability”. Perhaps I’m being overly naive in asking for a relatable politician, not just one who has one has swum in Lake Winnipesaukee or one that can point to it on a map, but one that does not come off as an amorphous ball of political green cheese scooped from the nether lands of a refrigerator, spewing the sweet effluent that tickles pink eager voters wanting of self-confirming jib-jab.
Anyways, we are a greatly removed from polis democracy of ancient Greece, where more often than not you personally knew the candidate, whereas I’m troubled by American democracy and it’s stretching of what can be called a democratic election. That aside, I believe Homer (or the “Homers”) would applaud the spectacle that is the American Presidential Election, for all its showy debates, slandering, squabbling, rallying speeches, stoic and passionate camp followers, and of course the “man wasting” achievement that is the presidency. Despite the despair of watering down democracy, voting still makes me tingle with an ancient sense of freedom, one that redeems much in light of everything, that the individual’s choice still holds power.