“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Monday, April 11, 2016

How to be President of the US for dummies

The qualification kerfluffle between Sanders and Clinton is ripe with meritocratic comedy. Nothing is more important in a guild-oriented plutocracy like the US than "qualification". It is the testing mania raised to a mythological level. Making the presidency something like a brain surgeon's position (or a taxi cab drivers) where there is a vague licencing credential is, I think, expressive of a whole dimension of what is wrong with American politics. In fact, I think I am much more qualified than both of the candidates, since I've seen fire and I've seen rain, I've been poor and now I'm a bourgeois, and I've read several books - including, How to be President of the USA for Dummies - so there is that. Qualification is an especially juicy subject for academics and writers, since holding on to this last privilege is, in the age of ferocious humanities downsizing, about all we have left. But fuck that. Nobody asks if Mark Zuckerberg is qualified to do squat about education - they just give him the school district of Newark like a big christmas gift. Is Bill Gates qualified to do anything except lecture on monopoly and how to exploit it? Nah. But there he is, the man who influences policy countrywide cause of his billions. Like a particularly bad dissertation written by a student the department wants to get rid of, the presidency is awarded not on the basis of qualification, but on the basis of the fatigue of the voters, who want to get the thing over with.
Qualification is a doddle.

1 comment:

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

i'm not sure whether to write in you or ian welsh

but seriously - i am a leftist and a progressive with the credit card receipts to prove it, and in practice i have sent money to bernie sanders and may yet do so again