September 1, 2012
It’s been a while since I’ve watched a Republican National Convention. I get tired of hearing each politician tell us their life story, “My family grew up poor, and though they never amounted to much, they believed in me. They taught me that nothing is more important than family and faith. In America, anything can happen. My granddaddy, I can’t remember everything he used to tell me, but I do remember him telling me this, ‘In this great nation of ours, you can do anything!’ They worked hard so that one day I could stand on this stage, a leader of this great nation. We need to pass on that dream to the next generation!” *crowd cheers* They act as if getting elected somehow makes them some sort of success story. But what are their real accomplishments? Running our economy into the ground? Stealing our civil liberties? Putting women through all sorts of hell when they disagreed with their life decisions? Career politicians are some of the most loathsome human beings in existence.
I do like the family values they pretend to espouse, and their stories, though they’re probably greatly fabricated, are a bit moving. But I watched them for over an hour the other night and noticed that they never once praised intelligence as a virtue. The general vibe was that though the world is complicated, we have God, family, and love, and that’ll get us through. No real issues were ever brought up. It was all feel good, inspirational stuff. Well, to me, it’s not even inspirational, but that’s another story. I never heard anyone speak about future technologies, how we need to invest in them in order to compete, the potential our kids have if we give them the proper science education, and those sorts of things. I never heard anything about reforming Wall Street, the wars overseas, or threats to our civil liberties. There was no real substance.
Every speaker said something resembling, “My daddy was a bartender.” “My granddaddy was a poor immigrant.” “My mother was grocery clerk at K-Mart.” Every one of their families was in the gutter and never got very far, but they believed in their children. That’s all fine and good, but sometimes I think I’m a bit of an elitist. I don’t find their stories about the trials of the everyday man very inspiring.
We need to instill a real dream in the next generation. Technologies are on the horizon that can totally transform human life as we know it. Fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and computer science are booming, as are all other forms of engineering and technology. You need to inspire your kids to build space-shuttles and settle the first colonies on Mars. You need to inspire them to make Siri into a global mind with all human knowledge, accessible to everyone with a phone or laptop computer. You need to inspire them to finally rid to body of disease and pain through improvements in medicine and other advances. If we don’t get our act together and get on the cutting edge of these things, we’re going to be left behind.
There’s so much people can do today. Look at people like Sal Khan, who is transforming education with just a laptop computer, a cheap headset, and a little Wacom tablet to write on. I want kids to use all this new technology to produce new forms of art and special effects. Have you seen all the neat stuff people do on Youtube these days? A lot of really talented comedians, artists, and movie producers are now able to earn a living and make their dreams a reality. Look at the Angry Video Game Nerd. He raised $250,000 from his subscribers in order to produce his own full length feature film, which will be coming out on DVD by the end of this year. He used that money to fly down to Hollywood and hired out special effects experts to help him make certain scenes. That would have never been possible just a decade ago.
I want to hear about business opportunities where people can change the lives of millions of people through new technology which is available today. I want kids to learn how to think critically, not accept superstition in blind faith. I don’t want to hear about the good ol’ boys, where the ideal man is someone who is putting down concrete. And geez, did you hear those country bumpkins playing that cheesy song, “We Built It”? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with laying concrete, but we’re capable of more.
It’s just hard to get into these political events. I can’t stand the political machine in this country. I wouldn’t have been watching any of this if it weren’t for Clint Eastwood. I was just happy to see Clint up there. I love that guy, though his speech seems to getting mixed reactions. The pundits are having a heyday with this. The “right” has nothing but wonderful things to say about it, whereas the “left” is calling him a bumbling old man who couldn’t make a single coherent statement. Like all things, judge it for yourself. Watch the video below, if you haven’t seen it already.
Before you let the political machine distort your views, what are his real political positions?
“Eastwood registered as a Republican to vote for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and endorsed Richard Nixon’s 1968 and 1972 presidential campaigns. However, during the subsequent Watergate scandal, Eastwood criticized Nixon’s morality and later his handling of the Vietnam War, calling it “immoral”. He has disapproved of America’s wars in Korea (1950–1953), Vietnam (1964–1973), Afghanistan (2001–present), and Iraq (2003–2011), believing that the United States should not be overly militaristic or play the role of global policeman. He considers himself “too individualistic to be either right-wing or left-wing”, describing himself in 1974 as “a political nothing” and “a moderate” and in 1997 as a “libertarian”. “I don’t see myself as conservative,” Eastwood has stated, while noting in the same breath that he isn’t “ultra-leftist” either. At times, he has supported Democrats in California, including liberal Representative Sam Farr in 2002 and Governor Gray Davis, whom he voted for in 1998 and hosted pricey fundraisers for in 2002 and 2003. A self-professed “liberal on civil rights”, Eastwood has stated that he is pro-choice on abortion. He has endorsed same-sex marriage and contributed to groups supporting the Equal Rights Amendment for women, which failed to receive ratification in 1982. In 1992, Eastwood acknowledged to writer David Breskin that his political views represented a fusion of Milton Friedman and Noam Chomsky.”
– Wikipedia entry on Clint Eastwood
He seems to be fiscally conservative, a believer in small businesses, holds a strong faith in the power of the individual, and believes in leaving people alone. Socially he’s liberal, and he doesn’t like war unless it’s truly defensive. He doesn’t align with either party, and at times he’s supported candidates from both sides for various reasons. I like him a lot.
And if you’ve never heard from Noam Chomsky, here’s a taste of how he views the American democratic system.