Thursday, October 28, 2004

Everything You Know Is Wrong

In the last days of a presidential campaign, the United States enters a wilderness of mirrors in which virtually all information reported in the media is wrong.

The opinion polls are inaccurate, the news is filled with unsubstantiated rumor, and voters relentlessly manipulated by national campaign organizations that exist for the sole purpose of manufacturing victory this week.

This is the moment the big fireworks come out. It’s a great time to relax and observe the swirl in all its chaotic splendor from a safe distance.

If you don’t stand back you could find yourself being driven mad by the sirens of punditry. To jump into the election confusion now is to imagine yourself as a judge in a vitally important beauty contest. Except that your task is not to determine which contestant is the most beautiful, but which one you think everyone else thinks is the most beautiful.

I’m satisfied to know that after years of unrelenting criticism, after mobilizing every possible form of opposition, after deploying all the talent, charm, fear, scorn, humiliation and hate, at their disposal, and after firing every doomsday device in their armamentarium at George W. Bush . . . the entrenched Left has failed to make a mark and the man still stands unbowed, unscathed, and unmoved.

Make no mistake. The last hours of the campaign will be a kaleidoscopic swirl of utter falsehoods. At the end of it Bush is very likely to emerge vindicated, legitimized, and with a mandate to pursue his policies with renewed vigor.

in that case there are three places I’d sure as hell not want to be next Wednesday – sitting in the morning staff meeting at headquarters, presenting the President’s briefing in the Chambre de Situation at the Elysee Palace, and manning the barricades on the deserted streets of Falluja.

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